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The World According to NARP: Vol. 4

Oct 17, 2013, 12:04 AM EDT

Western Michigan University's Lawson Ice Arena

I’m not a very spontaneous person. I’m the kind of person who has to plan time to be spontaneous, which doesn’t make any sense–I’m aware. But every once in a while, I need to remind people that I’m predictable only 99% of the time. My favorite way to do that is by taking last-minute road trips. Last year, I went to Norman, Okla., with some friends to watch football take on (and beat) OU. This year, I went to Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Why Kalamazoo you ask? Hockey, obviously.

After Notre Dame beat Western Michigan on Friday 4-0 at the Compton Family Ice Arena, I looked at the schedule and I noticed that the only away game Notre Dame hockey would play this year less than a seven-hour drive away was at Western Michigan. I asked my friend if she wanted to go and we went for it. We got in the car, started driving, and an hour and a half later, we were walking into Lawson Ice Arena.

Whenever I’m a fan of the visiting team, I feel outnumbered, despised and consequently uncomfortable. I was very outnumbered and likely despised by the WMU fans, but the members of the media in the press box at Lawson were all very hospitable and made me feel much more welcomed. I did realize very quickly just how spoiled we are with the Compton. It really is one of the nicest hockey facilities in the nation.

I do have to give credit to the WMU student section for a few things.

First, they’re loud. I had to yell to talk to my friend sitting right next to me in the press box. It was the kind of volume that you can actually feel in your bones.

Second, they can carry a tune! After Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and Uncle Kracker’s “Follow Me” stopped playing over the speakers, the student section continued the songs quite well for a while.

The few times I take these spontaneous road trips, I always come home with great memories and no regrets. Maybe I’m a good luck charm as well. Last year, football upset Oklahoma; this year, hockey swept WMU on two shutouts in a row (a program first to begin a season).

Needless to say, I should start going to more away games…

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