Above was the chant that Gnash had the whole room at O'Charley's in Franklin yelling out prior to the beginning of the 2nd period of the epic match up between Team USA and Team Canada, not a medal game, but still one of great importance. It was a chance for America to wake up out of their Ice Dancing-induced comas and see hockey for what it is, and that their own countrymen were the best when playing against the best. With the World Juniors peering in from a few months ago, if Team USA gets the gold...this will be the year America can stand side-by-side with Canada in calling themselves a hockey nation. Well...that case would be made better if games like tonight's were actually on NBC and not one of its sister cable stations, but nonetheless - it's a step in the direction all American hockey fans, especially we die-hards in the small markets, are hoping to see.
Rafalski x2, Langenbrunner, Drury and Kesler made the offensive case for USA. Heatley, Staal and Crosby for Canada. Though I love Brodeur, this was not an "on" night for him. The exact opposite could be said for Ryan Miller, who stole the show, rewrote it, and turned it into an epic trilogy full of dazzling special effects - stopping 42 (the answer to the universe) of 45 shots. Insert "Yo momma" joke here at the Team Canada's expense.
[Below: The Viewing Room]
Steph, our roommate Jamie and myself started the day off by checking out The Athletic Club. We read a few tweets in regards to a small group of folks being there to watch the Russia/Czech game and figured that might be the place to be. Great television set-up aside, we were wrong. One lone woman was there when we arrived at the end of the 2nd period. The scent of chlorine from the Embassy Suites pool and the lobby carpet that stretched into the whole bar just made the atmosphere a bit off-putting. We quickly made our way to where we'd settle down for the rest of the evening: O'Charley's, home to many Predators viewing parties. We just so happened to get there and hour and a half before festivities began.
Half of the employees didn't know about the event, or the game for that matter, and the bar had most of its TVs on a NASCAR race (1 muted TV on the Olympics, 1 on women's basketball). Thankfully, the staff was nice enough to change the loudest TV to the hockey game, which resulted in a handful of younger heads turning (servers and their friends on break) to enjoy the game with us. It's a shame that Russia won (so hoping the Czech team to do well), especially after the collapse against Slovakia, but as they say in Nashville when things take a turn for the worse: "Radulov happens".
At 5:07, we noticed a few folks snagging the first booth in the reserved room, so I raced in to get the next best booth in the house. The gates were open, the people began to make their way in. A giant 107.5 the River truck pulled up (cos when I think of hockey, I think of 107.5 the River) and began setting up a PA system, GNASH and two EquipLinq ("Wit a Que!") dancers showed up, and two mouths with 107.5 customized 3rd jerseys began making sounds with themselves.
[Above: GNASH checks to see if something is wrong with this woman.]
By the time the puck dropped at 6:40, most everyone in the Twitter verse had beached themselves for the next few hours to watch what would end up being a glorious game - including AJ from Pull My (Fang) Finger [Right: J.K.& A.J.].
As usual, Preds trivia took place (Steph and A.J. won gift cards! I should've won a grab bag of Weber-signed goodies, but I didn't raise my hand ;D), Channel 2 popped in with a camera (I tried to make a 3-0-3 sign when the lens was in my direction, but who knows if they'll use any of that), great drink specials were had, and amazing hockey took place for millions of viewers. A good night, indeed!
A few other notes:
Your thoughts on the rumors? Damn Hamhuis to the Bruins? Our old pal Vokie to the dreaded Blackhawks? I think it'd be better for both of them professionally, and I'd love to see Vokoun more often...just not in that sweater...and not against us. Maybe as the new spokesperson for Vanderbilt Medical?
Lastly, I was searching all over the web for a Team Germany jersey - IceJerseys.com sold out, the Team Germany site only has some strange sponsor-covered version of the jersey available for a lot more, so I turned to my online heroine, eBay. Found an auction late one night for an "Official 2010 Winter Olympics Team Germany" jersey for a bit cheaper than IceJerseys ($99 + shipping with MakeAnOffer) from the seller "thejerseyhq". I did end up getting the jersey advertised, but something was wrong - the sleeves were different and nothing like what I remembered seeing on IceJerseys. It was an official Nike Team Germany jersey...only from 2008! I emailed them to tell them of their folly of advertising it as 2010 and they replied of the 60+ sold, I was the only one to make such an accusation and that the other ones I had seen were mere replicas and what I held in my hand was "an authentic hockey jersey for 2010"...regardless of the fact the Nike tag said "RepJer" and was dated 2008 and was a Large, not a Size 52. I sent them those tidbits of info, a link to Amazon.com (which I should've gone to first)'s actual Official 2010 jersey for sale, aaaaaand they still wouldn't acknowledge facts. They said it was a "special edition jersey from 2010" and I'll have to pay a restock fee in order to get a refund. Long story short - DO NOT buy anything "thejerseyhq" on eBay and always look at every picture closely before you buy something online...and don't do it late at night...after a few drinks.
My work schedule has shifted again due to drastic employee changes, so I might not get to join everyone next Sunday for the Gold Medal game at Bleachers. Hopefully I can make it out, but only time will tell. At the moment, I doubt it. Perhaps Steph and Jamie can make it instead. Viewing parties like tonight are what being a hockey fan is all about!
[Below: SPC Steph & GNASH]