Tips on being a spectator from someone whose only prior experience involved a TV and a sofa.
Bring the biggest, warmest sweater you own. Or that someone else owns. I froze my butt off almost literally yesterday from sitting on the metal bleachers. Nor was I wearing the warmest of blouses. And jeans don’t help.
Bring a cushion for you tush-on. Like I mentioned, the dangers of butt-freeze are clear and present. Protect your gluteus maximus with a cushion, or a bag with no breakables like glasses tucked away in invisible pockets. Be especially careful of glasses.
Expect it to get very boring very quickly. The games started out whizzing by at super speeds, but by the time the last match rolled around I was counting down the seconds. Patience is a tropical virtue. Nobody likes to be waiting when they can’t feel their toes.
Bring hot food. All those movies and series I watched where spectators took Thermoses full of soup to night games obviously went over my head. I was left cold and starving for the two hours it took them to finish playing. Learn from my mistakes.
Keep your eyes on the action. Sitting in the stands is actually very distracting. You’ve got the Bajan trio in front of you discussing everything from Rihanna to the exchange rate; the irate council member at the back having a “private” conversation in stage whispers; and the pissed off and injured members of the girls’ team who keep lambasting their team mate. Keeping your eyes on the ball – or at least your favourite player – proves difficult, especially when good plays disappear in the blink of an eye.
Be enthusiastic. It’s easy to forget your frozen appendages, your empty stomach and your splitting headache when you’re on your feet cheering for your favourite player. For someone who knows absolutely nothing about hockey, I was actually kept enthralled by the game because I was enthusiastic about that one player.
I hope these encourage someone to come keep me company on the bleachers next time.