When Nick came and told me about his sister’s middle school band’s scheduled performance at a professional lacrosse game, my first thought was, yes! The perfect new thing to try for April. There may be a little blogger in me after all. But in all seriousness, I loved this month’s “try something new” and it’s made me even happier to have set this resolution for 2013.
Now did you know there is such a thing as professional men’s lacrosse? And maybe if you’re not from the East Coast, maybe you don’t even know what lacrosse is (hey, it has happened). Well, lacrosse is an awesome sport and a national men’s lacrosse league does exist. I played lacrosse all through high school and I still miss it sometimes so I was more than a little excited to go check out the Philadelphia Wings as they played the Toronto Rock at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philly.
But before we even put our bottoms down in our stadium seats, Nick and I decided to have a little adventure. We did the quintessential I’m-a-tourist-in-Philly thing and went to Geno’s for a cheesesteak. Yes, it was delicious but I don’t think we’ll be going back any time soon since it was full of crazy tourists. “I’ll take a cheesesteak with cheese please.” (But seriously.) After that we had to get away from the crowds!
In Philly, all the major sports arenas (with the exception of soccer stadium) are located in a central area but that’s kind of far from most Philly attractions. To cater to the sports fans, they recently built a huge complex that hosts a few restaurants, food windows, a pub, a country bar, and a beer hall called Xfinity Live. We decided that it was the perfect time to check it out. The big surprise of the day was that a boy band called Emblem3 was hosting a mini concert and autograph session outside. Of course, I couldn’t even tell you what one person in One Direction looks like (though I know more than one of their songs thanks to my third and fourth graders) so I had no idea who these kids were. Nick and I grabbed a beer and watched the teenage girls stand in an endless line for a chance to meet their crush. After that entertainment was through, we grabbed a seat at The Broad Street Bullies Pub and Nick was in Flyers heaven. It was a busy day even before the game started!
After our afternoon Philly fun, we finally headed over to the main attraction: the Wings game! I wasn’t sure what to expect. I played high school lacrosse, watched men’s lacrosse games in college and didn’t even realize there was professional men’s lacrosse until a few years ago. It was kind of nice going in with an open mind since I felt I was just there to enjoy the game and take it all in.
It was their last home game of the season, right before play-offs, which upped the excitement at the Wells Fargo Center. Thankfully the Wings pulled one out, winning 10-9 in overtime. Even though the arena wasn’t as packed as it usually is during a Flyers game, the fans were going crazy and making enough noise to make it feel like it was sold out.
While I can’t imagine being a season ticket holder or even a regular fan, seeing the Wings in action was a great experience. Like I said, the fans were crazy and really dedicated to the sport. I wish I had taken more pictures of all the action in the stands but it’s hard to capture good pictures in arena lighting and with limited zoom. But then again I might have wondered later why I had so many pictures of shirtless men and boys. Seriously, so many. It was just my first game so maybe that’s something they do all the time? It remains a mystery…
Going to the Wings game also reminded me why I love lacrosse. It’s really fast and takes a lot of skill. There’s lots of plays but you also have those awesome breakaways that keep you on the edge of your seat. It made me miss just tossing the ball around with my teammates with feeling of it dropping perfectly into the net. Ah, memories. Now probably the best thing to come out of this whole experience was that it got Nick interested in lacrosse and the next weekend we went out and got starter lacrosse sticks (we only got these “starter” ones because the real professional ones are over $100 and we don’t need to spend that kind of money on a hobby). Our new thing is heading out to the park and tossing the ball around with our sticks. I think this is a very successful try something new; I not only got a whole new experience but a new weekend workout!