Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ice Bowl

As usual I'm a bad blogger writing way after everyone posts their Ice Bowl blogs and without much of anything insightful to say. The sentiments I'm about to express have already been stated eloquently in posts on BfloBlog and The Willful Caboose, as well as numerous other Sabres blogs. But hey, it's the most exciting event I've been to in ages--probably ever--so I have to try, right?

My outdoor game saga began when I left our tickets in New York upon flying to Buffalo. Needing my roommate to FedEx the tickets--after confiscating our ballet tickets for safekeeping--wasn't the most auspicious start, but fortunately they arrived smoothly and it was uphill from there.

I'm the daughter of a hyper-organized man who truly took his years in the Boy Scouts to heart, so to avoid haranguing, I laid at enough clothing the night before to go exploring in the Arctic.

And in the morning we went off, first to a tailgate party and then to the stadium itself. They had a nice little area set up outside the stadium where there were these large blow-ups, an ice sculpture, a [product placement] green screen, and a stage where a band was playing.
We got in and to our seats a bit before the anthems. Or in the case of this game, O Canada followed by God Bless America. Which I'm not against per se, although I can deal without the God stuff. But it's singable which makes it nice for the crowd.

And then the game began. Not well, but it began. And it continued through stoppages of play and bad weather. I'm not sure how well it came off on TV--I assume the ice-fixing stoppages were less than captivating--but being there it didn't really matter.

I know there will be many better crowd videos than mine, and I didn't capture a particularly interesting or exciting moment, but the following video will give you an idea of what the crowd looked and sounded like at a sort of average moment of the game (and no, that's definitely not my voice you hear):

At the end of the day, it didn't much matter that the Sabres lost or that the actual hockey was less than spectacular due to the conditions. It was a unforgettable experience in an incredible atmosphere and I feel so, so fortunate to have been at Ralph Wilson with my parents and to have taken part in the event.
Before the game began the woman sitting next to my family said to someone sitting a few seats away, "Where would you want to be other than here? NOWHERE!" In the spectacularly long game recap comments thread over at IPB, Gambler of Desperation Hockey quoted Marv Levy saying, "Where else would you rather be than right here, right now?" And I think that's a feeling that was shared by most of the 71,000+ in attendance yesterday afternoon. We were lucky to be there, watching this wonderful sport outdoors on a snowy winter day, with thousands of people from our community who felt just the same as we did. Yesterday, I was happy to be a Sabres fan and happy to be a hockey fan. But above all that, I was so very proud to have grown up in Buffalo. It was a fantastic way to start the new year.


Kate said...

Meg, it looks great in here! Nice new banner.

I love your crowd video! I think in an effort to preserve my memory of the event, I haven't watched any television footage of the day, so that was the first video I've seen. It filled my heart right back up with the joy or being there!

Kate said... of, being there, I meant.