Hockey Fever

These last couple of weeks I was beginning to think the neighbours were coming up with some new kinky games. Much satisfied groaning and happy moaning. Even the occasional holler. At times it seemed like the noise was coming both from next door and under us, which seemed odd, but sound travels strangely through this house. When I mentioned it, however, I got the you-are-an-alien look, and was told that Luleå was in the finals - had I missed that? What finals? said I, but immediately realized that we could only be talking about Luleå Hockey (clue: time of year). Of course. And who are in there with us? Skellefteå?

As you can see from this map, we are talking about a local derby. My husband, who works in Piteå, could report that over there they talk about it as a game of Piteå North vs Piteå South. I am not surprised, the folks in Piteå are not known for being humble. It is universally known that all roads lead to Piteå, and that wherever you go in the world, you will find a pitebo. Even on the moon, as Aldrin is a Piteå-name. (Wikipedia says he has roots in Värmland, and this is not surprising, considering people from Piteå are to be found everywhere.)

I have only watched one hockey game in its entirety in my whole life. Before then, I used to think I didn´t understand the game. It was Sweden vs Belarus, and I was in the company of mom-in-law and her (now sadly passed away) partner Ove. It was a very odd experience. Even I could see that the Swedes were having their arse kicked, and the commentators were chatting along as if it was just a matter of form that Sweden would win. I remember turning to Ove, and asking him what I wasn´t getting. He just shook his head in disbelief. On paper, apparently, Belarus couldn´t beat us. Well, they did. And I thought: it´s not the game I don´t understand, it´s the culture. 

Anyway, three games have been played and Skellefteå has won every one of them. Much frustrated moaning and disappointed groaning lately. Tomorrow, flags may be at half-mast.

Postscript 2013-04-19: Indeed, there was nothing but whimpers and a moanful silence from the neighbours during the game. Luleå lost, properly and fairly. Congratulations to Skellefteå!

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