As part of my birthday package, Jen got us tickets to see the Jets play the Sabres on Saturday. Pretty cool girlfriend, I know. I'm always pretty tense going across the border but it is so worth it. I love Buffalo. Well, not really the city itself. But I've never been to a better sporting event than in Buffalo. I've seen games in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Toronto and none of them come close to the Buffalo experience.
Plentiful parking, great concessions, good natured fans (for the most part), reasonable beer prices, and comfortable seating. Exiting the city after the game is the most daunting challenge but even there we managed to escape at a very reasonable rate. Border patrols on both sides were good natured and didn't hold us up. Yah, we really should go over more.
And the game itself was pretty good. Not a high scoring affair but good flow and plenty of opportunities. It was 1-1 with 40 seconds to go and it looked like Buffalo had taken the go ahead goal. Only a Buffalo player had a skate in the crease and the goal was disallowed. Poor Buffalo. Always with that stupid crease. So we got an extra minute of hockey before the Jets were finally victorious.
But, as always, the real "entertainment" was in the stands. Lots of Jets jerseys sprinkled throughout the arena. Some great competitive crowd chants. Interesting note, I'm a lot less chirpy when I'm sober. Surrounded by Sabres fans, I whooped at our two goals but didn't really engage anybody in Buffalo bashing banter. Could have been the lack of beer and it also could have been the fact I was trying my best not to listen to the people sitting on either side of us.
Beside Jen was this little know-it-all twerp who couldn't have been more than 13 years old. He just wouldn't shut up. The whole game was a running commentary on what the players on the ice were doing right or wrong. If he had a backpack, he would have been a perfect replica of that little shit Gavin from Kids In The Hall.
And then beside me was a typical "Shoot-it" fan. For these people, and I do believe my own father has an executive position amongst the group, hockey is the simplest game in the world. You have the puck, you shoot the puck. That is what you do if you're a hockey player. And if they don't do that, then you are obligated to remind them that they should, in fact, be SHOOTING THE PUCK! The whole game was a constant string of "SHOOT THE PUCK! SHOOT THE PUCK! SHOOT THE PUCK!", interspersed with a couple grunts of disgust when a player dares to pass to an open man.
Annoying as they were, it's important to remind oneself that it as all part of the live sporting event experience. Plus they probably live in Buffalo so a little pity and tolerance should probably be given.
It was a great trip and a great present. Thanks babe!