Got to see some Hockey in Atlanta last night with a couple of buddies even though Gary doesn't feel we are worthy, unlike Arizona. Eff the NHL, I spent less on last night's ticket in Row G for a minor league game than I've spent on parking for the big boys and had just as good a time. I took some pictures, but I've spent the past half hour fighting with my crappy BlueTooth gizmo trying to get the pics off my phone and I give up. I really really need to join the 21st century and get one of these newfangled smartphones. Vintage is great in baseball cards but sucks ass with electronics. You'll have to imagine the pics of a hockey crease through the glass and of a minor league goalie picking up teddy bears off the ice. Thoughts/highlights from last night's game.
The game was between the Gwinnett Gladiators and the Greenville Road Warriors. Russell Crowe vs. Mel Gibson.
Before the game we went to get dinner at a joint in Tucker. Not going to mention the name, because foreshadowing. Got a couple of beers and shared a plate of fried pickles/jalapenos. I was told the jalapenos were ruthlessly hot because they kept the seeds in when they sliced and battered them. When I scoffed at the heat or lack thereof, I was told to try the red ones because those were really hot. After querying on how exactly to find out which ones are red when they are covered batter, it was determined that my buddies ate all the red ones. I wanted a burger (with tots! woooooo!) but their house burgers were all weird. Ham on a burger? Pulled pork on a burger?? WTF? I was told a while back by the owner of one of the local card shops (not going to mention the name, because foreshadowing) that one of the best culinary experiences ever is to have a burger with a fried egg on top. I was dubious of this claim, but the advice stuck. One of the burgers at the joint did indeed have a fried egg on top and even though that sounds odd to me, it sounded a helluva lot better than pulled pork. So, I got EggBurger. It was... ok. Barely. Honestly, the bacon probably saved it. Breakfast should probably be kept separate from burgers. We left the restaurant and I felt mostly all right because of the two beers. (FORESHADOWING)
Got to the arena, drove right in, no traffic, free parking, 2 minute walk from the box office. God I love minor league sports.
Walked right into the box office, up to a counter - no waiting in line - and bought three tickets within spitting distance of the glass for 15 bucks less than one ticket for average seat at Phillips for the Atlantipeg Threats. God I love minor league sports.
To make things less complicated, one guy bought the tickets and we paid for his grub all night. I got him a beer and a bag of peanuts. One 12 oz. Yuengling on draft - $7.50. I can get a 24 oz. can of the stuff at the Ted for $8!! Oh well, two out of three ain't bad.
I got the seat in the middle. First thing I did was put my arms around both of them and asked who gets the smooch if we get on KissCam. I have no shame.
For some reason the Canadian National Anthem was played. I guess it's just a hockey thing.
For some reason one of my friends started singing along with the Canadian National Anthem. I apologize to all Canadians, past, present and future. Even if you are a fan of maple syrup, beavers (animal or otherwise), or even just really like snow and at one point in your life felt some sort of kinship to the people of Canada for even a moment, I apologize. I am so, so sorry for what happened last night.
Before the American National Anthem, there was a stern warning not to yell out during the anthem because it is horribly disrespectful and Jesus will cry and Everyone Should Support Our Troops. At the proper time I whispered very softly and respectfully KNIGHTS!!!
No one will understand what that means, but trust me, it is essential for any Hockey game in Atlanta.
The first fight in the game came three seconds in. Seriously, the clock read 19:57 and there were already two roughing penalties. I don't even think the ref dropped the puck before the gloves were off. Great Googley Moogely I LOVE Minor League Hockey.
Somewhere in the middle of the first period I had the epiphany that I had reached the point in my life where I don't necessarily give a crap about the game, I just want to go so I can hang out and bullshit with some friends.
I am happy I have reached this point in my life.
The Road Warriors (whose logo looks like the result of Ghengis Khan knocking up a Viking) got the first goal. Boooooooo.
Right about then my colon most definitely decided it did not like the EggBurger. I had cold sweats for about 10 minutes while the teams skated out the period.
I was able to pass the time watching the end of the Saints/Niners game on one buddy's IPhone. There was about 5 touchdowns in a minute and a half or something? Seemed like it at least.
I don't particularly want to give Steve Jobs' ghost any of my money, but those things are nice.
First intermission: I announce I am going to the bathroom. Singing friend decided to go with me. We go in the bathroom, both stalls are occupied. I have to wait for buddy to finish his business before I can go find a place to do mine. Halfway around the arena I find an open stall. With no lock. Anyone who opens that door deserves what they get. My colon has no shame.
Now with a small measure of relief, I get myself a souvenir cup soda. Pepsi products! Egads! I reluctantly get a diet Pepsi simply because I need a caffeine boost of any kind. The cups are awesome this year though, full schedule and one of the players printed on decent plastic.
There's this one lady who comes to every game wearing a hockey sweater and sexy boots AND PRETTY MUCH NOTHING ELSE. She showed up at the snack bar and we gawked, as is the custom. It is my experience after attending hockey games for over 30 years that there is at least one of these ladies at every single game. This stuff doesn't happen in baseball, folks.
We go back to the seats and get stopped by the "No going down the ice while the puck is in play lady. We get back to our sets just in time to see the Gladiators score. Yay!
Apparently this was Stuffed Animal Donation night. Everyone gets to bring stuffed toys and throw them on the ice after the Glads score their first goal. BEDLAM ENSUES. The ice looks like a tornado hit a Toys 'R Us. Play stops for about 20 minutes while friggin CARS are driven on the ice so the toys can be loaded into the back of them and taken away. The Gladiator goalie helped load toys pretty much the whole time and a few other players pitched in. One car was blocking the exit off of the ice and did not have enough room to turn around and exit, so they tried to push it out backwards. It banged into the glass and got a dent on the bumper. Once everything was off the ice some workers were trying to gather up as much errant fluff as they could off the ice.
One teddy bear got stuck in the net above the glass and stayed there the whole game.
The Warriors soon took the lead. At one point The Glads had 29 shots to the Warriors' 9 and were down 2-1.
Second intermission comes and we all go up to the concourse to chill out and talk about The Good Old Days. We made the mistake of trying to leave during the "Throw the foam puck on the ice into a target and win a prize!" contest and got trapped in the aisle and pelted with foam pucks.
While we were talking my colon once again got antsy and I had to run to the loo. This one was worse because the jalapenos talked to the EggBurger, found out I was mocking their heat and decided to take their Revenge. Victory was ultimately mine as my colon was finally appeased and the Glads tied up the game while I was on the can. My ass is good luck!
We continue talking about the Good Ol' Days in college while the game plods on. Highlights of the conversation:
- The time when Football buddy's ex-girlfriend showed up at our apartment wearing only a tiny tank top and Daisy Dukes. I had forgotten all about that but I'm glad I remembered.
- The time when Singing buddy got hammered at a party, complemented some girl for having pretty eyes, got essentially a lap dance from this girl AND MANAGED TO NOT EVEN KISS HER. facepalm.jpg
- The time when Football buddy got hammered downtown and called me for over an hour trying to get a ride home. When asked what the hell I was doing instead of picking him up, I replied "probably banging my girlfriend". We all agreed this was likely and a totally acceptable excuse.
- One of our old roommates wrote a book!
- This reminded us of every terrible roommate we ever had. We mocked them accordingly.
- I'M SORRY WE THREW YOUR COUCH HALFWAY DOWN THE RAVINE BEHIND OUR OLD APARTMENT AND LOST OUR SECURITY DEPOSIT. If we hadn't stepped into that fire ant nest we could have gotten the couch all the way down the ravine.
At this point we had to choose between bailing and going to get some coffee or watching the rest of the game. Since the game was tied, we chose to stick it out. We also decided that the view is better from the top of the stairs so we hang out in the handicapped row to watch the game.
Football buddy took his turn in the can. While he was gone I went back to our seats to rescue my nice Gladiators cup. When I got to my row, the Glads took the lead on a sweet slap shot from the corner. My friends' ass is lucky too!
When I rescued my cup I went in the row on one side and exited the other so I could inconvenience everyone in the row equally. I'm thoughtful like that.
Souvenir cups get free refills. I got a free refill of Diet Pepsi even though I hate it. WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO. IT'S FREE.
We worked out that The Glads scored every time someone went to the bathroom. We hectored Singing buddy until he went to the john in hopes that the Glads would score again and get a two goal lead. Nope. The Hockey Gods were so offended by his butchery of O Canada they revoked his ass luck.
The Warriors pulled their goalie with about a minute and a half left. The Glads immediately got a penalty so they had a 6 on 4 penalty kill to win the game. I pointed out that there was an empty net and my friends looked at me like I had announced that I was a 39 year old man who loved My Little Pony or something. "Hey look, empty net. The net... it's empty. Empty! Net! They pulled their goalie! So the net is empty! AM I THE ONLY ONE HERE WHO KNOWS HOCKEY STRATEGY?!"
Of course I had announced that I was a 39 year old man who loved My Little Pony earlier at the restaurant. Football buddy was dubious, but Singing buddy had seen Pony references on Phineas and Ferb and is now Pony-Positive.
The Glads killed the power play and gained Victory, propelling them into first place in whatever division they are in. On the way out we got free magnetic schedules! Yay!
We passed on coffee and all went our separate ways. I drove home and listened to too-loud techno with a splitting headache. I didn't mind because in one single day I got:
Pinkie Pie Pony Episode
Roger Vintage Card Show
Football at the Sports Bar
Minor League Hockey
Quality Time With the College Buds
No way a headache and EggBurger gastric distress can spoil all that! Best Day Ever!