My Winter Classic Story

So, the idea was to watch the Winter Classic.

Four of the bartenders where I’m a regular had tickets, but the manager and others were going to be there, so I had made plans to watch it with them, even bust out my Letang Winter Classic jersey (which I also wore to the Baby Pens/Bears game, so I’m figuring my jersey is cursed).  The game got moved to 8 p.m. and I didn’t think anything of it.

Well, since it was the holiday, the bar closed early.  I didn’t even think about that, figuring it would be open for the game and since it was a Saturday.

So a buddy and I pull into the parking lot to see the building dark and empty.  We swear and try to figure out where else to go.  We decide on Dingbats, which just opened a new location at Monroeville Mall, where Houlighan’s used to be.

We head there and to the bar, and there are maybe ten people in the whole place, if that.  Having never been inside, I didn’t know what to expect.  Aside from no customers, the place is barren.  Maybe it’s just a shock from Houlighan’s, but there is nothing on the walls, everything is stark.  There are some very nice leather chairs and couches, had we not been at the bar, I probably would have headed there.  And let me note, I had the mushrooms from the appetizer menu, and they are absolutely amazing.

Since they were so slow, the manager closed after the first period.  So once again, we had to figure out where to go.

Primanti’s!  It was packed, filled with Pens fans (and some very oblivious customers as well) and a great atmosphere.  As the end of the second period approached, most of the televisions were switched to the UFC fight, which they had purchased (I’ve been there before when they buy the fights, must be their thing).  But thankfully, once the intermission was complete, the sound switched back over the the last of the Winter Classic, else we would have gone for the hat trick and found a third place to go.

A few comments about the game:

  • Pensblog has, as always, an awesome write up, so make sure to check it out
  • Ummm, NBC?  Why did you go to the blimp cam during play?  Was someone asleep at the switcher?  Aerial shots are awesome while things get set up, going to commercial, etc.  Not during play.
  • The cameras were pretty crappy, but then again, Heinz Field is not set up for hockey.  That being said, from the second period on, it was better.
  • Disco Dan’s hat is awesome.
  • Yeah, the loss sucks, we’ll see how everything gets edited together for the last episode on Penguins Capitals 24/7.  I might pick up the series if they offer it as a DVD set.
  • The weather kind of sucked, but as Pensblog pointed out of course, it sucked for everyone, not just one team.  And I realize that meterology is not an exact science.  However, I’m pretty good at reading a radar map.  Not for hours and hours in the future, but for at least the next four hours, I can read a radar map and tell you what’s going to happen, usually within about five minutes (it’s kind of scary).  So when you’re standing outside and it’s raining, don’t tell us that it’s going to rain.  Tell us that it’s raining.
  • Most importantly, I hope this brought some more fans to the game.  I find football boring, so I don’t watch the Steelers (but will route for them), and baseball is boring as it is (unless you’re at a game with friends, then it’s fun).  Hockey is what I really like to watch, so if this gets more people energized about the sport, then good on the NHL.

Update: Added my comments about the whether, which I forgot to add earlier.

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