Hockey & Bathtub Peeing

LergYesterday, a really good friend let me use his wife’s season ticket and go to a Michigan vs Michigan State hockey game with him. (Yes, his wife approved) I’d never been to a hockey game before, so I planned to write about it. In fact, while I was there I was thinking about what I would mention.

5 minutes inside the Joe Louis Arena, I knew the focus of my post would be about the bathrooms. I didn’t take a picture, because, well, it’s the bathroom. Here’s the deal: at this multi-million dollar structure, where the Red Wings play and the Ice Capades do their capading, the bathrooms are like something out of a 1982 roller rink. There are long, bathtub-like troughs into which men stand and pee. Sword fighting not withstanding, it’s an odd experience. As I stood too close to the partially exposed man next to myself, I wondered WHY ON EARTH it was designed this way (the bathroom, not my… nevermind.) The space wasn’t more efficient, as only 3 men could write their names in the bathtub at a time, and each tub took the space of about 3 urinals. It was gross. No offense, but I don’t want to see another man’s urine “flow by” while I’m relieving myself. Add the drunken stupor of the 3rd period, and I was actually in danger of being splashed by a laughing, beer filled urinator. But I digress…

The game was actually the highlight (and most memorable part) of the evening. If you’re a hockey fan, and never seen a live game, you’re missing out. The rink was much smaller than it appears on TV, and you could see rich detail that looks so plain on the tube. The puck’s spinning, smacking, bouncing, and clunking make it seem so much more real. And yes, the body checks look more painful from 30 feet away.

I found myself jumping out of my seat when State scored, and shaking my fist right along with the masses during the fight song. That is SOOOOO not like me. The whole experience was quite surreal. I was excited to go, because I’d never done anything like it before, but it really exceeded my expectations. I actually want to see more college hockey! I want to get Dish Network so that I can see the games! (and the SciFi channel…)

Anyway, it was an awesome day. Thank you Terry and Maria, I’m sure it’s an experience I’d have never lived if not for your invite. GO STATE!!!

10 thoughts on “Hockey & Bathtub Peeing”

  1. Oh Shawn! I loved this post. I am a lover of hockey & while away the winter months shouting, cheering, cursing along with the best of them. I can’t believe that you live in Michigan (obviously close to Detroit) and have never been to a game. The Joe Louis Arena is quite old by NHL standards and that is obvious by the bathroom. Too bad you didn’t take photos. There is a guy in NYC that has a blog featuring bathrooms from all over the world. (If interested, you can find the link on my blog.) I’m glad you enjoy the sport. 30 million Canadians can’t be wrong :o) We’re actually heading out to the Leafs game on Saturday. They have much nicer bathrooms at the Air Canada Centre. And we have Direct TV so we can get NHL Centre Ice and also a Bell ExpressVu satellite so we can get Leafs TV. I can totally relate!
    Have a fabulous weekend.

  2. Thanks for the comment Carrie!

    Ironically, I don’t live anywhere close to Detroit, and it was a 5 hour drive south to get to “The Joe” πŸ™‚

    It’s hard to put into the words the difference between a live game and a televised version. What a great sport.

  3. You should strap on some skates and give it a go! I would say 95% of guys (and A LOT of girls) in Canada play hockey. Most are for fun and shinny is very popular. Basically, you just show up at the arena and play with and against whoever else shows up. There are always enough players for a game. Very, very informal. Even Junior B games & high school games are very entertaining. If you’re “older” or a “more mature” guy, there’s always Oldtimers hockey. And with the freezing cold snap we’ve had lately, the inside of an arena is seeming pretty toasty! (It works opposite in the summer and we go skating because it’s cool in there!)

  4. Carrie:

    Buying skates is something our family does want to do. Donna took the kids ice skating a few weeks ago (rented skates) and they had a blast. It’s quite a drive to a place that rents skates, but they did really enjoy themselves.


    Thanks. πŸ™‚ It was very “memorable” to say the least.

  5. I am glad that you had a good time at the hockey game but you were cheering for michigan state were you feeling okay? just curious. The bathrooms sound gross so I dont think that I am going to be going to a hockey game for a while. Good blog

  6. The “Gator Bowl” in Jacksonville FL was like that before they tore it down to build Allel Stadium. It’s the only place I’ve experienced the “pee trough”. It was good for getting a lot of people in and out quickly but if that is the only goal, they could just make a big circle around a bunch of floor drains πŸ™‚


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