Sunday, January 31, 2010

F*ck Road Trips....Thrashers vs. Predators

I'm starting to think I should NOT go on road trips. This is the fourth time I've seen the Thrashers in an opposing barn and for the fourth time, they lost. This trip to Nashville has been planned for 6 months. Lisa Lewis, president of the Atlanta Thrashers Fan Club, did a fantastic job organizing this trip. As someone who used to plan corporate outings and events, I know how tough it is. I can't imagine doing it for 400 people. Nice job, Lisa.

Another concern on this trip was the weather. I'd been watching the Nashville forecast for days. A huge storm was heading for Nashville the day before we left and temperatures weren't going to climb above the freezing mark. Would 6 inches of snow, ice and freezing weather stop us? Oh hell no! Buses pulled up to Phillips Arena at 11:15 and we got on the road about noon. Originally, we were supposed to have 500 people going, but in the end we had probably close to 400. We had about 100 on the bus and the rest drove up themselves.

Me and my husband getting ready to take off from the arena.

Kerry and Randy, like me and Serge, were all smiles and sunshine as the buses left. I should have taken a picture when we finally got back home at 5:30 in the a.m.

Because the bus company and drivers feared that the roads through mountains (Monteagle) might be iced and closed when we got there, we went the long way. We went to Birmingham first, then up to Nashville. On a good day with no weather issues, it is a 4 hour hour trip from Atlanta to Nashville. On a good day with no weather, if you go from Atlanta to Birmingham to Nashville, it's a 5.5 hour drive. We made it in about 6.5 hours. The roads were fine until we go about 20 miles from Nashville. There was a lot of ice on the road and I'll be honest, a few times I thought "I must be out of my flipping mind for doing this." There were jack-knifed trucks and spun out cars all along the road. The driver of the other bus actually said that if he had known it would be like this, he wouldn't have done it.

Jack Knife! This was one of the moments I was thinking...HOLY SHIT!

Another motorist in trouble.

Finally we arrived to the Sommet Center!

You can see the snow on Music Row.

The buses pulled up to a roaring tailgate!

Honestly, I didn't stay long at the tailgate. It was cold, but I'm terrified of slipping and the ice was making me nervous.


Some Blueland Flag waiving.

Someone made this awesome "Welcome to Thrashville" sign.

The little plows were out clearing the parking lot so people could even get in.

We quickly left the tail gate and headed to the arena. I brought a ton of signs and wanted to get a spot on the glass. Last road trip I could barely get glass space, but with the way the Sommet is laid out, we had more glass space. I wish I had brought more signs! This was on both the Thrashers and Predators site. I felt silly putting my Bryan Little sign up, but I'm glad I did! It brought him great luck that night. My Super Moose is a super star!

Everyone coming in and getting set up to welcome the guys to the ice. Note Jager there with no sleeves on. It' s 20 degrees in the parking lot and he wasn't wearing a jacket of any kind. THAT is hardcore.

Is it ever a Thrashers party until Heatmeiser shows up??

Sally and her inflatable Moose head.

We were on the bus with Ben, the Blueland Blogger/web board moderator and the videographer for the Thrashers (sorry, I don't know your name. You can watch the video of the first part of the trip.

So the guys come out and hit the ice. It wasn't as awesome as the first time in Carolina when they weren't expecting it. I guess they were jazzed about it. I didn't notice much of a reaction.
Bobo stretching out and reading signs.

Pavs seeing some shots.

Army looks stunned.

Cup Guy. Do you know what kind of balls it takes to drag around a Stanley Cup when you are wearing a Thrashers jersey? I mean the Red Wings, Pens, Devils, okay. But the Thrashers? That takes guts.

Zach checking out my signs. Not one for you, sorry Bogo.

Ilya by the "Welcome to Thrashville" sign.

Hainsey: Holy Shit there are a lot of them here.
Moose: Yep, our fans rock.
Hainsey: I can't believe they all really risked their lives to see us play.
Moose: Yep, we really need to win for them, try not to put it in our own net tonight, okay.
Hainsey: I'll see what I can do.

Pops smiling and taking it all in.

The Pred head being lowered to get ready for the team to come out.

My seats weren't ideal for taking pictures, so I didn't take that many. We were all spread out between sections 102, 103 and 104. We were loud and had a lot of good chants and such going. According to facebook and the webboards, Nashville was appalled at us yelling "KNIGHTS" during the Star Spangled Banner. It's a point of contention in Blueland. Some do, some don't. For those that don't know, some fans yell KNIGHTS at the point in the lyrics when it says "gave proof through the night." It's an homage to our old IHL team, the Atlanta Knights. It's kind of like when Dallas yells "STARS" (twice), Carolina yells "RED" and Washington yells "O."

I've never had a bad encounter with an Nashville fan until this guy. He ended up being cool towards the end, but when the Preds scored the first time he jumps up and comes over to our section and stars flipping us off (didn't get that picture) and talking smack. When we'd score, he was all cool though. He was a complete ass until about 1/2 way through. After the game, he came up to my friend David and was friendly. Maybe he stopped flipping us off when he found out there were like 281 church groups there. He reminded me of Biff from Back to the Future...MCFLY!

Some action in front of Pekka!.

I'm guessing these guys are Suter fans.

Huh! You think it sucks down there, Moose? Try sitting up in the stands after you risked your life in an ice storm to get there, then your team goes down 2-0.

Gnash telling us we are rude and we need to be quiet. Rude? You are carrying around some doll that lowers its pants and shows a bare butt. Thrash is way better than Gnash, but Gnash has way better toys, like his 4-wheeler that he comes out on the ice with.

Gnash had fun with the fans though. He took pictures with them and then shook his finger at them.

Boris had a rough night. He was sitting on the bench and got hit in the neck with a stick.

Some action in front of Pekka.

Thrashers fans milling around during the intermission.

Jager getting the fans going! He had cards with the chants on them that he passed out.

Don't take any shit, Little! Little had a good night, he had 2 goals! It was my sign.

Boris and Arnott down. Boris gave Arnott a pretty nasty slewfoot and hurt himself in the process.

Arnott and Boris in the box. The only reason Jason got a penalty was that the refs had called 3,4582 penalties against the Thrashers. They both put towels over the penalty box cams.

Kane getting a little physical with Shea Weber.

Angry Preds Fan. He looks like he wants to shoot the tires out of our bus.

Gnash did some trick where he sledded down the stairs. That's gonna leave a mark.

Just a few minutes left in the game and the Thrashers are down a goal. Anderson calls a time out.
Anderson: Okay boys, when the game is over we are going to follow this play to get us the hell off of the ice before our fans revolt.
Pevs: Shouldn't we figure out a play to tie it?
Anderson: You know that can't work. We need to figure out how to get out of here alive. Those 500 people are going to be pissed.

Final face off.

A little bit of a scrum.

Thrashers lose. I'm road trip poison. It would have been nice to get a little more recognition from the guys while they were warming up. I know they are busy, but how long does a glass-tap or smile take? I've gotten more "thanks for the support" from opposing players. I've gotten more affection from Max Talbot, Marc-Andre Fleury, Tim Thomas, Marty Turco and Ian Laperriere and I didn't risk my life through an ice storm to see them. I did love hearing the comments from Moose, Little and Thor.

You can see the recap to the road trip here:

The game was a pretty good game. We went down early, 2-0 but battled back and tied it. What was absolutely deflating was that tie breaking goal off of the face off, 7 seconds into the 3rd period. That's just unacceptable. Another moment that had Blueland fans up in arms was when they waived off a goal from Evander Kane. Slater was having words with someone on the opposite end of the ice and the ref didn't realize we had a break away. Thanks assholes.

Road trip to Raleigh is coming up in late March. I haven't decided if I'm going or not. Maybe I'll do everyone a favor and stay home, lol. I'm poison on a road trip and the RBC Center has been nothing but a disaster for me.


Jane February 1, 2010 at 12:49 PM  

Heya! Great recap of your trip, too badd the weather was sucky : /

You got some really nice pics! And I loved your Anderson "quote" hahaha

Can't wait to watch the boys tonight!! Hopefully they'll do better!

Jane February 1, 2010 at 1:04 PM  

Whooops I meant tomorrow for their game. My days are so off haha ( ;

Tara February 1, 2010 at 1:39 PM  

I'm so behind, I need to get my pictures & videos up.
I was in sec 101 yelling my lungs out & flag waving.
Though I did see Moose smile at the warm-ups,no one else smiled of course.

Kaija February 1, 2010 at 2:01 PM  

I saw tons of players smiling. Popovic, Antro, Max, Tobs, Zach, Army, Anssi, Drej - just to name a few.

Sunshine36616 February 1, 2010 at 2:05 PM  

Smiling, sure. That could have been gas :p I want some direct signs of affection. I don't think that's too much to ask for journeying through an ice storm!
It's also a "personal experience" thing. My buddy over at FanThrashtic said that they DID get a stick tap and had problems with Nashville fans. I was the exact opposites in both cases.

Laura (aka Hildymac) February 1, 2010 at 2:11 PM  

Ha! Loved the dialogue between Moose and Hainsey - apparently Ron wasn't listening. He and Bogo were like, what, -329 that game?

Natalie(aka Kovy1971) February 1, 2010 at 8:25 PM  

Loved your recap, as usual. And it was great to meet you!!!

Candace February 2, 2010 at 6:19 AM  

Sorry for the crappy luck, and the crappy weather. :-( Bummer!

No, you didn't risk your life, but did overcome food poisoning to see Ian Laperriere. Which I would have killed you if you hadn't. :-P Of course Lappy loved the recognition, but he's just cool like dat. :-P

Hopefully the next one will go better.

kerry outen February 2, 2010 at 11:20 AM  

great recap. as always a great blog. cant wait to see the next installment. i wish i could find the clip of us on video talking about the walk of shame. 10 bucks says he didnt have the camera on.

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