I'm stealing a post from Jeff about the Winter Classic that we're talking about in the Pittsburgh section of the Mission Log...
Anyway, my buddy Bill (Stormtrooper213) and I drove up from Pittsburgh to Buffalo for the game, and what a freakin' incredible game it was to watch, witness, be there, enjoy... A ton of fun. The snow and things just added to the atmosphere.
The worst part of the weather was getting there and going home. In PA on I-79 we hit some bad roads up near Erie because of the lake-effect... I-90 to Buffalo was clear though, so we got there fine once past Erie. We hung out where we parked a little while, had a beer with some Buffalo guys next to us, and suited up for the game...
We had about a half mile to walk to the stadium, and it was like a minefield. Buffalo fans were either nice and jovial about everything, or they simply walked up and told you the Penguins (or Crosby, or yourself) "******' suck", or something similar. I didn't help matters by having a Terrible Towel on my belt that I freely waved while we walked through all the tailgating Buffalo people...
At the first, "Penguins suck" remark, I just said "2-0 shutout last game baby!" and we kept going. You could tell the real dicks because they told you to go f yourself or something. The Towel usually got a, "Steelers aren't playing today idiot!", to which I'd reply, "The Bills aren't playing the rest of the season!", and a good laugh was had by anyone with Pittsburgh stuff on.
I'd say the crowd was 75% cool though, and 25% idiots... Way more than I ever have seen/heard in Pitt for any sporting event though, even playoffs. The 25% were all VERY typical though. They all seemed to be college-aged dolts trying to act tough, and many were women who clearly felt it was their right to be as vulgar in a Pittsburgh fan's face as they wanted to be with no fear of being slapped in the mouth... They were the funnest ones to reply to though because usually any guy with them would get real pissed off about it.
Like I said, 25%'s not bad at all. Most people were real cool, especially the gang we sat around... We had a bunch of people from Pitt right around us too. On my left and right in front were about 7 or so Pittsburgh people so we made a nice annoying little cluster. And again, my Towel didn't do much but incite anger.
The game itself was fun... The snow really did just add to the atmosphere. The game dragged on forever though at times it seemed. Breaks were very long and drawn out due to conditions and ice repair/maintenance. I would've been happy with the whole thing regardless I think, but my friends and I agreed that the whole thing was capped off as perfect with a 2-1 victory after a full shootout... And the cherry on top was Crosby, who sorta blows at the shootout at times, scores the winner with a nifty set of moves! Friggin' classic!
I wanted to say thanks to Bill (Stormtrooper213) again for A) getting the tickets, which were pretty much impossible to get in Pittsburgh and selling for a ton on Ebay, and B) for driving a large chunk of the ride home. I got us from Buffalo to the PA line on I-90, but cars were off the road everywhere, and I'd been so exhausted from the drive up and the game and everything, and was on a jittery edge the whole time... He did the last leg of driving, and it took us forever to get back home in that crappy weather we had. Thumbs up to PennDOT for completely ignoring large portions of I-79 too... Way to go guys! Working hard at hardly working!
We had a good time though, and I think these chicks behind us were even into us... Not sure on that, but I know they at least dug Bill.
Oh, and below is a post from Jeff... Bill found pictures that featured he and I. Jeff blew up the image. Lower left corner, 2nd or 3rd up from the bottom, and 2nd or 3rd in from the left is me. Bill is on my right then in sunglasses... We made Yahoo Sports and ESPN.com both I guess, AND we were on TV at one point briefly around 7:20 something in the 3rd period. What a day!
I watched the game on TV and I could have sworn that I saw JJ when they showed that sign... I thought I was just seeing things sinceI knew he was there, but now that you confirm it - it was him!
Here are the pics for posterity:
It looked like a fun game... aside from the ****** ice conditions, and the snow on the ice, and all the tv timeouts, etc.
Ice sucked for the players too, no doubt. You could see them falling over their feet constantly from ruts. Folks up high said you could make the ruts out fairly clearly actually. The timeouts blew too. Sucked it you had to pee, or if you did nothing but have anxiety about the ride home.