Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Pledge Allegiance to the NHL

Most folks have a team.  Their team.  Win or lose, they still cheer, tailgate and don the team colors all in competitive celebration.  But being a fan requires a certain level of committment.  Our MLB support is cast to the St. Louis Cardinals and we always root for the Charlotte Bobcats when it's NBA season.  And of course, our NFL allegience is to the Carolina Panthers!  But when we realized we weren't supporting any NHL teams, our 'fanship' went on the market.

Let's just be honest is not a huge sport in the South.  For most folks in our neck of the woods, it's one of those "geez, why are television stations even showing this?" types of sports.  Grown men chasing around a little puck with sticks, beating the hell out of each other has never really seemed appealing.  Plus, what's the point in fighting when you're wearing all that padding anyways?  For the longest time the only hockey player Heather could even name was Doug Dorsey in The Cutting Edge.

Brett & Heather have been to the professional rink together once before when Brett did a story on Nashville Predator Ryan Suter.  Heather played cameraman and managed to offend the entire Predator team when one player screamed pointed out that she was standing on the team logo (sewn into the carpet) in the locker room.  Talk about embarrassing, but seriously...uh, why would you put something in the carpet that you don't want people to stand on??

Since moving to upstate NY, we've noticed that most folks around here are big on cold weather sports.  Trying to cash in on the action, we decided to test the waters (or the ice) and take the leap into committing to a NHL team.  A good deal on craigslist sealed our fate when we scored two tickets to a New York Rangers game.

BG @ The Garden
Playing at Madison Square Garden, the game turned out to be pretty cool!  Also known as "The Garden", it's the longest active major sporting facility in NYC and sits just above Penn Station.  You won't find new amenities in it though...built in 1968, the vibrant fashionable colors are embedded in tile work and walls throughout the building.  MSG is also home to the oldest arena in the NHL.

The Rangers took on the Philadelphia Flyers and ended up loosing by a goal in the last minutes of the game.  The fans totally made the experience worthwhile...we thought those yelling "Flyers Suck" really added to the patriotism of the National Anthem.

We ended up with pretty good seats, but the highlight had to be in the second period when our section was picked for "Fans of the Game"!  We fist bumped it (as prompted) for the television cameras and ended up on the scoreboard screen several times!

Gettin' some screen/scream time!
This section was not as happy as we were.
We were the best out of all these people!
But the true souvenir was when Brett caught a t-shirt thrown during the fan appreciation...what a fitting way to mark our first trip to The Garden!

  Looks like the Rangers are getting our vote as the Garrett's official NHL team.