The Winter Classic = Classic

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The Winter Classic = Classic

Postby DrBoni on Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:05 am

First of all, I hope everyone made it home safely. It's 5:00 and I just got back to Athens, OH. I was in the car at 5:30 after the game. 90 was treacherous and 79 wasn't much better. If the faceoff was at 1:30, the game would not have made it.

For whatever it was on TV --like it or hate it -- this event was unbelievable.

The tailgate was very cool. Now it's not uncommon to see a group of guys tossing a football at an event like this. But pulling into the parking lot, we noticed more than one group of kids in Lafontaine jerseys and Lemieux jerseys playing street hockey with goals/goalies. Some of these kids were no older than seven, and some were no younger than 25.

Walking into the stadium, I quickly made my way up the ramp to turn corner and catch the first glimpse of the rink. I turned to the rest of our group grinning ear to ear, this was clearly going to be nothing short of incredible.

As we made our way to our row in section 313 we were greeted by patches of Pens fans,.When we finally got to our seats I turned around and looked up. From our row back I could see nothing but a sea of black and gold (and baby blue). This never felt like an away game. Our seats were located behind the Pens bench.

My "Goosebumps" Moment of the game:

Suddenly, we hear bagpipes and become terribly confused. Then without any announcement other than their own presence, a Pipe and Drum band march their way out of the tunnel, followed by two symmetric lines of white and baby blue sweaters. Their paths diverge and they continue to make the long trek to the ice for warmups.

This probably doesn't translate well to the reader, and I would have thought it an odd idea if I had read it beforehand. But it was a neat effect and set the tone for the evening.

Chants Heard throughout the evening (in chronological order):
"Jimmerson!"
"Donnie Iris"
"Bring Back Jimmy Paek"
"Brett Hull"
"MVP"
"Flyers Suck" - Which Sabres fans joined
"You're a jagoff" <-- I usually would not condone this one, but the dude deserved it.

Then several others that I can't repost :)

And of course, Let's Go Pens, Conklin , Tang and Crosby.

Our section was particularly loud and drowned out the Sabres fans who were sitting near us. But I have no idea how well that relayed to the rest of the stadium. I did hear a couple of very impressive "Let's Go Pens" chants from across the stadium.

I can't rave enough about this event, folks. I think everyone there can tell you that they felt like they were 12 again. A lot of planning was involved, but it didn't take away from the purity of the idea -- the game.
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Postby HockeyDaddy on Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:35 am

Thank you for your personal recap...it kind of makes me feel like I was there too! It was absolutely incredible to watch on TV...so I can't imagine how cool it must have been in person.

Were you freezing the entire game?
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Postby penny lane on Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:55 am

what was the final attendance? 71 thousand?
Bagpipes, how cool.
On the news they showed the people playing hockey in the lot.
Mike Zappone & Rick Walsh from kdka and wpxi were there; don't think channel 4 sent anyone.
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Postby czwalga on Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:02 am

How was the view? Hard to see?
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Postby Admin on Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:04 am

penny lane wrote:what was the final attendance? 71 thousand?

71,217
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Postby rosey6629 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:08 am

The bagpipes were cool, leading the players out for warm up. Don't think NBC viewers got to see this, but we did on CBC.
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Postby conforto45 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:14 am

yeah... i dont remember the bagpipes, but watching the players come out of the tunnel with flames shooting over their head was insane. it was one of the coolest introductions in sports history i can remember...

that and whenever they introduced Bettis for the home opener of 06... those 2 events will always give me chills when i think about it
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Postby Admin on Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:44 am

conforto45 wrote:...watching the players come out of the tunnel with flames shooting over their head was insane.

NHL.com has that video:
http://www.nhl.tv/team/launch.htm?type= ... &catid=591
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Postby pens#1 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:15 pm

WOW what a game im so tired today from the long ride home last night....but it was worth it!!!

that game is Number 1 for the Next 10 greatest games
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Postby Soon5one4 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:22 pm

czwalga wrote:How was the view? Hard to see?


The view was great, not nearly as bad as everyone thought it was going to be. We were about 20 rows up behind the Pens bench. Even people in the endzones said they could see better than expected. So other than the 8 hour drive back to Pittsburgh, everything was amazing.
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Postby Judy on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:42 pm

What a long day it was! But it was nothing short of incredible! Boni, you described it PERFECTLY!

Our seats were in 314 and the view was perfect! We had mostly Pens fans in our section, butt there were a few Saber fans in there as well. (Including the 4-5 right behind us that as soon as the guy got to his seats and realized he was surrounded by a sea of black gold and powder blue, groaned " I'm f&%@ed.") I have to admit, hearing it was hilarious! He also made some comments during the game and jabs which were pretty lame. Like when we started a "Let's Go Pens" chant, he retorted with "What a stupid chant, you can't even put the full name of your team in it!" :lol: After Crosby netted the goal, and our section went bezerk, he said in a rather agitated disgusted tone "I gotta get outta here. I gotta get away from these people!":wink:

I also after the game had dropped my sunglasses. A Saber fan picked them up for me and I thanked her. Then her friend remarked "Why did you do that? She's wearing a Crosby jersey?" I simply replied "He won the game for us, didn't he?" :wink: The weak response? "The NHL is rigged anyway!":lol:

I would also like to add that the fly over from the helicopters (I'm guessing they were Army) was amazing. It doesn't sound like anything special, but if you are there in person and experience it, it is incredible. It gave me goosebumps.

I faired fairly well with the temps. And the papers I took to stand on? They worked well at first. But once they got wet, forget it. :lol:

And screw the commentator that said the Sabers spotted the Pens the first goal! :evil:
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Postby roller81 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:52 pm

Just wanted to post on this thread too. I was in 313 also..seemed like they stuck alot of pens fans in that section(feel sorry for the few sabres fans around heh). But the game was f'ing amazing. I'm in the process of uploading some photos to flickr from my seats. I also have videos from the shootout goals, but they're pretty large files and the hotel i'm staying at has crappy slow internet. I'll have to upload the videos when I get home.

photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/84473223@N00/
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Postby Stoosh on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:52 pm

Judy,

The choppers that flew overhead during the pregame were Blackhawks, and they are every bit as intimidating up close.

Also...

Like when we started a "Let's Go Pens" chant, he retorted with "What a stupid chant, you can't even put the full name of your team in it!"


I guess that's the best Buffalo can do. I guess if this guy was sitting amongst a slew of Tampa Bay Bucs fans, he's criticize them for chanting "Let's Go Bucs" even though it sounds a lot better than "Let's Go Bucc-a-neers!"
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Postby roller81 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:55 pm

Judy wrote:He also made some comments during the game and jabs which were pretty lame. Like when we started a "Let's Go Pens" chant, he retorted with "What a stupid chant, you can't even put the full name of your team in it!"


Sabres fans have no room to comment on our chant after their 'oh ah sabres on the warpath' thing or whatever it was..wow, and i thought our things were lame. One thing i did find hilarious was near the end of the game, they were playing bon jovi..and it seemed like ALOT of people were singing alot, heh
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Postby pens#1 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:57 pm

i stayed at the Red Roof Inn a couple miles from the stadium and all the Pens fans had jerseys and blankets hanging in the windows - great to see!!! proud to be a Pens fan
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Postby Admin on Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:18 pm

roller81 wrote:Just wanted to post on this thread too. I was in 313 also..seemed like they stuck alot of pens fans in that section(feel sorry for the few sabres fans around heh). But the game was f'ing amazing. I'm in the process of uploading some photos to flickr from my seats. I also have videos from the shootout goals, but they're pretty large files and the hotel i'm staying at has crappy slow internet. I'll have to upload the videos when I get home.

photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/84473223@N00/

Good stuff!

So Roberts was there:
Image
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Postby Buster Bluth on Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:21 pm

I was with Boni for the game, and he couldn't describe it any better. I'm glad you made it home, but not that it took you until 5:00. I made it home to the South Side at midnight.

I couldn't have imagined this event going off in any different manner that could have made it any better. Just absolutely tremendous.

The Sabres fans kept griping about us not standing the entire game and kept comparing the Bills to the Steelers for some reason. I'm no Steelers fan by any means, but even I couldn't rationalize that comparison.
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Postby roller81 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:42 pm

well, heres my video from letang's goal. the crosby one says its still processing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ut_SYaJzk
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Postby letsgopens87 on Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:47 pm

We were in section 314, which was also mostly Pens fans. Just an incredible experience. I could have done without all the snow, but it was still fun. The Sabres fans around us were pretty annoying, but some kept quiet considering how outnumbered they were. There was one annoying guy who tried to make little witty remarks about Crosby all the time, so it was extra fun when Sid won the game for us. :wink: Also loved getting booed through the parking lot on my way to the gate. :lol:
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Postby DrBoni on Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:50 pm

I stayed pretty warm throughout. Halfway through the third is started to get a little chilly.

Oh yea, best line of the night...

My buddy (Buster Bluth) was wearing a Letang jersey. During the intermission between OT and the shootout, Sabres fan turned to him and said "#58? Who is that? I've never heard of him." I replied "You're about to."

After the second shooter he turned around and said "Wow, he is good."
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Postby crzymike on Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:08 pm

DrBoni wrote:I stayed pretty warm throughout. Halfway through the third is started to get a little chilly.

Oh yea, best line of the night...

My buddy (Buster Bluth) was wearing a Letang jersey. During the intermission between OT and the shootout, Sabres fan turned to him and said "#58? Who is that? I've never heard of him." I replied "You're about to."

After the second shooter he turned around and said "Wow, he is good."
He's our secret weapon (KL) :)
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Postby Admin on Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:16 pm

DrBoni wrote:My buddy (Buster Bluth) was wearing a Letang jersey. During the intermission between OT and the shootout, Sabres fan turned to him and said "#58? Who is that? I've never heard of him." I replied "You're about to."

Pang was unintentionally humorous in his commentary before Letang went. "He likes to go forward, backhand, but I'm not sure that's going to be effective today." Oh, really. :lol:
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Postby DrBoni on Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:34 pm

http://youtube.com/watch?v=c4V__nJBMlI

Here's a video of the Pipers.
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Postby Scotty Bowman on Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:41 pm

crzymike wrote:
DrBoni wrote:I stayed pretty warm throughout. Halfway through the third is started to get a little chilly.

Oh yea, best line of the night...

My buddy (Buster Bluth) was wearing a Letang jersey. During the intermission between OT and the shootout, Sabres fan turned to him and said "#58? Who is that? I've never heard of him." I replied "You're about to."

After the second shooter he turned around and said "Wow, he is good."
He's our secret weapon (KL) :)


He's not going to be a secret much longer if he keeps his play up.
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Postby penny lane on Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:07 pm

DrBoni wrote:http://youtube.com/watch?v=c4V__nJBMlI

Here's a video of the Pipers.


thanks!

pp.com has some great shots too. Had the feel of a superbowl, NHL went all out, they had all the teams flags flying around ralph wilson.
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