Well, looky-here! Another Sens home game, this time against my other hometown team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Not like I live in Tampa Bay or anything, but both my mom and my brother spend their winters about a half-hour north of there so I consider the Bolts my away-from-home-hometown team in a purely vicarious way. I used to like the team for an actual sporty reason, but by the time of this particular game my favourite player in all of the National Hockey League (Martin St. Louis) had been gone from the Lightning for a season or two so I had no real reason to like the team much anymore aside from these tenuous familial associations.
Which is a good thing I suppose, as I would always root for the Sens as long as I was sitting in their arena (which is more than I can say about thousands upon thousands of Ottawa-based Leafs and Habs fans, each of which get my much-deserved ire when they stroll into the Corel Scotiabank Tire Palladium sporting their insulting away-team colours). So with my signed Wade Redden jersey pulled over (and completely hiding) my Tampa Bay Lightning t-shirt (which I got for free) I scurried through the frozen parking lot into the peachy arena a solid hour before puck drop and grabbed my free bobblehead (Marc Methot, which I would later sell on kijiji along with three other equally-free Sens bobbles for the low, low price of $20 for the set) before settling into my 300-level cheap seat and awaiting the game.
Which turned out to be a tad one-sided, as my beloved Sens trounced my secretly coveted Bolts 5-1. But of course I stayed until the very end, unlike many of the folks down there in the 100-level, many of whom joined the usual final-five-minute exodus out of their pricey seats and into their remote-started Beemers in an effort to avoid Kanata’s standard game-ending traffic jam, like they do at every Senators home game.
But I shall never join their ranks. Just like a movie ain’t over until the final credit has rolled, a hockey game ain’t over until the final buzzer rings. Yes, I always stay for the movie credits. I can’t believe you weirdos don’t. Those aren’t just names up there on the big screen you know. Those people have mothers, and they deserve to have their names read. And those three stars that come out onto the ice after every hockey game? Well, how would their moms feel if there was nobody left in the building to cheer them?
These are the thoughts I had as I obediently took my place in the post-game parking fiasco outside the arena.