Before I had kids I used to travel for work. A lot. The year before Itai was born I spent months on end commuting to Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Now no offense to any Turks out there, they are wonderful people with a wonderful country, but in all honesty there just isn't a whole lot to do in Ankara, especially if you've been there for months already. I'd already done the Museum of Anatolian Culture, done the Attaturk Mausoleum, and seen more solo movies than I ever care to again. I was stuck. Thankfully a colleague from the US came in for a few weeks to break up the monotony, but soon enough she was bored too. So, since we quickly established that we were both hockey fans we asked whether there was any team we could go see. We should have been a bit leary when everyone we asked said "I'm not sure, there might be a team somewhere."
We finally found a game and went over to the arena, where we plunked down the princely sum of 50 cents per ticket. The local favorites were the Ankara Police. They were playing "some other guys" (we never did figure out quite who they were). It was a real scene - lots of local fans (mostly young cops I guess), cheerleaders in the stands, the works. I'm not sure how to adequately convey the level of play we saw - toddler hockey might truly have been more competant. These guys were full of heart, but they were literally falling all over the ice. *I* could probably have done a better job - and I can't skate! After a few minutes it was apparent that serious hockey this was not, so we decided to just start laughing and go with it. And let me tell you, I have never laughed so hard in my life. Bodies were flying everywhere. When the score got up to about 23-2 (I kid you not, 23-2!), the opposing goalie gave up on trying to actually glove or deflect the puck, and would throw his ENTIRE BODY flat out onto the ice every time the puck crossed the blue line! He would just fall on the ice in the vain hope that his body would land on the puck. I'm sure that I'm not adequately conveying the hilarity of the occasion, but this was truly the best comedy show I have ever seen in my life. And when it was over? The entire Ankara team lined up on the far side of the ice, and then all together rushed full speed towards their fans. The only thing was when they got just a few feet away, they all simultaneously FELL. DOWN. ON. THE. ICE. Together. Fell down. On the floor. The. Entire. Team. Fell. Down. Simultaneously.
It was the best damn game I've ever been to. Who needs the Rangers. Who needs the NHL when you've got the Ankara Police. It almost made spending 6 months in Ankara worthwhile. Almost.