Big Lead Sports Bar


Another Interesting Winter Classic Recap

For some reason, I'm a sucker for in-person recaps. I just love 'em. So while I'm writing up my next post, here's another excellent recap from the Ice Bowl, courtesy of Rege in Harrisburg:

Now that I'm completely thawed out from the ICE Bowl, I wanted to drop in and give some prospective on the big game. Thats a very high up perspective:Here's our Seats: Luckily Section 313 was packed with Pens Fans. Amazingly, God, himself even made the trip.

I have Buffalo ties from college, so I've been to the town many times, and it always delivers. The same guys I was at this game with actually made the trip down for the Bills/Steelers game earlier this year, so I had a nice buffer between me and any troublemakers. As everyone watching on TV could tell, it was a great atmosphere so I'm not going to go into much detail. Just a few quick bullet points from the game that sum up my trip.

Unlike most Burghers that made this trip, I liked the location of the Ralph. Big deal if it's off the beaten path, When tailgating is this big of a deal to their legions of fans, you need your stadium out in the middle of a cow pasture, that way they don't break anything. Sabres fans can destroy everything in Orchard Park, and the city is out 45 dollars. The one thing about the tailgate lot that stood out was all the burn barrels. Stadium personnel have these scattered out throughout the lots so people can stay warm. To some Sabres fans it was just a forgone conclusion to use a barrel. I saw many campfire just a roaring away right there in the lot. This one burn barrel is a fan's tribute to Kevin Everett.

Overall I was treated just as I would have suspected. I think Sabres fans for the most part were pretty cool. I would hate to be in town with a Maple Leafs jersey though. For something different I was rocking a Matt Barnaby Pens jersey, so it took some heat off me. Here was the weirdest observation about wearing this jersey. I always knew Barnaby was a polarizing player, but the fans response from Pens and Sabres sides alike was nuts. I was either gaining massive street cred from either fan base, or I was being an antagonist. I guess you either love Barnaby or hate his guts, there's no gray with this player regardless of which team you are a fan of. To be honest I wasn't going to chance my Mario or Sid Jersey getting trashed so I wore my "B" team jersey in case. If it got trashed I wouldn't be out much.
I snapped this picture because it sums up Buffalo's Day Fittingly. "Messy Wings"

As most fans, I was cold. We were dropped off at Louie's Texas Red Hots, right outside the stadium at 9:00AM. 1/2 hour later we were huddled around a burn barrel drinking Labatts and eating egg sandwiches from Louie's. The game snuck up on us fast. I'm guessing it was booze. Before I knew it we were off to the game. I really want to give my girlfriend props for being able to survive this whole day by the way. Between all the booze, yelling, and weather, she was able to take it all in. She's a special girl. She was actually the one that scored our tickets, so the whole trip was totally made possible by her. 5 hours later after the game finally concluded, we were walking back to our tailgating spot victorious. Too bad our ride didn't show up to get our whole gang until 9PM. Nobody should have to sit in this type of cold for 12 hours. Killing time after the game I saw more "Sabre on Sabre" violence than I cared to see. Some of their fans were treating this game like a fifth Super Bowl. I think it was that mentality that ultimately jinxed the team to another historic loss. Luckily for me, my Sabre friends are a great bunch of people and fans, and if we meet again in a Playoff series, I'm sure we'll do it up again in Buffalo.

All and all it was great trip. I feel it was retribution for my less than spectacular Yanks/Bucco trip over the summer. Personally I don't want to see one of these every year. I say do them every 4 years, but do 4 games (one in each time zone - Vancouver, Detroit, State College, Denver, Suggestions Gary Bettman??) instead of just one, so each section of the county has access to the fun. By far - an overall great experience, and I wish all my fellow Penguins fan could have joined me.
--Rege from Harrisburg

1 comment:

PittCheMBA said...

Here is a link to a female's perspective on the Winter Classic,