Hockey New Year!

Did you all enjoy the Winter Classic yesterday? Watch from the couch with one eye open and a hangover breakfast? I expect you did , even if you may have been alone in your living rooms.  The event posted the lowest ratings of any Winter Classic – as shame, since it was one of the best games. You can read some possible reasons here (I agree with #1), but let me say:

It was great from my seat.



I had the squeal-inducing, off-the-wall-bouncing fortune to get a ticket through my work and attend the game with a colleague. You all know the ending – Caps won 3-2 on a goal from Troy Brouwer with 12 seconds left. Let me tell you how it looked from my seat.

I was overdressed, and carrying a bag of hand-warmers. I might wear this outfit when I race the Iditarod.


Which way to the arctic?

Our seats were incredible: club level, front row. This will never happen to me again. But don’t be too jealous – the club level ran out of food in the second intermission. I just wanted to give Nats Park my money in exchange for calories and they did nothing. Thank God I didn’t have a hangover.


My seats were better than Kathryn Tappen’s.

Billy Idol sounded great. He looked like he’s been frozen since ’88, outfit and all. Not really sure why he was the opening act, but of all the non-A-list randos the NHL could have secured, this was a very solid choice.


Not my photo. Nor did he sing “Mony Mony.”

The National Anthem was spectacular. I believe I saw Caleb and Bob, the Caps regular singers, front and center in the Armed Forces band, yes? They didn’t have a great angle on the Jumbotron and we were busy marveling at that flag – and the fighter jets.



The sun glare was real, and we could file a class action suit for premature eye wrinkles against whoever put this game at 1 PM. When the teams switched sides at 10 mins of the first period, Holtby went from the shade… right back into the shade on the other side. Thanks, Billy Idol, for taking just enough time.

42,000+ is a lot of people. A lot of red was rocked, for both teams. Everyone got a free seat cushion, because GEICO is the official sponsor of my butt.


We did not do the wave.

Among those 42,000+ people, only one made this:


Nightmare on Every Street

My colleague pointed to a man on the field, with a microphone, and asked who he was because she’d seen him “holding court” in the press box. It was Roenick, of course. How to explain JR to someone?

The Caps opened a lead. They took some dumb penalties. Patrick Sharp scored in the blink of a eye. Matt Niskanen had a rough third period. But we Unleashed the Fury and Troy Brouwer saved the day. I was so excited I took an accidental celebration selfie that was supposed to be a picture of the game.


Candid Camera

Afterward, everyone launched their unused fireworks from the night before.



I hadn’t eaten in hours and wished they would launch hot dogs into the air instead.  But fireworks are cool, especially when they are for winning!



It was a stellar day. That said, is it something I’d do again? For cheap/free, yes. The spectacle mirrors how I feel about hockey (big, loud, fireworks), but in the end even a great game is still just a regular season game. For fun, the Winter Classic is it. For heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, feel-it-in-your-guy hockey, save your money for a playoff game.  They’d never run out of food.

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Leave a Reply

  1. Deidra Reply

    Great Post! Everything about it was great especially the photo captions. I always love reading about the games you actually attend/road trip posts because they are so thorough.

    LMAO @ I hadn’t eaten in hours and wished they would launch hot dogs into the air instead.

  2. I can’t believe they ran out of food. Lame! I’ve been to 5 outdoor games (1 WC, 2 Stadium Series & 2 AHL) and that’s never happened. Even at the 2 AHL games in Rochester — where it was so cold that they only had port-o-potties because the pipes were too frozen to turn on the water at the park — there was plenty of food and drink.

  3. Kate Reply

    Pants, that’s a great hat.

    As for low ratings, I definitely blame college football. I spent the game flipping back and forth between the Winter Classic and the Wisconsin-Auburn game, which annoyed the bejesus out of my hungover friends.

  4. Angie Reply

    I feel your pain with the food! There was nothing at the game in Ann Arbor last year, oh yeah except for beer which froze right on the spot it was so cold! Glad you had a good time! very entertaining game!

  5. Lia Reply

    Hello and happy new year! I’ve never commented before, but I’m a big fan of the site!

    Here’s a really sweet and cute video (there are a few related ones too) that you might enjoy 🙂
    (spoiler: includes a bottom-heavy Sidney Crosby)