Swedish Day at the Ice Hockey in Melbourne

You know the character, “Ronald Niedermann” in one of the episodes of the Swedish TV production of “The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo?”. He has a congential condition where he has no feelings of pain, and subsequent attempts to kill him off are completely unsuccessful. In the films, he has a steely gaze which basically says “don’t F… with me”. Well, today, I’m sure he was at the “Swedish Day” held at the ice-hockey in Melbourne.

I’d arrived late (terrible traffic), and was wanting to take a seat in the middle of row C at the O’Brien Arena. To take my seat, a man who looked like the character looked at me with a steely gaze, as I asked him and his entire family to make way for me. Would it help if I said, “ursäkta mig” (the Swedish phrase for “excuse me”), I thought to myself. “Probably not”, I concluded. “It would probably make it even worse”, I concluded.

“Do you have any idea about why they’re doing the Swedish thing..?”, I heard the woman on the other side of me ask her friend. “I’ve Googled, and Swedish national day was back in June”, she said, with curiosity. The answer was simple: they’d done a Canada day (a strong ice-hockey nation) and now they were doing “Sweden Day” (another strong ice-hockey nation).

Having attended the “LGBTQI Day” in Sydney last week, I noticed there were more rainbow flags in Sydney then, than there were Swedish flags in Melbourne today. Yeah, there were some obvious Swedes in the audience. But mostly, this seemed to be a Melbourne-Sydney grudge match. There was a fair bit of biffo, as the Melbourne Ice took on the Sydney Dogs, resulting in some actual physical contact. And it was a fairly tight match, with strong defence by Sydney in the first and second parts of the game, until finally Melbourne came to the fore at the end.

Once again, another exciting ice-hockey match. This could be my new “thing”.