As Detroit Tigers fans, Krysta Brooks and Danny Borg had been to Comerica Park plenty of times. But neither of them ever imagined they’d have the opportunity to be down on the field – especially to play hockey.
“You just look around and can’t believe you’re there,” said Brooks, a member of the Belle Tire Senior B adult team. “It was amazing.”
Brooks and Borg were given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to compete with their teams in USA Hockey’s Adult Winter Classic on Dec. 21. Brooks and the Belle Tires narrowly lost to the O’Leary Hawks, 1-0, while Borg and the Gamblers were victorious, “making the event that much sweeter,” says Borg.
USA Hockey caught up with the pair to hear all about their experience.
USA Hockey: What was it like to be a part of the Adult Winter Classic?
Danny Borg: It was an unbelievable experience. We’ve played in over 30 states this past year, but it’s been nothing like this. It was just a great, great time and I am so thankful and appreciative to participate.
Krysta Brooks: Everyone had a blast. We were so excited to play downtown and see, up close and personal, where the Tigers play. It was something pretty special.
USA Hockey: How was the actual game?
Danny Borg: It rained, so the stands weren’t too full, but really none of that mattered. Our team played hard, ended up with a pretty big win and it was great to be outside just like when you were little.
Krysta Brooks: We played a team that is kind of our rivals during the regular season. A tough 1-0 loss, but we will see them again.
USA Hockey: With all the excitement – win or lose – it must have been quite a post-game celebration …
Dan Borg: Both teams got together and went across the street to a local bar and just had a couple cocktails and talked about what a great experience it was. Then we followed up with what is sort of a childhood tradition and went and got some famous Coney Island hotdogs and reminisced about what a great experience it was.
Krysta Brooks: The USA Hockey guys wanted to buy us a beer, so we went and had a couple. It’s never a bad thing to have a few beers on them.
USA Hockey: The baseball field, locker rooms and outdoor hockey – what was your favorite part that will leave the best memory?
Danny Borg: Honestly all of it. It was like being a kid again, something you’ve always dreamed about, playing outside in a big venue like that. Everyone was so stoked to go out there in front of their family and friends. You couldn’t ask for much more in an adult hockey experience.
Krysta Brooks: The most exciting part for me was just being in the actual facility of Comerica Park. Getting dressed in a real locker room where the Tigers and visiting teams go. Then to step out on that field and play outside. It was all pretty surreal and I am so happy I got to be a part of it with my team.