Sunday, May 22, 2011

Don't Call It A Rally...

We grilled and drank beers (Channeling some LL Cool J)

Rumors have been swirling all week about the Thrashers leaving for Winnipeg. At times, we hear there are moving trucks backing up to the arena, other times no deal is done. It's been a week of misery. For a final kick in the ass, the Atlanta Spirit(less) Group thought it would be a good idea to move forward with "Select-A-Seat." This is an annual event where you come down, look at your seat and possibly upgrade or move. It was cruel. More about that later.

Faithful Thrashers fan, Jimmy decided that if the Thrashers were leaving, he wanted one more tailgate in the Gulch. He decided to spread the word on Wednesday and this Saturday we got together for what was possibly the last time. Me and Shauna headed down town ready for friends, tears and beer.

There was lots of news coverage. All of the local news plus a Canadian station was there. The AJC was there, too. They took this picture and put it in the paper. Too bad it's in the morning when the event started. Way to make us look bad. How do I know this is at the beginning of the event? That arrow is pointing to my car. We got there about 12:15, then went to the arena for Select A Seat. My car has no signs on it yet, so it was taken before I returned at 1:00.

Me and Shauna at Select A Seat.

Well at least they haven't sold all of the hockey boards for scrap yet. It was very sad to see it like this and to know this might be (probably is) the last time I'll be in here.

While Shauna was talking to her rep I went in sat in my favorite seat from 2 season ago. There are so many good memories from these seats with my friends Randy and Kerry.

I wonder what they will do with all of the Thrashers stuff they have all over the building. I would be glad to take this off of their hands.

Shauna got a beer and I got a piece of pizza. I took a look at the 2008 All Star mural for the last time.

After beer, pizza and memories we headed back to the sweltering heat. It was 93+ degrees and absolutely miserable. I thought this guy was homeless at first, but he turned out not to be. He had a bit of a heat stroke and the paramedics had to come. He came back later and left in his own car. Now THAT is passion!

Everyone is getting there areas set up with tents, signs and grills.

More signs.

I didn't have a tent, so I put my signs on Selma (my car).

Then I discovered something funny, my buddy Mike and I have the exact same car! So I decorated his as well. I love the "I'm Eager to forget Ben" sign.

I also walked around with my Winnipeg sign.

More signs. I love the "Owning a Hockey Team is Not a Hobby" and of course the one with baby goalie Ben on it.

As Shauna and I are socializing, we notice a sign of a different kind. YES, that is what you think it is. Atlanta sports troll, JK Sockey, placed a "Go Jets Go" sign by the rally. The next thing I know me, Shauna and 2 others are hauling ass over to take care of it.

We get to the top and Shauna goes all She-Ra on that bitch.

Shauna and her trophy.

Heatmeiser knows what to do with it. FIRE!

Before they sat it on fire, someone wiped their ass with it.

Burn baby, burn!

You can watch a video of the event here. Right After Shauna tears it down, you can see me and my Fuck Winnipeg sign for 1/2 a second. Then later in they video you see me in my Johnny Oduya shirt.

After the fun burning shit, the tail gate went back to a more relaxed atmosphere. There was a table where you could sign petitions going to some of the big companies in Atlanta asking for help.

I bummed my way into someone's tent before I died from a heat stroke. As we were chatting, we all heard a familiar drum. It was Thrash!!! (Picture is Josh Scott's)

This was the only time I almost teared up. Thrash was hugging people and you could tell that he recognized a lot of us and was hugging tight. It was like he was saying good bye.

One cool thing about my new camera is it has video. I tried to get some video and it looks like I'm having a seizure. I also thought it would work for me to turn the camera. FAIL! Here is a little bit of Thrash's final "Let's Go Thrashers."

Allie in the coolest shirt EVER!

Walking billboard guy.

I didn't want to bring my big camera to the rally. I'm glad I didn't. It was so hot and miserable, I couldn't imagine dragging that thing around. I used my new birthday present, my Olympus Tough camera. It's waterproof, freeze proof and drop proof. Unfortunately it's not idiot proof and I'm still getting used to such a small camera. Oh and did I mention it was hot and bright?

Fortunately others weren't wussies and did carry their good cameras. Thanks to Josh Scott for these awesome pictures!

I love this sign. It shows what a family affair hockey is here.

Heat getting interviewed by Canadian media.

Kids (large and small) playing street hockey.

Great shot of the city line.

More little victims. Hockey is growing here!

How bad ass is this bike??

Another of my favorite signs.

A great rally shot of everyone with our beloved Thrash.

It's easy to whip up several hundred people to storm the streets and rally for a team when it's 50 degrees, let's see Winnipeg do this in the 93 degree heat with a million% humidity!
The tail gate was a success. We burned shit and someone went to the hospital. That's how we roll!

Though it was good to get together again with my hockey family, it was very sad. I've met so many wonderful people through hockey, going to games is truly like going to a family reunion.


Anonymous May 22, 2011 at 9:40 PM  

THE BEST coverage of the rally I've seen. Thanks. It's been a slow, cruel process of accepting what appears to be the inevitable. Feels like the ATL hockey fans have been ignored and abandoned by every party involved.

Anonymous May 23, 2011 at 5:02 AM  

Thank you, Sunshine for the great coverage of this tailgate/rally! I hold out hope, however slim, that the AS clowns screw up negotiations as completely as they've screwed up everything else, and the deal falls through. But if not, I hope that you find something to continue blogging about w/ as much passion and humor as you have w/ Thrashers hockey (heck, ALL hockey!). I'd read it even if it only involved cutting the lawn, LOL.


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