Torontoist got to see their first ever lacrosse game on Saturday. Not only that, we saw our first ever sporting event at the Air Canada Centre (Torontoist only became a Torontoian last year). For free no less. And if there’s something to be said about free tickets, it’s that you can’t complain about the seats. And we actually couldn’t. We were directly behind the bench of the 2005 NLL champions Toronto Rock – close enough to smell the wonderful odour of lacrosse gloves and count how many stitches it takes to put a Molson Canadian patch on a Rock jersey.
Before the game was the banner raising ceremony and two mounties carried the NLL trophy out for presentation. The league commissioner made a nice speech, the Rock captain Jim Veltman made another nice speech and the crowd proceeded to make a lot of noise as the banner was raised to the rafters of the ACC.
Watching the Rock season opener was challenging for Torontoist because we only got a hang of the rules midway through the fourth quarter. There wasn’t one penalty we could figure out the call on, while what would be considered attempted manslaughter if it were to happen on Front St. went completely ignored by the referees (one of which I didn’t expect to last until half-time, perhaps a little too much x-mas food?). We did notice the goals though, and there were a lot of them. The final was 14-13 in overtime for the visiting Arizona Sting. Not a good start to the season. (“We were just horsecrap,” said coach Terry Sanderson.)
Total confusion aside, the game was more exciting than we expected. The Hot Rocks (pictured) came out and warmed up the crowd at various points throughout the night and the DJ dropped some serious non-stop classic rock during the entire game – making sure the 17,000 plus in attendance never lost their energy or their appreciation for AC/DC.
All in all, it was a great night out and should this be the last free ticket Torontoist gets for a Rock game, we might be actually springing for some in the future – the cheap ones of course, which are actually pretty cheap at just over $20.