Sunday, November 2, 2008
Dodging Lions and Wasting Time
I should have known better.
I should have known to just stay home and watch the game on TV.
I should have known not to splurge on a higher-priced ticket.
I should have known that a 4-1 lead going into the third meant nothing.
But I didn't. And so now I am back in Jersey after the first trip to the Coliseum this season and what might be the most demoralizing sports experience I've ever witnessed in person. And that is saying something, because I was also in attendance at the infamous Islanders-Rangers "chicken dance" game (if you think I'm going to YouTube to get you a link to that, you're crazy) and one of the Mets-Phillies implosion games in 2007.
Maybe it's a little hard to grasp that if you weren't there. Sure they blew a three-goal lead in the third period, but they've done that sort of thing enough that it shouldn't be a complete surprise. But what made it worse was that the Coliseum may have had more Habs fans in attendance than Isles fans, and I seemed to be surrounded by them. So every goal in the third brought about a rowdier celebration, culminating in the postgame "Ole, Ole, Ole" parties that every poutine-eating douchebag was photographing and recording for posterity on the concourse (seriously, Habs fans, don't gimme this Ole bullshit). After tonight, I finally get why people hate the Canadiens. For the first time in my life, I'm with you, Leafs fans.
I should also point out that I saw several people wearing Yankees hats and Canadiens jerseys. Nice combination. You could wear a giant vibrating dildo on your head and a complete Nazi storm trooper outfit and still not look more physically repulsive. Congratulations!
But back to the game. For two periods, it was the greatest game ever!
That's all I want to say about the game at this juncture, because I have my health to think about.
Of course, I should mention... Mitch Fritz! (Clap! Clap!) Mitch Fritz!
Good first bout. I was hoping for the clap chant afterward. No luck. We'll get there. I thought of starting it myself, but I was alone and had already yelled so much during the fight that the people around me may have been frightened.
After the game ended, I sat in my seat for about 10 minutes, partly out of sheer disbelief and partly because I needed to calm down before I made my way to the concourse. And in that time, I thought back on the game I'd just seen, the last few years of the Isles, the last two seasons of the Mets and wondered if it's not too late to say goodbye to all this and pursue something new, perhaps an avid devotion to the musical theater.
But I know I will be back at the Coliseum. And at Citi Field next year. Why? Because I'm stupid. What...you were expecting something profound?
But, yes, OK, also because, despite everything, despite all my brain tells me, despite all the demoralizing train rides home from Hempstead, I still believe.
However, I also believe that next time I'm getting the cheaper seat.
Live Game Breakdown: Isles vs. Canadiens, 11/1/08
Highlight: Mitch Fritz! (Clap! Clap!) Mitch Fritz!
Lowlight: Let's just go with the entire third period
Food consumed: pretzel, chicken tenders, and some fries before I lost the desire to eat anything
Merchandise purchased: nothing, though I did get a free t-shirt from the Sports Soup people
Best jersey spotted: (tie) Hubie McDonough and this guy