I’ve recently started staffing events at the Gwinnett Arena. And as soon as I learned at call time that tonight’s Gwinnett Gladiator’s hockey game was Star Wars night, well, I knew it was going to be good. Especially since the Empire and a few Storm Troopers hung out in my section. I got high-fives and fistbumps, people. It was rad.
My favorite moment had to be when I was asked, “You don’t lock the doors when the game starts up again, right? This isn’t like the opera?”
He was right. It was not like the opera.
The main attraction besides the many Jedi cosplays (plus one Han Solo) was, of course, was the fight on the ice. Tonight the teams were mostly preoccupied with the distraction, hockey, but I did witness the second smackdown (I missed the first due to break). It happened like this:
First, a player for Greenville collided with a Gladiator. Unfortunately, the Greenville player fell as he slammed into a wall. He just sort of crouched there, stunned.
Next, another player for Greenville went after the Gladiator. They locked arms, standing immovably except for shaking off their gloves. The crowd grinned audibly in anticipation, and the two guys started punching each other in the face. It was fabulous. After that commenced some intense wrestling until the refs pinned them down to break it up.
The Greenville player who hit the wall eventually skated off the rink. Both players were fined with time. I don’t think either of them cared. As Chesterton wrote in The Flying Inn, “I am not fighting a hopeless fight. People who have fought in real fights don’t, as a rule.” *
As for the hockey game that broke out in the absence of fights, the score was a rousing 5-1 in favor of Greenville. The Empire, I think, was pleased at the fate of the Gladiators.