When I was 22 I met a handsome young French Canadian man who tended bar at the restaurant across the street from my office building. He had the most wonderful accent and did I mention that he was handsome? We dated a couple times and he told me that tending bar was his summer job and that he was actually a professional hockey player. His name was Brian and he played in the Eastern Hockey League. Syracuse had a team and he had just been traded to them.
I had never seen a hockey game and knew nothing about the sport except that it involved skating. When fall came Brian stopped tending bar and started practice. Then the season started. He met me for lunch one day and gave me a ticket to that night's game. He said to come early and watch the team warm up.
When I walked into the arena Brian saw me and skated over to say hello. I immediately started laughing and couldn't stop. I didn't know the players wore little short pants and so much padding that they looked like the Michelin Man. Brian was amused and pointed out my seat right behind the team. Once the game began I was hooked. I didn't understand the rules but the speed and agility were amazing. During the second period, Brian sent someone to sit with me and explain the game. From that night on I have been totally in love with the sport of ice hockey. I was a season ticket holder for years. I subscribed to the Hockey News and I could list rosters and statistics from memory.