March 29th

Hockey Night in Buffalo

Buffalo is a sports town.  No matter how many times our teams may try and fail, Buffalonians will always be there to rally on their team.  It's in our nature.  Joe has been watching hockey with me since he was first taken home.  Many a night we would sit in front of the TV with me feeding him from a bottle and watching a game.

Joe's first ever hockey game he attended was the Austin Ice Bats.  Of course, at the time he was still inside the womb, so I'm not sure it counted.  Since a puck landed on Julie during that game, I consider it the first puck he ever caught at a sport event.

Monday night my buddy Mike gave me a couple of tickets for the game.  I couldn't think of anyone I wanted to take to the game more than my Dad.  We had seen many games together over the course of the season.  We watched as this team went from terrible, to pretty good, back to terrible again and then finally to within 5 points of a playoff spot.  Nobody said it would be easy to be a Buffalo fan.

We took little Joe with us.  It was his second game of the season, and his first evening game.  I took a cheap camera with me to grab some pictures.

The crowd was pretty good for a Monday night game against a team that most people in the free world really had no interest in.  I mean, it's Columbus.  Is Columbus even a real city?  Do they really need a hockey team?  If they do need one, couldn't they at least find a team that isn't so painfully bad?

Sports is supposed to be about watching a good nail biting competition.  Every once and a while, however, it's great to watch a lopsided victory from your hometown team.  Columbus possibly played the worst defense I had ever seen in all my years of watching hockey....and I'm including the years when I used to play defense.

At one point in the game Columbus was on the powerplay with a man advantage.  Even a man down, Columbus didn't have a chance.  The sabers broke the play out of their zone and wound up with a three on one play that resulted in a  goal.  Three on one when you have a man in the box?  For you non-hockey fans, that just shouldn't happen.

The quality of play didn't matter.  What did matter was a grandfather, father and son all out enjoying a hockey game.

Little Joe had a great time.  He loved the crowd, loved the chanting and shouted "let's go buffalo!" at the top of his lungs.

At the end of the first Joe decided he needed a snack.  He knew his Dad would just tell him to wait.  Time to hit up Grandpa.  That's what Grandfathers are best at.  Spoiling little guys.  Big tub of popcorn and soda in hand, he sat down for the rest of the game.

Popcorn in hand, he sat down and began to eat it piece by piece, picking up each kernel delicately in his hand.  The boy is smart.  He soon came to the realization that this was an ineffective delivery mechanism as he stuck his face into the tub and began to chow down like a pig in a trough.

"That's how your Nanna eats popcorn" said Grandfather.

It was a great night.  Joe came home excited and told Julie all about his adventures.  "I saw a red zamboni.  I want it!  And Tiger!  Grrrowl!  Ate popcorn like nanna!"

When my mother found that Joe thinks she eats popcorn like a horse, she confronted my Father.

"So it was YOU who put the idea in The Lad's head about Nana!!!  You're dead!!!""

My father replied "The Little Skunk!  I never thought he would rat me out!!!"

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