|John, Dan, Matt & I went to the The Rock in beautiful Newark, New Jersey on Sunday for the final Devils game of the season. We had table seats, a fact I was unaware of when John told me he had 4 free tickets and I had agreed to go.|
I've always seen the table seats on the concourse at the Prudential Center and wanted to sit there as they hold three strategic advantages over your traditional arena seat. First, the four barstool chairs are at a table, which is perfect for holding food and beers, no juggling, balancing or spilling involved...simple enough, pretty obvious. Second, the tables are right on the concourse so beer runs are quick, can be timed when there are no lines and you don't have to ask anyone to stand and let you rub up against them with little shuffley steps. Third, the tables have a little television on them with multiple channels, so we got to watch the Mets lose to the lowly Nationals while also watching the Devils live...for some reason we couldn't get the Masters on the TV though.
The game was a good time, the Devils beat the Bruins, we ate well, drank better, and made merry. It started with shots at the Arena Lounge, included Dan Mahoney's impressive take-down of three Gyros, my running into my cousin Jim & his wife Karen, and a sea of rowdy french canadians dressed in blue.
You see this was no ordinary game, the majority of the upper deck was full of supporters of the now-defunct Quebec Nordiques hockey team. The Nordiques moved to Colorado and changed their name to the Avalanche in 1995, leaving Quebec (in Candada no less!) without a hockey team. So, over 1600 fans, mostly french-speaking, who root for a team which doesn't exist anymore travelled ten hours on 32 buses to fill the empty seats at a meaningless Devils game in order to demonstrate to the NHL that Quebec can support a new hockey franchise. A new hockey arena is being built and NordiquesNation.com is organizing fans with aims to fill it with an NHL team when it opens in 2015.
And they were great fans too, so energetic and loud, starting the wave, organizing chants, dancing, getting really into it. At the end of the game the throngs of blue made their way to the lower deck and filled the aisles, those up against the glass sprawled flags and banners up so their would be no chance that the NHL league office would be unaware of their presence. Later that night, I drunkenly called in to A Slice of Ice, Ryan Gray's NHL sports-talk radio show, to report on my first hand experience with Nordiques Nation.
One thing I forgot to mention on the show, which we all agreed was very odd though, was in the 3rd period the Nordique fans started chanting a countdown from ten. No one was in the penalty box, and the period had just started with only 3 min and 50 seconds off the clock. The Devils scored a goal just as their countdown reached zero, stopping the clock at exactly 16:00 remaining. So does Nordiques Nation have a thing about reaching 16 minutes left in the game that they count down to it? Or are they able to collectively predict the future of a goal ten seconds in advance? Or does their counting down actually induce goals to be scored? How can a group of friendly canadians with the power to either predict or influence the future not have a hockey team?
Fast forward to the end and I may have puked on the streets of Newark, I tweeted as much, and it sounds familiar. Christ, I tweeted too much, mostly gibberish too, its a filthy habit. I think the story I'm going with is when leaving Brick City Bar & Grill, after chugging the Pommegranate microbrew I'd stupidly ordered at last call even though I had a full beer, I puked quick and nonchalantly almost without losing step. Thats what it feels like, probably 60% accurate, I can sort of recall Matt saying something like "Dan don't do it...oh he's done."
I'm hazy on the probable vomit but its likelihood is enforced by the fact that I later bought three types of mints and some gum. I don't remember too much about the 24hr ShopRite but I did have a bag this morning that contained the breath fresheners, a bunch of candy bars, a huge Red Bull, chicken wings and sushi. I know I ate the sushi last night, because I can recall smearing the wasabi on the rolls with my fingers...yeah gross. All of that likely contributed to my second puke, which I very much remember but would prefer to forget.
When I have a day like yesterday I tend to write it down, because I both really enjoy self-analysis and because it is helpful to write down what I can remember in order to figure out what may be missing. Let's be clear though, I haven't had many days like this lately and based on how I feel today, its easy to recall why.