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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Carolina Hurricanes: Great Crowd, Great Game

You know, I can almost always find something to complain about at any stadium-field-pitch-rink, but I have to say it's a little hard to do with the Carolina Hurricanes. Great crowd. Great game. Lots of fun. Lots of seating on the bottom area with adequate size seats. The only thing that I can gripe about is the fact that in order to get so many seats in the lower area it has really old fashioned steep stadium seating. More modern setups would have that broken up entry to the seats some rather than requiring people to rappel down a couple hundred feet to get to their seats closer to the glass. Other than that, I'm coming up short on my complaining and  it's annoying.

Click on pictures to make them bigger:
The Mascot is a dog?
And so it begins . . .

If you screen the goalie too much he might thump you on the back of the head.
I guess if you are a cheerleader for hockey you have to be kept in a glass cage.

Final Hurricanes 3 - Avalanche 1
The game started with the refs showing a distinct disinterest in calling many penalties and the first period was hard fought. Finally, the Colorado Avalanche scored a goal, but within seconds the Hurricanes tied it again. The second period was equally hard fought, but the refs showed more interest in keeping the skaters from killing each other and there was a fair amount of penalty time all around. The Hurricanes even had to kill a 4 minute penalty at one point. It turns out that the refs frown upon you hitting another player in the face with your stick. Who knew? There were no goals in the second, but the Hurricanes were getting the upper hand thru much of the period. Then, the third began and the Canes scored at about the 35 second mark. The Avalanche seemed to gear up a bit after that and the play evened out for a bit, but then the Hurricanes scored again and had some breathing room. They went on to win 3-1 and passed the Columbus Blue Jackets to move into a wildcard slot.

Comments: I went down to my seat once and then climbed back up to get some supper. In so doing, I realized two things. First, if I stood at the top I'd have just as good, or better view than at my seat in row F. Second, I was going to need an anchor rope and pitons if I had to make that climb again. If I'd actually spent a month's salary to be on the glass I'd probably have gone back down. However, I left that climb to the young and skinny and stood at the top to watch the game. It was my choice so I can't complain too much. However, I do have a suggestion for the Hurricanes' organization. Go to a minor league baseball park and look at the stand up bars they are putting behind the last row of seats where people can eat, drink, or just hang out while watching the game. Those would be a great addition to your areas at the top of the seating cliff.

The crowd was larger than I expected, having heard derogatory comments about attendance in Carolina and jeez were they enthusiastic. They had certain unique things like starting periods with a hurricane warning (woulda been cool if they used it after goals too) and yelling out when the word "red" was sung during the star spangled banner, although that was messed up a little because the girl singing it stepped on them. She thought she was in an operetta and as the song went on the last word at every comma and end of every line got loonger and looooooonger. People who sing it that way are funny and I'm never quite sure they realize that all these people are here for a reason other than to listen to them (there's a reason people start clapping half way thru the last line).  Prices were reasonable and I got out with a hat and puck for about the same price as I did yesterday at an ECHL (AA hockey) game which says really good things about the Hurricanes. I've already said my peace about what it says about the ECHL team.

Anyway, I'm sold. Where I live, I's about equidistant from the Hurricanes and the Predators. The Predators have a kind of frantic energy about them that screams "hot new team", "young fans." On the other hand, the Hurricanes feel like a team that's been kicking around for a while. There were even some people wearing Whalers gear and we all remember how cool that logo was:
So, I choose the Whalers err . . . Hurricanes. I'll be back. Not sure when I'll be able to budget the time and money again, but I'll be back. I probably shouldn't warn 'em tho. They might lock the doors.

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