Well, actually, I was in section 108, my brother was in section 319, and Will from STL and WAD were also up in the 300s somewhere. But more on the view later... there is much to talk about, esp. before the game.
While driving down to Hotlanta, I realized how close I was going to be to Metropolis, so I stopped and of course met Superman himself.
Once in Hotlanta, Hildy's local knowledge gave us parking within a block of the arena for only $10, although, SHE said it was $8. Guess I will let that slide. Everything was pretty typical of the trip until then... We packed a few brewskies, (Schlafly's Pale Ale to be exact). So we had a mini tailgate before heading up for the GT meet and greet.
After the break, pictures and a view at some interesting sites and sounds from downtown Hotlanta.
Well, like I said, it was all typical up to the point. We then started our walk up the CNN center for linner (Lunch/Dinner) with the GT crew. To set the scene, I need to describe what was going on in Hotlanta on Sunday.
There was a Shoeball team that was playing another Shoeball team in Hotlanta. I am not a Shoeball fan if you can't tell. I believe the Redskins were in town playing the Atlanta
Thrashers Falcons. That game let out approx. half hour or so after the Hockey game started. So parking was actually packed of both hockey and football fans.
While walking across the lot to the stairs up to the CNN Center, we kept hearing this pounding sound. No not that kind of pounding. Kinda like construction (or actually destruction) work was going on. We finally located the source of the noise.
One row over, was a van (parked down by the river comes to mind, but there was no river close) taking up four spaces. The reason the spaces were available next to the van? It was wrecked and heavily damaged. On top of this thing was a kid (no older than 12) with a crowbar beating the shit out of the roof. Perhaps the best description would be something out of Escape from New York. Except it being filmed in the parking lot instead of the Lou.
Words can NOT describe the view. Two pictures are worth a two thousand words.
After passing the spectacle reminiscent of a third world country in wartime, we proceeded over to the staircase to the CNN Center. We then came upon the next spectacle. (no pictures, sorry). This spectacle was along the fence line by the entrance/exit area of the parking lot. It there was approx. 50 feet of trash just piled along the fence approx. 8 ft high. My brother felt compelled to add too it. So he made his way over and deposited two of his empty Schlafly's Pale Ale bottles.
After leaving the Gulch (Hildy's term used for the parking area we were leaving), we went to the CNN Center to meet up with WAD, Will from STL, Hildy, food, and cheap beer (By cheap, I mean I almost had one at only $6 for 36 oz). We all successfully met up and chatted for about half hour (while eating and downing the cheap adult beverages) before heading in for warmups.
We then headed to the arena. After entering said arena, I quickly noticed Thrash was about hassling everyone walking into the arena. At least he was wearing pants. (WTF is a "Thrash" anyway? Shouldn't it be Thrasher or Flash or something?) I made a mental note to go about 20 feet in the other direction while we figured out where to go to meet up with Hildy for warmup stalking. Well, I didn't go far enough. I started feeling someone hitting my head. It was "Thrash." He kept hassling me for a few seconds and then started trying to eat me. I felt violated.
My brother was quick with his cell phone camera and took this pic:
At least I was quick enough to get my GT logo in the mix.
After the trip to the restroom to sanitize my hat, we ventured down to where Hildy was sitting in the 1st row of section 117. This was located right by the Zamboni entrance on the Thrashers shoot twice side close to the Blues bench. There was a family of Blues fans sitting to our right with Legace jerseys on. (I emailed their pics of them to Carnie). There might have been another dozen other folks in the section. Of course this was approx. 30-40 minutes until game time, so I was curious if any folks would fill in after Game Time. (see what I did there?).
We got a couple of pics of the GT folks:
Left to Right: Hildymac, WAD, DanGNR, Will from STL.
After warmups, we stayed in our seats. I guess squatting rules worked as we were not asked, hassled, or otherwise to move from our little corner of Blues nation. Will had NEVER sat down that close for a game. I have on an occasion or two, but never on the road. I was thrilled, as always to sit where you can actually see the players faces and see all the "little" stuff you miss from sitting upstairs (and even on HDTV).
As for the game itself? It was fun, exciting, and hugely disappointing. But you guys already know about the game itself, so I will try and give some kind of sense as to what it was like for us.
I have never sat with any other GTer except for Chris Gift and Sean himself. Sitting with three of them was a completely different experience. Will and I were by far the most obnoxious and loud. WAD and Hildy cheered well, don't get me wrong, but it was sure fun being loud with another GTer. We had all the players nicknames and GT sayings going full on. Most noticeable and fun was "Conk Block ! ! " But we were all over Skeet, Frenchie, Happy Meal, and Capt. Robot. Of course, no one got any of the references except us. But Conk Block got quite a few laughs from the two people in our section.
This excellent pic was from the Atlanta Blogger Virginia Flowers at http://gettingpucksdeep.blogspot.com/ which was taken at the Blues vs Thrashers game:
Other great pics of the game can be found here:
The Thrashers employ
hookers ice girls for cleaning the cocaine snow off the ice during stoppages.
I of course just HAD to get a few shots of these gals:
"NHL" attendance is listed at 10,904, but I seriously doubt there were more than about 5 or 6,000 butts in seats. During the latter parts of the 1st period, I scanned the crowd and found two ENTIRE sections without a single person in it. Yep, NO ONE AT ALL in two entire sections. Not the measly little 100 seat sections that are in some arenas, they were in the upper level 300s that had more than 20 rows and 50 seats in each.
While attendance may be low in Atlanta because ice hockey really hasn't caught on, I think the biggest reason for this particular game was due to the Falcons game as well as any number of college games. Hell, high school games may have taken priority.
If fact, we got a big chuckle out of Will from STL regarding his bathroom visit. (ya, I know that didn't read the way it was supposed to). He came back and was all excited about not only not having to wait to piss, but having the 40 urinal bathroom all to himself.
I really wish the Blues pulled out the victory in Hotlanta, but they played well (at least a lot better than the previous couple of games) and deserved the win. But it was an awesome trip and I really enjoyed meeting three more GTers as well as seeing my brother and his family.
Oh and I almost forgot, my brother and I played the usual disc golf challenge while I was in town. The course played extremely difficult for both of us. But I will let the scorecard show the results:
Some departing shots now:
As a thank you to Hildy, I took down a case of St. Louis' Schlafly's Pale Ale.
and of course Hildy put the GT sticker on the back of her car:
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. Sorry for the delay getting it written and posted. I think I kinda know how the Game Time paper guys feel after a 3 game home stand. or, maybe not.