For those of you who don’t know it, I am a huge hockey fan. Worse than that, I live in upstate NY and am not a big Buffalo Sabres fan (they are okay and if they are the last team left standing I would be fine with that). I am also not a NJ Devils. Nor am I a NY Rangers or NY Islanders fan. I am, and have always been, a huge Detroit Red Wings fan.
That having been put out there, the closest NHL arenas to me are in Buffalo (HSBC Arena – which I have only been to for last year’s Soul 2 Soul concert), NYC (Madison Square Garden – which again I have never been to for a sporting event), Long Island (I think it is the Nassau County Arena but not sure), Philadelphia (Wachovia Arena in the Sports Complex), or NJ (I think the Devils play somewhere near Giant Stadium in East Rutherford but have never really cared).
My 20 year old son is now in school in Buffalo and his twin sister is at college in Niagara Falls. Both have become huge Sabres fans. In order to keep up with them, I have taken to watching Sabres hockey – two reasons behind this: (1)Being in NY, more of the Sabres’ games are broadcast than Red Wings games; and (2)I like to talk to the kids about things they have done.
In the process of watching Sabres’ hockey, I have become a huge fan of the patio outside HSBC Arena. There is always a huge crowd of people there watching the game for free on a huge television. Second round of the playoffs, I was set to go to Buffalo for game seven between the Rangers and the Sabres if it got that far. I am sure the seats in the arena are well sold out in advance but I was going to the patio.
Last night my son called. Graduation at UBuffalo is today. Most everyone has left with few exceptions. He is staying in Buffalo for the summer to work and take classes (as a transfer student, he is a tad bit behind). He and a few friends that haven’t left are going to the patio for game two of the Ottawa-Buffalo Eastern Conference finals (this use to have a nice name of someone but now it is just eastern conference).
I am soooo psyched at least one of us is getting to go and I am going to encourage his sister, once she has her car up there, to try it also.