Hamilton, ON While driving down York Boulevard to the heart of Steel Town, Canada, Copps Coliseum is still standing on the corner of Bay like a fat, middle aged prostitute desperately hoping for an NHL owner to enter her a la Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. The box-like facility is a painful reminder to a town, that seems more and more derelict with each passing season, that the NHL dream is something only a fool would cling to. How many times can Hamilton get rejected before the bitterness sets in and the citizens turn their back on the sport altogether?
It had been years since I had last seen an AHL game at Copps Coliseum, and due to this absence, I was entirely unprepared for what was to greet me there that night, or should I say what wasn’t to greet me. I remember when the upper bowl of the 18K seat arena used to be open to Bulldogs fans during the Lockout, and in the few seasons after the Lockout, it was still hard to get a good seat day of game. My friend and I were planning to walk up and buy tickets, and I was actually nervous that we wouldn’t get the right seats because she had to be in the front row for business purposes. Sure enough, we were given front row right next to the Bulldogs bench, and as it would turn out, only a thousand people would show up for the game! I had never seen the rink so bare before, and I found the visual extremely depressing. Way to show the NHL that you’re a “hockey town!”
Despite the fact that the fans were nowhere to be found, the game was amusing on multiple levels. For starters I was with the friend that you might remember from my first infamous trip to Pittsburgh. I hadn’t seen her since before Korea, so to the detriment of the few people sitting in our section, they had to bear witness to us reminiscing on hilarious moments, gossiping about who we dislike from high school on account of their Facebook statuses, and conspiring to audition for the Amazing Race. Yes, you can imagine what this must have been like, I’m sure. Also, some new details from that first hazy visit to Pensburgh came up. Apparently, I fell off of the top bunk of Britney Spears’ bunk bed! I definitely don’t remember being on the top bunk, I remember the bottom one, but not the top! I also apparently required assistance in getting to the top bunk! I’m a beauty!
It wasn’t just a night for old high school friends to reunite, either. I had unexpected reunions with multiple people that evening! During the warm up, this one guy was just staring at me in an almost creepy way. I was a little disturbed by it. I figured he was looking because I must have looked really repulsive. I had been on the go since 6 AM that morning, in a tight suit, and the worst pair of Stuart Weitzman heels ever made. By the time I got home I had literally ten minutes to bust out of my pantyhose and into my jeans and winter booties! As you can see by the top photo, I was a mess! Then I actually got a look at the name on the back of the jersey, and realized who it was. My Facebook pics were then consulted, and the game got a whole lot more interesting from then on. I’m not sure if he actually knew who I was, or if he couldn’t place why I looked so familiar. We had met years ago during the All-star Weekend – how fitting! I don’t really need to give you the details of the weekend, but let’s just say on at least one of the teams my nickname was Blue Balls! Hey, it’s not my fault that they are easily aroused! And it’s definitely not my job to make it all better LOL!
Aside from Blue Balls, there was another familiar face on the bench! One of the equipment guys or trainers (I don’t know what he does), used to do the same job for a team I had season tickets with as a teenager. I naturally sat on the glass behind the bench for every single game back then, so obviously I can’t forget a face, and apparently neither could he! It was nice to see this guy moving on up. Please note that I referred to him as Water Boy and/or Stick Boy for the entirety of the game.
After the game, my friend had to leave, as she got heartburn from the Pizza Pizza we ate during the third period. So, our gossip/catch up session was cut short – SAD! All in all it was another fun AHL experience minus the lack of interest from the city of Hamilton. As you know I absolutely HATE All-star Weekend, and the AHL is one of the best ways to combat the nausea induced by the wholesome gimmicks put on by the NHL for a few putrid days each season. Only two days more days to go, kids!! Hooray!
Top Photo: Look away, I’m hideous!