That’s the best way to describe the setting for the National Hockey League’s pair of outdoor games that took place over the weekend.
The league has been doing these in some capacity since its first Winter Classic in 2008, but this weekend was different.
An impromptu rink set up beneath the Sugar Pines and White Firs on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
It looked like a scene straight out of “Mystery, Alaska.”
Forget the fact that the first game between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights had to be delayed for a few hours because the ice started melting in the Nevada sun.
It’s a minor detail.
That sort of thing is going to happen when you decide to do something groundbreaking, innovative, and cool.
Especially in a pandemic when you’re not worried about selling tickets, hot dogs, beers, and merchandise.
This felt pure.
The best in the world, playing the game outdoors, where it was created. Where it was meant to be played.
I only wish more leagues would do things like this. Games in unconventional settings.
Baseball is going to give it a go this summer at the Field of Dreams in Iowa.
But what else could we pull off?
An NBA game in Rucker Park?
The NFL under Friday Night Lights at a Texas high school?
It’s easy to let your brain wander.
The NHL has been been doing this right for over a decade.
It’s time for other leagues to catch up.