The official sport of not only the nation, but also the Royal City

New Westminster, BC is the biggest small town you will ever encounter.  As long as you’ve ever had a relative who lived here for some period of time, you’re stuck.  It’s a fantastic city and once you’ve been here for a while, you learn to love the home town feel of it all.  As a second generation resident of the Royal City, you have no idea what I have to endure.  "Rigby?  Is Glen your Dad?  I went to school with your aunt Linda and played hockey with your uncle Sheldon.  Your grandfather worked with my dad at the mill way back in 1942 and your grandmother used to bowl with my parents."  You get the picture.  Even the newest generation is the same way.  Everyone is related whether it’s through school or work or the greatest thing to ever happen in New West: lacrosse.  Specifically Salmonbellies lacrosse.  In this city, it’s an institution.

Queen’s Park Arena is famous for its wooden floor, unique to the world.  Originally built in 1930, the floor was just replaced and made its debut at the beginning of last season.  (They even sold pieces of the old floor before it was removed.)  The lacrosse team was formed in 1888 and has won the Mann Cup 24 times.  Some say, they could win it again this year.

If you’re from New West, it’s a sin to cheer for anyone other than the Salmonbellies.  It may even be punishable by law.  Even people who have moved to other cities still come back to cheer for the Bellies (Tuesdays for juniors and Thursdays for seniors.)  It’s just part of living here.

That’s why, when I got the following phone call last night, I made the trek in the opposite direction (okay, okay, I rode in the back of Flappy’s car) to get the job done.  That, and the fact that the guy calling, one of the coaches, gets me free tickets all the time.

Bob.  Where are you?
QueenieCarly: Just leaving my place.
T: Sohe needs a cold Red Bull.
QC: Okay….?
T: And it can’t be the light kind.  So, I’m thinking 7-11?
QC: Okay.
T: Just bring it around to the side door.
QC: Does this mean that I have a free pass into the dressing room all night?
T: Yeah, Bob.  Of course.
(Oh wait, that’s a different story.  And not for public consumption.)

I used to go out to games when I was in high school and then a couple of years ago I started going again.  Last season I only hit one game, but this year I’ve been to a few.  For the first time, I’ve been going with Flap and we have a really great time.  While the game is on, I’ll usually spend some time chilling with my dad and uncle as she flits around socializing with people she knows.  No matter what we’re doing while play is on, it’s a lock that as soon as that buzzer goes at the end of the period, we’re both making our way out to her car for the traditional beer that we’ve left in the trunk.  As you can imagine, given the tight knit community I described above, it’s a pretty great atmosphere out there.  After the game, it gets even better.   We usually hang out there with some of the guys we know for a beer or two and then always end up giving ourselves a pat on the back for calling it a night and resisting the urge to accept invitations to hit one of the local pubs, undoubtedly one that sponsors the team.  Okay, sometimes we can congratulate ourselves.  (Hey, no one said we’re perfect.)

If you’ve never checked out a lacrosse game before, you really should.  It beats the pants off of hockey.  I’ll never forget when a girlfriend who’d never been to a game before came out a few years ago.  After about ten minutes of play, she looked at me with a huge smile on her face and absolute wonder in her eyes and said "What a bunch of retards!  I’d love to be able to measure the testosterone in this building right now!"  Whatever.  It’s hot.

I posted more about New West and my neighbourhood in particular almost two years ago.  Check it out.


11 Responses to “The official sport of not only the nation, but also the Royal City”

  1. Evey Says:

    While I won’t agree it beats hockey by any stretch I DO agree Lacrosse is pretty cool. In fact we were just watching a college tourney not too long ago.

  2. Courtney Says:

    I still like hockey better, but I had a lot of fun at that last lacrosse game. I still have to email you the pictures from that- yikes- I’m terrible!

  3. QueenieCarly Says:

    I’m so glad that you and Kelly came out that night, Courtney. (Tee hee!) I forgot about your photos. Can’t wait to see them!

    Evey, you sports fanatic! I knew you’d like it! You should come to NW and see a game sometime. It’s an experience! Wait, you like beer, don’t you??

  4. John O Says:

    Why haven’t I been out to a game in NW? That floor (old and new) look awesome. I like lacrosse for the most part, I guess none of my buddies ever asked me if I wanted to go. Not something that popped into my head to do back in the day, I guess. A-Mo and yourself will have to take me some time.


  5. A Fanciful Twist Says:

    Pssst, hi!!!!

  6. flap Says:

    Great post Carly. We do love our Bellies! ( of past and present!!! )
    We will be there again this Thursday cheering them on. I haven’t even taken the cooler out of my trunk!!
    Ahhh….. Queens Park Arena. Where memories are made and hearts can be broken. Gotta love New West!

  7. flap Says:

    Oh and I love, love , love the picture offerings of this month. Your parent’s house looks amazing! All the photos were really great. I know I always give you a hard time, but I am so glad that you are the crazy photographer that you are!

  8. Evey Says:

    Uh do I like beer? OF COURSE I LIKE BEER! I can keep up with most guys when it comes to beer drinking. YAY for me.

  9. Lael Says:

    My earliest years (birth to 5) were spent in the lovely Queens Park neighborhood…I love it there:)

  10. Grady Says:

    Totally off topic, but last night I actually had a really wierd compulsion to move to Canada.

    It had something to do with the fact that there are fewer murders in the entire nation than there are in Philadelphia in a year. Then it got me thinking that people are probably nicer and more laid back up there.

    So, how bad are the taxes? Can an IT Project Manager like me find work north of the border?

  11. Evey Says:

    ok. its the 18th. u posted this on the 13th. I know ur not a bigger slacker than me, so what gives?

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