The day before the inaugural Vegas Golden Knights home game, I was approached by an older man outside of T-Mobile Arena. He was extremely Canadian, and quite curious what a New Orleans boy was doing at a hockey game. I assume that he assumed all we do is watch football while eating crawfish while throwing Mardi Gras beads while being haunted.
The explanation is that I love sports, don’t have a hockey team, and visit Las Vegas enough to apparently pass the test at the Golden Knights adoption center. The Golden Knights are leaning on people like me to buy merchandise, get emotionally invested, and follow the team no matter how long it takes for them to get good. Last year I ponied up for quarter-season tickets when the unnamed team was doing a ticket drive, last week I purchased Center Ice, and last night I attended the inaugural home game. So far this is working out well for all parties involved.
The old Canadian guy told me that he was “born with skates on,” and that I could ask him anything I wanted. He believes hockey is a complicated sport and he’s happy to have more fans for the Knights. He hopes to follow the Golden Knights in addition to his Maple Leafs. This seems to be the general vibe of everyone I talk to in Sin City for the first home game of the first professional sports team to call Vegas home. The old Canadian guy talks very fast.
The next day I took in all of the official team festivities. There was the Golden Carpet that the players walked down to sign autographs. There was a marching band that paraded up to the entrance. The Blue Man Group was there too; I saw them get out of an SUV which bummed me out even though I don’t know anything about the Blue Man Group.