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My Trip From Nj To Ottawa Gm 5


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Ok so my buddy and I decided at about 5:45pm on Sunday we were going to be part of history. We were going to GAME 5 in Ottawa. We were pumped. We would be leaving at 7am Monday morning from my house in Denville, NJ. We would buy tickets once we got to Ottawa, checked on Ebay.ca and felt confident we would be able to get them. So Sunday night I run to Shop Rite buy some of the necessary tailgating items (no need for beer we will be in Molson XXX country) Get all the stuff together, stuff a bag of completely unnecessary clothes (who the heck was I trying to fool?)

AT 6:50 AM my friend arrives, I kiss the wife goodbye and robbed her pocketbook for a couple extra bucks. I load the grill and stuff in buddies Mazda MPV. We are off! Ooops first stop, roll down the back window and put on the Devils Flag. GO DEVILS!

The ride was very scenic :puke: , not gonna lie it was boring as hell. We kept stoking ourselves up, "Wow we are actually doing this!!" Well I got my first call from a damn Flyers Fan friend of mine. " Where are you?" he asked. I told him and he was amazed we actually did it. That made us feel really good. By around 1pm that day I was rather tired of these kinds of calls. I must say once we were within an hour of Ottawa the number of Sens Flags on cars was absolutely amazing!! EVERYWHERE!!

It's 1:30pm and WE SEE THE COREL CENTER!!!! (Oh btw it's a Canadian National Holiday most had off) We start pulling closer to the arena...Umm where are those damn Sens fans???? Well we pull into the closest lot to the building that we could park in. We get a front row spot. We turn on Senators 1200am radio Ooh the pregame show starts at 3pm. oops we need tickets, an older gentlemen begged us to buy his tickets saying everything but just shy of saying "For 60 cents a day you can save a childs life by buying my tickets." He wasn't very flexible on price so we decide ahh lets go to the window see what luck brings us. It brought us Section 219 Row D, we look at each other 4th row NICE!! We were thinking it would be like fourth row upstairs in Continental. We found out later these were really nice seats to get on game day! REALLY nice seats.

So we head back to the car people are starting to come little by little, well about as fast as NJ motor Vehicle lines move. We get back to the van and get ready to start grilling my buddy pulls out a London Broil marinated by his wife, ooh that was good with her homemade coleslaw, Thanks Mary! I don't think Senator fans have any clue on the entire tailgating concept, the entire day we were the only ones I saw with a grill. Meanwhile we are here with the entire tailgating party cooler, meats and a Good ole stars and stripes. Of course I had to set up the American Flag!

In the parking lot we were pleasantly surprised by the fans very friendly yet inquisitive. " Wow you are really from NJ?......AYE" We had to chuckle with the "AYE" in every sentence. My buddy turns and points FINALLY another Devils fan!! WOOHHOOO!

Senators pregame radio program starts up and they say if you want to call in and share your opinion call 750-1200 so I call and get through first try. "Sens Radio 1200 what would you like to share...,and your name?" Well I asked, " Do you think Lalime can really carry this team? I just don't think he has enough experience with loosing multiple games like this, let alone carry the team on his shoulders the way they are playing." They thanked me, I thanked them and was disconnected. They then comment on my call completely agreeing with me....I AM A DEVILS FAN! How are they agreeing with me and not try to make any argument? Whatever, it still was cool that they agreed with me. We continue listening and we hear the greatest thing... One of the announcers say" I wondered how many thousands of Sens fans broke their ankles today JUMPING OFF THE BAND WAGON!! Wow! Those would have been fightin' words in NJ! Then there were countless calls of who should be fired in the organization....(It's only game 5")

Getting close to game time we decide to go see the pregame party that we found out starts 3 hours prior to game time every game. I must say it blew the thing at Continental away....Actually a lot of stuff did. We knew we were going to be targets. I decided to wear my "Christmas jersey" (Old Devils Red and Green jersey) and I just tied my Stevens jersey around my waist, my buddy had his #15 Johnny MacLean jersey on that we finally got signed after all these years on Saturdays game 4. I get a beer and we sit down and take some pictures of the surroundings and the arena. We were interrupted sorta by a TV camera and reporter. Interviewed one at a time and then the fade out on the jerseys. We decided to go inside shortly after.

We started walking around the arena in amazement, great looking arena. We got the traditional home team welcome. GO HOME JERSEY, BOOOO, LOOSERS! You get the point, I got the point but I WAS PROUD of the chants cause I MADE THE TRIP! It was a weird high, it brings a smile to face just thinking about it. A lot of Sens fans would stop and ask "Are you really from the states? I held my head up high and said Yep, took us about six and half hours to get here. Most would have to congratulate us by shaking our hands (They have SARS up there right...LOL J/K) It was cool. We find our section 219 and the usher starts joking with us. He was very friendly and escorted us to our excellent seats, and leaves us by saying have a good loss AYE to us. Right away an older couple in front of us sparks a friendly conversation up, we exchange THEIR life stories while waiting the 30 mins before the game. With the occasional Sens fan interrupting by the Boo chants (something I later found out that they really, really, really like).

Game time!! The visitors

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Great read. I know exactly who you are. I saw you and your friend in the Maclean jersey numerous times last night. I have never seen the fans that angry over everything. Gmae 1 the crowd was much louder and crazy. How about the crowds reaction when Spezza got nailed and the bull sh!t chants started and fans threw stuff on the ice. Tailgating in Ottawa is not a commen thing. There are a ton of restaurants and places to get barbecue food though.

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I was there too, but I have no idea who you are. It was my 3rd game. Can't say I wish I will get to catch another one before next season though.

The atmosphere during the sens games is absolutely great. It's by far one of my favorite arenas and city. People there are just great!

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Great read DevilsFans. It was a pleasure to meet you out in the smoking area, LOL. You did look fairly isolated when I first saw you.

I still laugh about the booing thing. If I can, I want to elaborate a bit on it from our side. We like to think we know our hockey here in Ottawa. I think the booing was directed mostly at the officials in general. They have all been crap throughout the entire post season. What we don't like is that the true infractions are never called, but the BS ones always are. Naturally we'll boo any calls that go against us, and of course we'll boo any team that comes into our barn and scores, or does something which we felt should have been called. As far as booing our team, it's our way of letting them know they are not performing up to their capabilities, and they know it full well. They also respond to it. Afterall, we pay their salaries don't we? It has always been that way here. We let them know when we appreciate their efforts, and we let them know when we don't.

Maybe if our coach did the same there wouldn't be any talk about his status. The thinking around here is that Muckler made Martin put Spezza into the line up. We'll if thats the case you can imagine how Martin felt with Spezza getting 1 assist and 1 goal with 11 min of Ice time :)

Martins whole way of thinking is that Spezz needed more time in the AHL to work on his defensive game. Spezza did that and then played approx. 30- games for us near the end of Regular season and was very productive. However Martin never put Spezz into a playoff game until now. So you have to wonder why, It's like Martin doesn't want to hurt anyones feelings by making them a healthy scratch.

The Guy is a great coach, but he has the emotions of a raison. Oh well.

BTW it's EH? (pronounced "A") , not AYE!! Christ we would all sound like Newfies or Popeyes :lol:

Tailgating is new to us, Normally there is a law that you cannot drink in parking lots. Somehow they let it go at the Corel Center. We are only 11 years old, so we are still learning. ;)

There are a lot of Bandwagon jumpers around here. But rest assure, I am just one of the long time Sens (Booo Bird) Fan EH! ;) But that is becuase of 7 years of chokes and the like. The last 3 years against the Leafs was very hard for us Ottawa folks to stomach. Much like a Devils loss to the Rangers or Flyers in the post season. Some fans are just nervous and let their emotions flip flop based on every shot.

Once again DevilsFans, it was great to meet you, I'm happy you enjoyed the rink and experience. Your right, I would love to do something like that.

I'm glad you had a safe trip and I'm sorry the Sens won last night :clap:

Game 6 should be a real tough game for both teams.

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Devils Fans!


Dagwood was a true pleasure to chat with. It was my pleasure to meet a true fan of the sport and not just his team.

Thank you for the Hospitality!

DevilsRule LoL You mean our camo didn't work! I can't believe I forgot to write about that Spezza hit! That was the biggest event of the game! I can't believe I forgot!!Doh!

Nextime EH! :lol:

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I am glad you enjoyed yourself. We always enjoy seeing visitors from out of town at our arena. The love of the game is paramount, and the fact that you travelled that far to see your team shows great support.

Now that you have done it once, you will find yourself saving for the next trip. And then the next one. I have been to almost every arena in the NHL and make a point of getting to at least a couple of out of town games every year. Those mini vacations are highlight reels in my life for sure.

So come back any time friend. Your type of fan is appreciated no matter where you come from or who you are cheering for eh?


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I actually ran into the fans from Ottawa at the game tonight. They were inspired by us! Pretty cool even though the damn Sens won.

The best thing is I had emailed that story to a number of sporting/hockey magazines and papers.

I get home from the game and get a reply from The Sporting News Hockey Editor telling me it was a great story and he is gonna pass it along to the Senior Editor!! Gee that would be pretty cool! :clap:

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Great post! You're dead on about the Canadian fan in general:

I'm a Flyers fan, and have a similar story about going to a Sens/Flyers game from last year. It was only a regular season game, but just like your experience me, my wife and another couple from Virginia who we know and were on vacation with were able to get seats 10 rows from the ice the day of the game (that would be UNHEARD of at a Flyers game).

Well before and after the game (which the Flyers and Sens tied 3-3) the fans around us were more interested in talking about the States, and hockey than busting on us or throwing crap at us. I'm a shamed whenever I see fans in our home building acting like juveniles because someone else is wearing the other team's jersey. I mean the friendly booing and razing is funny, but when it becomes verbally and physically insulting is where the line should be drawn by both parties, not just the home town fans.

Well we talked to all the people after our game and ended up going to Brad Marsh's bar (located in the Korel Centre) after the game with a bunch of Sens fans and partied for a few more hours enjoying the common fact that we all LOVED hockey and not just a particular team.

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