Or as I like to call it: 40 minutes of bliss. I have my sarcasm to thank for this opportunity, as I never thought ang would take my joke seriously and offer me her extra ticket to the game. Even though I knew I was going to the game a full 24 hours before it started, I still couldn't believe I could (barely) afford to attend a Stanley Cup Playoffs game.
Meeting people on the internet is weird. This isn't to say any of the people I met last night are weird, but standing there in TYC's house with at least half the cast of regular contributors and the gentlement who actually run this blog was surreal to say the least. It was like haning out with people you knew even though you didn't. People you felt like you were friends with even though you just met them. Or maybe it was just something TYC put in the beer, I don't know. As we headed to the Shark Tank my only regret was not having a jersey to wear like the rest of the FTF crew.
You all know the story of the game. Period One, we dominate. Jumbo Joe scores, we're up 1-0, I'm already going deaf and my voice is thrashed, and of course the whole place is rocking. I have a first intermission for the ages: mint-chocolate dippin' dots AND a blank black armor jersey (yup, I caved) with ample time to make it back to section 218. Second period: more dominance, another score (Seto!), lots of chances, and my section wins free chipotle burritos, making the $135 I just dropped on a jersey and the $72 ticket a little more worth it, somehow. I'm on could nine here. I spend the second intermission just wandering around the concourse and yelling "QUACK!" at anyone I see in Ducks apparel. And I'm completely sober.
Then, well, we give up 2 goals in less than 5 minutes and that black armor feels like it's made of just that–steel plated armor. We're scared, we're worried, we're freaking out but we're still screming our heads off to where I can taste blood in my throat and waving my white towel till I can barely hold my arm up. And when that overtime goal trickled in... all 17,496 of us holding our breath to see if it was valid because there's no way we could hear a whistle in that madness, but we saw the official point at the puck in the back of the net and... well, you just had to be there.
I'm broke, it hurts to talk, and I might not get my voice back for another day or two. The sharks might win the Cup this year or it might be over tomorrow night. But whatever happens, nothing can take away the fact that we all support a frickin' AWESOME hockey team in one of the most underrated sports cities in the US.
Win or lose, I'm wearing my jersey and will always be proud to call myself a San Jose Sharks hockey fan. You should too.