Ever since I was a kid I always felt the magic with the smells, lights and sounds surrounding you at the stadium or arena.
I remember what a rush it was when the Blue Jays began in Exhibition Stadium in Toronto.
My buddies and I and often my dad would always go over to the local Dominion grocery store where they sold 2 dollar tickets for the Grandstand "cheap seats".
I say "cheap seats" with the quotation marks because these seats were the farthest away from home plate but everyone had an amazing view.
Whenever there was a rain delay we had to sit there to await the official word if the game would be called off.
If anyone left and the game started up again they didn't get a replacement ticket for another game.
Well guess what? The Grandstand had a roof! We didn't mind sitting there for hours watching it rain.
They used to sell hot dogs that were over a foot long for 75 cents and huge containers of pop for $1 or so.
The pop containers were like big cartons that were loaded up and clipped closed.
If we lucky enough to be going during the Canadian National Exhibition we would be sure to stop into the Food Building first for some snacks at insanely low prices.
I can never forget the Honeydew drink that also came in those cartons at the Food Building. It was a type of orange drink I believe. I loved it.
If there were a few of us we would get a couple of drinks and get little cups to share it.
My dad ALWAYS took peanuts to the Blue Jays games too.
So you see, we could stay all day in the shade or dry while the folks with the expensive seats baked or got rained on.
I can still remember the smell of being at the ball game. What a great memory that is!
As for hockey, Maple Leaf Gardens was the best place anyone could ever watch a hockey game.
The hallways were always jam packed and there were hundreds of pictures everywhere on the walls of the history of hockey in the Gardens.
The history of this place just oozed out and hit you.
I loved looking through the names to see if I knew these old timers.
I could find guys like Syl Apps, Conn Smythe.
In the 1970's I remember seeing a pictures of King Clancy in his late teens or so and realizing it was the same guy as that really old man who sat in the little room with Harold Ballard at every game.
The old Maple Leaf Gardens had these huge troughs along the walls in the men's washrooms as urinals.
When I was 7 or 8 I spotted Tommy Hunter having a wizz and asked for his autograph on my program. At the time it was such a thrill meeting and getting his signature but when I think of it now I really should have let him wash his hands first! Eww!
Now that I am a hockey parent I feel that charge again when we get to the rink with the kids.
Sitting at home watching isn't quite the same.
It's different these days. Suddenly I'm in a house where everyone wants to watch the hockey game.
So tonight we watched Montreal beat up the Maple Leafs 6 to 1.
Years ago my Uncle Richard worked for the Habs as a scout. Naturally I supported my uncle and was a Canadiens fan.
Being a fan of Montreal in Toronto was weird but I got to celebrate Stanley Cup wins. They didn't.
A few years ago the Montreal organization was bought by a beer company or something and cleared out the existing staff, Richard included.
Since then I have waffling betweens teams.
Tonight was pretty good.
The Blue in today's title was for the Maple Leafs.
The Green is about all of the Green Party campaign commercials during the hockey game tonight.
I was very impressed by the frequency and timing of them. Initially I thought they would all be the same but noticed some variation.
Very smart campaigning for a party that isn't one of the "mainstream" parties.
If they keep going as they have been this election they could be a serious contender in the near future.
You heard me predict it here first.