Dueling Mayors: Flyers Game 4April 22, 2011
Writing my last post reminded me just how much I miss writing in general and this blog in particular, so I am back again already! I promise this time to focus (mostly) on the Sabres, and MUCH less on me. (HA! Nobody here fell for that one, did they?)
On Wednesday I brought my cousin Michael to the Sabres/Flyers Game 4. Michael is like a big brother to me, but that’s only part of the reason that I invited him. To refresh your memory, I share my four season tickets with my parents, BFF Jane, and local Hockey Husband Andy. Although we are fair and equitable in our regular season ticket draft (I maintain that it was completely fair to play the divorce card this year and pick my games first before everyone else) for the playoffs the rules are slightly different: Jessica gets two tickets to every game, and everyone else rotates in and out around me. Sort of like a microcosm for the way the real world works!
I have exacting standards for selecting my playoff guest. First, I try and invite one of the season ticket crew (just to keep my awesomeness fresh in their mind for September when I plan to commandeer the draft once again). Second, this person must be a VERY big Sabres fan OF COURSE. But most, most importantly, this
designated driver person should be willing to go out after the game to celebrate/commiserate as necessary. Michael used to be a part of our season ticket group, which is why he was in the running, but it was his long-time Sabres fandom and his “fun factor” that really made him a contender.
Michael and I usually engage in sibling-like sparring when we get together. After he complained about my chosen parking spot the whole walk to the Arena, when I took my coat off inside he wondered aloud why “girls treat Sabres games like they are some kind of fashion show.” (TOTALLY knew that he couldn’t tell me how cute I looked in my new Tony Walker Sabres shirt without things getting awkward real fast.) My cousin also knows EVERYONE, so our first trip to the 300-level to get Flying Bison took extra long because of all his hand-shaking, baby-kissing and “How YOU doin?’”s on our route. Not to be outdone, I saw FOUR people I knew along the way–if you count the Flying Bison guy, who knows me well enough to no longer ID me (gratuitous mention of the fact that I get IDed).
The game itself was ridiculously intense and pure fun: A tick-tack-toe goal from Pominville, multiple crossbars and goalposts, after the whistle scrums, opposing goalie chants, a 5 minute fruitless power play (OK, that stretch less fun), whining Flyers and lots of good, old-fashioned playoff T-E-N-S-I-O-N. I learned a tough lesson Monday night when I drank only water during Game 3: Yes, declaring yourself “all business” and not consuming alcohol during a playoff game means your focus will be entirely on hockey, but if that hockey is ultimately NO GOOD and your team loses, you are left with only an empty–albeit hydrated– feeling inside. I wasn’t about to make THAT mistake twice in one week, and thankfully I had the foresight to keep myself properly drink-ated (Thanks, Michael! I chose wisely in him.). It was also a good thing that I brought a relative Wednesday night because with the anxiety that permeates a one-goal game I was doing a lot of nervous grabbing of the people around me. That’s just something I would prefer to keep in the family.
In spite of–or perhaps because of–the stress, the 1-0 victory was a great game to see live. I thoroughly enjoyed it…except for my cousin’s attempt to usurp me as mayor of my section. Rich, my foxy Mr. Big look-alike usher has consistently affirmed MY status as mayor of Aisle 13, so Michael’s popularity was straight-up starting to irk me. As we headed to the Harbor Club to meet up with some friends I challenged him to a contest: See which of us knew more people up there, with anyone that we knew in common being a push. To count someone as “ours” we had to know the person’s name and they had to know ours. (This explains my post-game Tweet: “Everyone I know personally, please proceed to the Harbor Club immediately.”) I would like to point out that I was too busy analyzing the game to circulate the Harbor Club properly (and by “analyzing the game” I pretty much mean saying every 5 seconds to anyone within earshot, “It will take me days to recover from this game.”) and give myself a fair chance. But in truth Michael won this one, and so like any good little Buffalo sister, I treated my DD to MT drive-thru on the way home.