Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hockey Night in Tampa

Thursday, November 13, 2008. Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning. The Wings won 4-3 in an exciting game that went down to the last minute. TB pulled their goalie and everything :) It was kind of weird to be rooting against my current hometown team, but being from Detroit, I have been a die-hard, rabid Wings fan since I was 4 years old. No question which team I was there to support.

There was a nice ceremony honoring our veterans before the game started.

There was almost as much red in the stands (including myself) as blue and black. It almost looked like a Red Wings home game. I attribute this to two things: 1) The Wings won the Stanley Cup last year, so there are lots of bandwagon fans, and 2) there are tons of Midwestern transplants living in the Tampa Bay area. Five of my neighbors alone are from Michigan.
The big group of people in red and white jerseys near the right side of the photo was part of a group of electricians from the Detroit area. They chartered two buses and drove down here specifically for this game. There were about 90 of them scattered throught the Ice Palace. I kept running into one guy, the guy who told me all of this information. He was drunk when he got off the bus ;) Anyway, before the game, he saw me in my Wings shirt and hollered, "Wings shirt!! This chick ROCKS!!" and some of his buddies cheered. So I played along, doing the "raise the roof" thing, and he started talking to me. I somehow managed to run into him at both intermissions AND on my way to the bathroom after the game.

Mikael Samuelsson (37), Niklas Kronwall (55), and Kris Draper (33).

Mom and me

Victors! Goalie Chris Osgood (30), backup goalie Ty Conklin (middle), and Brian Rafalski (28).
At the first intermission, I went up to visit my friend Wendy, whose boyfriend's sister's best friend had a skybox; it was a pretty sweet setup. I drank their free beer, ate their free pizza and brownies, and chatted with a bunch of native Michiganders. Felt like home ;)

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