Want to Learn to Drive a Zamboni?

Lessons on handling the iconic ice resurfacing machine cost $90

Beyond mutual hatred, there aren't many feelings shared by Rangers and Islanders fans. One of them, though, has to be the moment that they saw a Zamboni cleaning the ice between period and wondered how cool it would be to drive one of those.

Now they, and fans of all the other NHL teams, can find out. The Hubert Wells Ice Rink in College Park, Maryland is offering a two-night course on the ins and outs of ice resurfacing. You learn about blade changing and scraping patterns, reports the Washington Post, but everyone is really there for the moment where they get to climb up and take control of one of the most recognizable vehicles in the world. 

"People are just fascinated by them," said Russell Barrett, 44, the rink's head Zamboni wrangler and the night's instructor. "They line up to watch as we do cuts. The kids wave. It makes some of the guys nervous to operate it with all the people watching."

Cuts, for the unitiated, is the insider term for the loops Zambonis make around the ice in between periods. Another little tidbit that may interest you: Zamboni isn't actually the name for the machine. It's the last name of the man who invented the machine and whose family continues to manufacture them to this day. Other companies make ice resurfacers of their own, but Zamboni has become the equivalent of Xerox, Google or Kleenex in the field. 

There are similar classes in Denver and College Station, Texas, probably elsewhere as well, so you don't have to be in the College Park area to fulfill your dream of becoming a Zamboni driver.

Is it a silly thing to want to do? Maybe a little bit. But then you think back to that moment described above when you first wanted to try it and it sounds like the most natural thing at the same time.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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