Since the United States hockey team not only qualified for a bye to the quarterfinals but also locked up the No. 1 seed, the tickets I purchased for the first qualifying game on Tuesday were no longer to watch the U.S.A.
The game featured No. 8 seed Switzerland vs. No. 9 Belarus.
To be perfectly honest, I was not entirely enthralled about this hockey game. On paper, it is the most uninteresting matchup of the playoff rounds, simply because it features the least amount of NHL players.
But as in any live sporting event, the game sometimes becomes a secondary story to the atmosphere in the arena.
This is perhaps more true of Olympic events than any other sporting event.
Pictures will not properly illustrate experiencing this atmosphere, but I have no doubt they will serve better than my words could. I will attempt to put each one into proper context.