Friday, November 23, 2007

Nashville - No Stars, But Enough Goals

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!


lovinfleury said...

glad you had such a good time in nashville.
i hope to be a visitor there very soon. and a dear friend of mine has agreed to let me sit in cellblock 303!!

i am envious of your road trip for sure!

have a great time and a safe journey.

go pens!
go preds!
go habs!

pittsburgh pa

Paul Nicholson said...


Glad you had a good time, it was great to get to meet you briefly. I was disappointed it wasn't a sellout too, but i think that had more to do with Thanksgiving than the raised prices, though the combination probably made things worse.

I had my camera running last night as usual. Here's the Flickr set with the pictures i took (far less than usual), but did include a few of you when i spotted ya.

By the way, The Sommet Group is a consulting firm based in Nashville.

Anonymous said...

I love hockey but hate the NHL. I hate that it is in Nashville, Tampa, Florida, Atlanta etc.. I hate that little prick Bettman.

You wanna know why they pay 13 bucks for a beer in Toronto? It is because of the dicks like you that Gary Bettman caters too.

Only the rich see games in Toronto while millions of real hockey fans only see games on TV. All so that a few dickhead fans in the south can have a team.

John said...

It's funny that Anonymous has so much to say but lacks the nuts to put his real name to his words. I envy you dude! Hope you had a great time at the RBC I think that was our loudest crowd since game 7 in the 3rd.

Brian said...

The guy hates the NHL because all the best players in the League play in it and not the "League" he follows that is in his hometown. He hates the fact that people from Nashville can love and support the sport just like the people of his hometown (whether it be in Canada or northern US) can.

Its sad to see immature teenagers be allowed to post comments on blogs. Anonymous, your parents should really check into the webpages you view.

Section 303 said...

We enjoyed having you in Smashville, Steve...especially to see a victory over the hated Dead Things.

You'll always be welcome back in Cellblock 303 anytime! Despite being so rowdy, we really do enjoy entertaining out of town folks.

Be sure to say "howdy" to my buddy Paul Porter at the Forum in Tampa.

Go Preds!

mjhasbrook said...

Steve, I am glad to hear that you had a good time in Nashville, & hope to see you at a few Lightning games.

To Mr. Anonymous, I am sorry that you were cut from men's C League hockey team, but there is no reason to bash hockey in the South. Hockey in the US is dying, so wouldn't you want more fans to watch the game? I am from Nashville & have been a hockey fan my entire life, even before the Predators were a team, I watched the Nashville Knights. Remind me where again was the Stanley Cup the last 2 out of 3 seasons. Sorry you had to pay $13 a beer, but get a job. I know live in Orlando, & look forward to taking my daughter to Tampa Bay Lightning games!