Friday, April 10, 2009

The Frozen Four

I would be the last person on this planet to ever believe that I would one day get into hockey. I remember being so disappointed as a kid when that was the only thing on. The whole Fox 'blue puck tail' was the coolest thing that the sport had for the short-lived season. That kind of sums it up. But my how things change as you grow up. You start to not judge things quite as much and are willing to give anything a try.

One week ago, I attended my very first NHL hockey game. Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres. It's amazing how electric the crowd was. But that wasn't even the most amazing part. I've been to Wizards games before and I must say, nose-bleed seats are not the greatest thing for a basketball game. You are just too far away from the action and some seats are definitely better than the others. Basketball is too focused on one side of the court of the other. Teams run plays, Free throws are there, in-bound passes. The game is just a slower pace.

Hockey on the other hand. Wow. Even in the 400 level, seats were great. I can only imagine what it would be like right up against the glass. The game is fast paced, there are only a few stoppages a period. And the puck is always moving. Its never really focused on a specific side for very long. The game I attended went into OT, Sabres winning 5-4. Great game, bad outcome.

So being so open to the idea of attending another hockey game, my friend Laura was gracious enough to offer up some extra tickets she had to the Frozen Four which happened to take place in DC this year. Biggest drawback? It's an NCAA event, thus no booze flowing. Thank goodness for Rocket Bar (one of my personal favorites) and RFD before and between games. The games were Bemidji State vs Miami (OH) and Vermont vs BU. As a side note, few of you probably knew that Ben Roethlisberger is a Miami (OH) alum. The first game was cool because Bemidji State made it to the semi-finals as the lowest seed in the tournament, cool in any sport. Everyone loves an underdog. Watching the game, however, it quickly became evident why they were the 16 seed. They were sloppy on the ice, but they had a lot of heart. The second game was probably one of the greatest games I'll see. I dunno if that's a good or a bad thing. BU ended up winning 5-4, but it was great. The atmosphere was tense, and it came down to who wanted it more. I will say that I was sort of amazed by how many BU students travel. We were sitting next to the student section, jam-packed with 200+ students with unified chants. Impressive. It probably added to the excitement, but I think I may in fact become a hockey fan. Who'da thunk it? I guess it helps when the Nationals are arguably the worst team in baseball, and Wizards one of the worst in the NBA. Washingtonians don't really have a choice. Is DC going to turn into a Hockey town? Maybe. But the skins, in the few select good times and mostly bad times, will always be the heart and soul of the this area's fan market. But since I refuse to ever become a true Redskins fan, who wants to buy me a Capitals jersey? Can you believe how expensive they are? All just for long sleeves? Crazy even for me.

Rock the Red baby!


Nubes said...

This is probably the best post you will ever write because you said "Buffalo Sabres."

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