Brooks & Dunn weren't at the game, and Hank Jr. was nowhere to be found, but I did see Jason Arnott, Martin Erat and Radek Bonk put the puck past The Dominator in Nashville's thrilling 3-2 victory over the Red Wings at the Sommet Center. This was a game that was so exciting, I didn't want to see it end.
The Predators served me a big helping of Southern hospitality, as the bubbly and vivacious Gerry was my hostess for the evening. She sat me in the Predators luxury suite for the opening period and I got to eat as many preztels as I wanted! Detroit had six power plays in the period, including two 5-on-3 chances, but amazingly the Preds hung in there against Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Lidstrom et al, and it was 1-1 after one!
Perhaps I was causing too much trouble in the suite, because for the second period, I went up to Section 303, where the loudest fans sit. I promise you this, you will never hear more original chants than those in Section 303. Because I was new, they even gave me a printed cheat sheet so I could join in with the abuse. Here's a couple of my favorite chants:
To the ref, in unison, "Zebra, zebra, short and stout, find your head and pull it out!"
After a big hit, one guy yells, "Somebody get a building permit", and the rest of the section yells, "Cause he just got nailed!" You get the picture. Section 303 even has their own website and I had lots of laughs up there.
The Preds hooked me up with a seat on the glass for the final period, and all the action was down my end, as the Wings desperately tried to beat Chris Mason (another #30) in the Nashville net. No luck, and the Nashville fans were delirious at the sound of the final whistle!
There were more empty seats than I had expected for a Detroit game, and I was told that the team had raised prices for this and a few other big games, which kept some fans home. Heard a great nickname for the transplanted fans that wear Nashville jerseys to the games but wear red and white when Detroit comes to town - Pred Wings fans!
The building is pronounced the So-May Center, with a silent T in Sommet, as in French, but I never did find out who or what Sommet is! Something to do with financial services would be my guess. The arena was nothing special to look at, but they did have a live rock band, the Naked Beggars, playing in the seats behind the goal, that was a first! And props to the VeeJay for playing a timely clip from an old Kung Fu movie, where the warlord says to the prisoner they're torturing, "Take him to Detroit", and the prisoner screams, "No, not Detroit, aaarrggh!"
Forgot to add this to my Buffalo blog, but here's the video of my fun intermission interview Buffalo.
I made it to Carolina and am heading over to the RBC Center for my penultimate game tonight, where the visiting Lightning need a big win. After 29 days of travel I still feel remarkably fresh. I guess if you're doing what you love, you can just keep going and going and going!