Lewiston, NY - I am not going to lie – it was a very different experience.
In fact, at one point, I didn’t even know how to react. It has been that long.
I went to a hockey game – but for the first time I actually didn’t cover the game – well except for this column.
No credential was needed when I took my dad and I to Niagara University to watch Army take on the Purple Eagles.
I traded in my credential, not really I had one up in the press box, for a ticket.
For once, I wanted to sit there and enjoy the game and cheer on Army if I wanted to.
See, for those of you who don’t know, there is no cheering in the press box during a game. If caught cheering you could lose your credentials. So, normally, you just sit there talk to the reporter next to you take some stats and get ready to right a story. Very boring at times, but it does have it perks.
So, my dad and I entered Dwyer Arena on the campus of Niagara University. It was a very nice arena, better than Buffalo State College. Seating was very nice and the atmosphere was different.
We sat there, section five, row L, seat 1 and 2. And, in the beginning, it felt kind of weird. I was looking around for the press box to see if I knew anybody. See where my Army friends might be sitting so maybe I can say hi later.
As my dad and sat there 45 minutes before the game we talked about everything with mostly it being sports.
What can I say? I eat, sleep and breathe sports. Some people love to drink – me I love everything about sports, it’s an addiction.
Same goes with Army athletics. Sometimes it’s an addiction. Something I need to have it.
I know a lot about Army history in football, hockey, baseball and so forth – and tonight it would come in handy.
Midway through the first period, two gentlemen – looked like National Hockey League scouts, asked my dad if the kids in the Army still had to serve their five year commitment after college.
My dad turned to me and told them to ask me – where I went on to explain the rules they have at the academy.
My dad then turned to the two that were sitting next to us and told them I was the one to ask about Army because I cover it so much.
It is a father and son time that I don’t give to have with my dad that much – because I do work a lot. This is were being a reporter comes in handy at times, because I know about these events in advance and I can plan the day or weekend.
After the first period ended, Ryan form the Army Athletic Department stopped over to say hi. I have known Ryan now going on I think close to five or six years. He is the best at his job and every time I need to line up and interview with coach or one of the players he is right on the ball to help me out.
After he said hi to me, I sat there thinking if I should have stayed hidden – just blend in with the crowd.
Then I was like nah that’s not my style. I needed the drug, the fix. I needed to be involved a little.
My dad and I had a good conversation throughout the night. We needed to do something because Army didn’t play that well again.
The reporter in me will tell you that Niagara scored a shorthanded goal in the second period and added two more in the third to defeat the Black Knights, 3-0. Army now has last four in a row and has only won twice all season long. Not exactly what coach Brian Riley was thinking when the season started.
The reporter in me wanted to the post game interviews, but the son in me was happy to be spending time with me dad.