Saturday, April 19, 2008

No Good Deed Goes Unnoticed.

As hockey fans, we've all had to make our sacrifices. With a season that can be as long as 9 months and games up to 3 nights a week, at some point you've got to make responsible decisions that come before your first love ( of course). My responsible decision came Friday night when I had to attend a surprise birthday party for a friend's mom. She's been a lot like a mom to me and since I haven't seen her in months, I knew I had to go. What I didn't know at the time was Game 5 of the Preds/Wings series was the same night, AND the Preds were hosting a viewing party at the Sommet Center. When I realized my major foul by booking plans on a game night, I knew what I had to do. I had to the bite the bullet and go to the birthday party.

After work on Friday, I headed to the party still bummed I would be missing the viewing party (not to mention the game). Luckily I had a couple friends set up to text me play by plays throughout the night. As soon as I walked in the door, the hosts of the party walked over and told me they were mad at me. I was a bit confused as to why. I'd met them a few times before and probably knew them enough to say hello if we saw each other around town, but there was no probable reason for them to be angry with me. I asked why, and they said I snubbed them at a Preds game. Apparently they waved to me and I didn't wave back. I immediately began to apologize, promising I never saw them at any game otherwise I would have gone over to say hello. But then it hit me...did they just say Preds game? Could these people be fans? Surely not. If so, they'd be at the Sommet Center. I casually asked them if they went to games often and they explained they went when they could (with two kids, they had to make their own responsible decisions).

About this time, my friend at The Zone (the offical Preds radio station) began texting me. He sent over the scratches for the game - Arnott and Legwand. After my initial shock (ARNOTT?!), I decided to test the waters. I had to know if these were the casual fans who went to a game every now and then, or if they were true Preds fans. I walked over to mention the scratches and it was as if Heaven opened up and shone down on that kitchen because THEY FLIPPED. They knew their players! NOW I could talk some hockey! We talked about past games, the playoff series, and favorite players. I've never actually enjoyed seeing a Tootoo whistle until after the wife mentioned loving Jordin Tootoo and pulling out her own whistle. I couldn't believe it. I mean this is no Canada. To find Preds fans in general is hard, let alone on a game night when there's an official viewing party at the arena. I even noticed a family picture on their refridgerator with the entire family decked out in Preds gear. Love it!

At about 6:15PM, the countdown began. The wine started flowing and we started counting down for the puck drop. 6:30PM rolled around and the beautiful HD flat screen TV flipped to Versus. The entire party made their way around the television to watch the Preds and Wings duke it out. Before the husband left during intermission to watch the rest of the game with his boys, he stopped to tell me a hilarious story about meeting JP Dumont. At this point it's just icing on the cake. As the game went on, the party goers dwindled and only a handful of us girls were left (with a few bottles of wine) to watch the Preds score in the last 30 seconds to take the game into overtime. Although the Wings came back and won the game, I can't say I could have been in a better place to watch the Preds lose.

As for the series, it's not over yet. Hardcore Preds fans know fairweather doesn't make it to Nashville too often. So with two games left, we believe we're coming back and winning this thing to FINALLY make it to round two!

(Side note: Congrats to the Rangers and Penguins! I was rooting for both teams to make it to round two!)

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