We were sitting around the kitchen table last spring, eating fresh home made pizza, when I suggested we get tickets to that outdoor game planned for Yankees Stadium between New York and New Jersey in 2014. The biggest issue was distance. A few years ago, Phil moved out to Los Angeles, 3,000 miles away, and he'd have to make a special trip back home just for a single hockey game.
There supposedly was a game at Dodgers Stadium, too, but hockey outdoors in California wasn't as appealing as a blistering cold day in January up in the Bronx. Sitting in the cold added to the mystique. The temperature factor became a right of passage of sorts. We loosely discussed going to both games, with me flying out to LA, then both of us catching a red-eye back to Newark for the noon-time start in New York. Then we forgot about it all. Tickets weren't supposed to go on sale for another six months.
When I bought my eight tickets for the Devils-Rangers back in December -- the max number Ticketmaster would give me in one shot -- I called Phil up right away and offered him a set. After a check of the schedule, he decided to fly out here, just for the game. It was looking like at least half of our plan would pan out.
After the holidays, Phil dropped a bombshell. He picked up tickets to the Ducks-Kings game on January 25th. He booked that 11:30pm LAX red-eye flight and was set to arrive at 7:30am at EWR, just in time for the Devils-Rangers game. Instead of going with him, I'd have to live vicariously through his once in a lifetime experience. Recently, Phil took a job with FOX Sports. He was able to turn this awesome opportunity in to a work assignment. With press passes in hand, and a mission to get the fan's perspective of the NHL's first ever Stadium Series, he experienced both games like the die-hard fan that he is. He turned that experience -- one that undoubtedly we are all jealous of -- in to a really awesome article that he just put up today.
I understand there are (multiple) posts on the Stadium Series games. This article is a special one, though. It's about an amazing journey and a single person's absolute love for the sport. He's very fortunate that he is in a position to share his perspective with us on FOX Sports, and I'm proud that I was able to be a part of it.