Monday, March 19, 2007

Birth of an American Hockey Fan Week Seven: The Live Game

First off, to satisfy the perhaps twos and threes of you out there who might be wondering whether a beer was in fact purchased for me at last week's game, the answer is "No, you ungrateful, post-grubbing bastards." Had my ears not been filled with the sounds of my own dry, parched cough and the constant swish of the puck hitting the back of the Devils net, I'm sure crickets dropping pins could have been heard. I don't want to get all holistic and godlike here, but if one of you had bought me a beer, the Devils wouldn't have lost.

Thanks to a healthy penchant for gambling/the timely victory of my alma mater's hockey team over the Earl's, my Devils-Pens tickets were begrudgingly gratis, and after following Ben's treasure map-like instructions to get to my awaiting NJTransit Chariot, we were all set. The first thing you notice about the Continental Arena is that the Devils are still kinda riding the high from their last Stanley Cup win, as evidenced by the appearance of "2001-02 Stanley Cup Champs" on every available surface; we were even given pictures of the 2001-02 Devils as we dejectedly left the arena, the sporting event giveaway equivalent of the cutout face mask on the back of the cereal box (I gave mine to Ben to put in his hope chest). I understand the importance of team history, but those are some seriously dated laurels to be resting on, and though I supose it would be bad for team morale to just plaster Martin Brodeur's face and name all over the stadium instead, they should probably think about mixing it up a bit.

Speaking of which, it's a testament to L'Homme himself that he can allow three goals and still leave the game batting away sexual favors like flies. Though the first period went by in a haze of nacho cheese and crushing disappointment, as I was granted neither a fight, a goal, or really, any excitement whatsoever, once we got to the second period and Brodeur started being all "After you..." to the puck, things picked up. I was granted a pretty sweet fight that utilized both the horizontal and the vertical axis, I used both the terms "one-timer" and "Howitzer", though the second was more in a spelling bee-ish type manner, as in, "If that slapshot had been going at a higher velocity, it would be considered a Howitzer," and I got to see a Penguins fan kicked out of our section based solely on the judicial writ of "a lot of guys in Devils jerseys pointing at him."

I'm not much one for hype, but considering how much fellating's been done on Sidney Crosby and Brodeur's behalfs, these guys really stood up pretty well. Brodeur's got a certain grace to him even in the face of defeat, though the home ice advantage of having your name splayed across 10,000 hairy Italian chests probably helps, and Crosby, well, the Kid can skate, I'll tell you that. Sid took some serious beatings, managing to get the shit kicked out of him by the opposing team, his own team, and the puck itself, which is pretty impressive considering those are the only three things on the ice, but aside from a short and completely justified temper tantrum, he held it together pretty well.

Birthing Status: Pissed That No One Bought Me a Beer


Ben said...

All right, we've had a lot of fun here, and that's important. But let me clarify something, even if it means playing Sean Penn to Jen's Chris Rock (I think that makes the Devils Jude Law).

The Devils are not still riding high from their 2000 cup win (nor even their more recent 2003 win), they're celebrating 25 years in New Jersey, and every couple of games, there's a tribute to the team from one of those years. Had you gone earlier in the season, you would have received a team photo featuring the classic Christmas Tree jerseys...and believe me, that's not much from that era upon which to ride, highly or otherwise.

Anonymous said...

the font Jen is using bugs me.

Jack said...

Badmouthing the Devils without mentioning their parking lot parades? That's like Christmas without the tree.