Friday, October 18, 2013

Red Wings won a game! And I was there!

In the immortal words of that one guy from that mid 90’s Snickers commercial: “Great googily boogily”. Here’s what I realized about going to hockey games and then trying to write about them: it’s really tricky to watch the game, live, as close to the action as I was, and simultaneously be a fan and a writer. I want to be snapping pictures and video the whole time but I also did not want to be that guy. You know that guy.

Yeah, that guy
I have to admit, I was a bit of that guy in the 3rd period. But for the vast majority of the game, during the game, the phone was in my pocket. So this post will largely be about my experience of seeing the Red Wings play in Colorado, live, up close and personal.

  • First, it has to be said that the Pepsi Center is actually a really nice arena. It’s big, clean, and well organized. The staff, despite us being in full Red Wings attire were all very polite, courteous and professional. Especially the little old lady who checked us in with our tickets. She saw us on our way out and smiled and congratulated our team and wished us a safe trip home. I don’t remember your name, but I will remember your face and kindness
  • Except I pray that the new Red Wings arena is not also shared with the Pistons. Watching hockey in a place where there are also basketball games played sort of cheapens the experience for hockey fans. I sat on a God damned folding chair.
  • Also, who the hell gets paid sponsors for their parking lots!? Named after Toyota vehicles. It’s pathetic. Especially when you drive a Dodge Ram truck onto the ice, idiots.
  • I don’t know how it looked or sounded on TV, but if it seemed like there were more Red Wings fans than Avalanche fans, it would have made for an interesting poll. To out right where Avs fans. To our left were Avs fans. There were Avs fans in front and behind, but A LOT of Red Wings fans all over the place.
  • When the Avs fans started chanting, they were REALLY loud. However, they could be drown out almost at any moment by the Wings fans. That being said, their go to chant was “Red Wings suck!” Which is just pathetic. Cheer your team on, boo a bit (like when Bertuzzi touches the puck? Totally fair), but an organized cheer about the other team sucking? See, this is why we look down on you the way we do.
  • When they would stop chanting, “Red Wings suck!” I would turn and show, “So does your mother!” and that did not make me any friends.
  • Except the guy sitting down and to my left, who was an intelligent Avs fan. They do exist. He complimented Monster’s strong play, and agreed that Datsyuk is the man. I gave credit for the Avalanche dominance in the 2nd period and mentioned my respect for Joe Sakic. It was civil and fun.
Now, there was a bit of a happening during the course of the game. I will let you be the judge and try to tell the story as objectively as I could. So like I said, my mentioning the fellating prowess of the Avalanche fans’ mothers did not ingratiate to me to many of the people around me. But, in my defense, at no point during the game did I try to lead a chant saying the Avalanche sucked. It’s just a massively unoriginal, petty and stupid thing to do as a fan base. Disclaimer: I’m sure there are Red Wings fans that would do such a thing. I’ve never heard it happen at any game I’ve gone to or watched, but it may have happened. If you’re one of the Red Wings fans who have ever done such a thing; fucking stop it. You’re a shit fan and you don’t deserve to wear the Winged Wheel. But, outside of that, I just tried to enjoy the game, celebrate when the Wings scored, talk with the guy in front of me and wife, and join in the “Let’s Go Red Wings” chant.

Until two things changed.

First, the guys behind me started chiming in, right around the 2nd period when it was 2-1. Not sure what it was that sparked their ire. Seriously, I don’t think I did anything. Maybe it was after one of my “Your mother is a blow job queen” responses. I honestly cannot remember. All I do know is I hear people bitching at me from over my shoulder and I’m just trying to focus on the game. Then I hear, “Hey, Waldo, who the fuck wears a hat like that?”

It’s a Winter Classic hat, you incandescent twat waffle, and if your team is ever important enough to play in one, you’ll find out about it, too. And I don’t mean one of the 17 outdoor games the NHL is handing out to make people feel special. I mean the actual Winter Classic.

But I kept my thoughts to myself because I was enjoying myself otherwise and I really didn’t want to ruin my evening by getting thrown out.

Then sometime in the third period, during one of the “Let’s Go Red Wings” chants, I hear “Red Wings suck!” from over to my right, and one of the children – maybe 9 or 10 years old – is looking directly at me and screaming it. Over and over again. Mom isn’t doing anything. I ignored it to start with because I know better. However, after the Red Wings went up 3-2, the “Let’s Go Red Wings” chant starts up again. And one again, this kid is leaning forward, shooting daggers with his eyes, and yelling as loud as he can directly at me, “Red Wings suck!”

I know better, but I responded anyways, and pointing upwards, I holler back “Scoreboard! Scoreboard!” So yes, I did taunt back at a child.

My buddies behind me didn’t appreciate that at all and started up at me again. But I ignored them because, y’know why, as far as I’m concerned, if some kid is old enough to get mouthy and start talking shit, then he’s old enough to get put in his place. And he probably gained his courage and attitude from you dickweeds. So yeah, not my best moment, but let’s not act like you idiots are the pillars of the hockey fan community. It’s not like your fans or commentators would said exceedingly stupid shit just because you don’t like a certain player or team, right?

But then Datsyuk scored again, and they all pretty much shut up. So yeah, scoreboard.

Thanks to Doneta for snagging this pic. God I look awful.
Players I was Impressed With:
  • Datsyuk was all Datsyukian. Two goals, great net front work and lots of good puck possession and defense from him
  • Franzen was skating very well and seemed to really be motivated tonight
  • Ericsson was the much needed anchor after Kronwall went out. And shit is he BIG in person.
  • Alfredsson really wanted to score but settled for 3 assists instead. That's gotta suck, huh?
Players I’m Neutral About:
  • Andersson did have some good moments, but also had some moments of “does not exist”. I think with how hard Gleandening is working and with Helm’s return coming, Andersson may need to do something quick to stand out
  • Good on Drew Miller for standing up for himself and deciding to drop the gloves. Not so good with the tiring out really fast and getting your face punched a lot
  • Abby needed to hit more people
  • Monster played really well sometimes, making big saves and being smart when he handled the puck. Then he gave up two of the weakest, softest, most “You shoulda fuckin’ had those” goals ever. He’s been good for us but he still needs to be better
Players I was frustrated with:
  • Danny DeKeyser, I think, really tried to fill the skates left by Kronner when he left. I’m pretty sure DeKeyser got moved up to 1st pairing and certainly played a lot more minutes. But he made a lot of really, REALLY bad passes tonight. Shame on the Avalanche for not scoring off his turnovers. 
  • Weiss annoyed me. He didn’t do anything particularly bad, but I’m feeling like others are feeling: “Dude, we didn’t pay you Val Filpulla money so you could come in here and be Val Filppula” – plus the penalty he took was stupid. 
No autographs, but my wife high fived a lot of the players as they were coming to and from the dressing room. Plus pictures and video. Plus a Red Wings win.

Oh, and make sure you include Avalanche fans on the list of, “Fans who are so pathetic that when their team loses to a Detroit team, they have to shit talk the city because they are bereft of anything of value to say”

Let’s Go Red Wings