This fight comes from a regular season game in 1999 – two years before the Blades' demise – and although this fight leaves something to be desired, the best part of the clip is the Kemper Arena crowd reaction. You can't see how many fans were at the game, but you sure could hear them. Ah, the old Kemper stands, the cool respite from the bitter cold outside. The scores of intoxicated hockey fans, constantly screaming for blood even during the intermission break. The thrill of a Blades goal, you could feel it from the other couple of thousand of your closest friends around you, and the despair of an opponents victory, how everything got quieter in the concourse despite the increased volume of people. Kind of like a Mavericks game now. If you go to a Mavs game, it sucks you in, and for that night you live and die with the team. But, that's not the best part of the clip. That would be the guy wearing the full Western gear, cowboy hat and everything, losing it over a hockey fight. I'm sure he's seen some crazy scraps out on the range, or gun shop, or wherever he came from. Props to you, Mr. Cowboy-Hat-Wearing-Hockey-Fan-Guy, we miss you. That, in essence, is Kansas City hockey. Those who love it, love it, and they love to see it. Those who are indifferent – when giving it a chance and with enough hockey saturation within the city – will grow to enjoy it. Remember when you were a burgeoning hockey fan in the middle of America (or wherever), what experiences did you have that brought you back to the sport? Maybe you didn't fall in love with it at first, but now you can't get enough. This city does not satiate your appetite, not by a long a shot. But you won't let your hockey fandom just disappear. Nope. Something keeps bringing you back. Back to the Sprint Center. Or the IEC.
So, as we approach the Greatest Month of Hockey in the History of Kansas City Since 1976™(debatable), and you go out to the Ice Breaker Tourney, or a Mavs game, or (possibly) the NHL exhibition game, remember to take someone along who may not enjoy the game as much as you do. Show them what they are missing.
Or, just go to a Mavs game whenever. Watching minor league hockey fights might be the best fights you see all season...
* * *Thanks to the random people that upload old IHL clips to YouTube. You really don't know how cool it is to have your existence validated because something you care about meant something to someone else enough for them to take the time to upload it online. Or something like that.
The real issue here: Who brings a late 1990s camcorder to a hockey game?