Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The winter classic

For now, let's talk Winter Classic.

It began, as all events at a football stadium do, with tailgating.

Then, we went into the stadium to watch the game with 73,000 other fans.

First came the national anthems. Or, the Canadian national anthem followed by God Bless America. Now, I'm not a citizen of this country yet. But, there is a national anthem, not national anthems. God Bless America is a nice song, but it's not an anthem. We were at the end with the Canadian Flag. Here's the American one.

Then the Sabres came out to flames. As did the mighty penguins in their equally mighty baby blue. Those were the uniforms they originally enter the league in. Sports teams tend to use names that either have meaning to the city (New Orleans Jazz) and/or invoke attack (Sabres, Predators, Sharks). Pittsburgh picked penguins and baby blue. No wonder Mario Lemiuex didn't want to go there.

It snowed. Interestingly, three different kinds of snows fell. In the first period, the snow was sorta blowy, but with little flakes. It was warmish out, so it melted immediately on us. On ice though, it sat. Meaning, even though the Penguins scored in 20 seconds, it was tough sledding out there.

They decided to zamboni the ice every 10 minutes, so each period was this drawn out affair. Still, it looked like hockey, it felt like hockey, and it was outside. It was cool.

The pile of snow in front of the Zamboni is what they were getting off the ice. Remember, this is just one of them. They use two Zamboni's in the NHL. And this was period #2.

If you click on this picture, you can see a bigger version. And in the version, you will see how much snow was falling. It was wild.

Overall, who cares if they lost? In this post I linked to a story from the New York Times, the Toronto Star and the Guardian Unlimited UK. This was a truly international event, and well worth some cold toes.

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