December 1, 2009

BU remains undefeated all-time in Red Hot Hockey

1-0-1! Huzzah!

What an experience, again, from the moment I arrived in New York City, until the moment I left. Red Hot Hockey continues to be an absolutely solid event through and through. I'll try to best summarize my journey to and from the city and the hockey game that occurred while I was there:

Jesus's mom was nice enough to drive both of us through the hellish traffic from Philadelphia to the city. It really wasn't bad until we hit New Jersey and then we were made aware of what it's like to really travel anytime during the last week in November.

Somehow, someway, we made it to NYC in about 5 hours, which wasn't that bad, all things considered.

Upon arrival we met up with our friend we were staying with who goes to Columbia. Parking was a breeze all the way up at 116th street, and after we dropped our bags off in his dorm (easily the smallest dorm room I've ever been in) we worked our way down to the Penn Station stop on the subway.

Once we made it to Penn Station, we made the easy walk up towards the Garden and were greeted with a line, probably 100 people deep. Now, Jesus and I were looking for the "senior event," which we assumed to be for senior students only.

We found out we were in the right place, and that the senior event was merely a section of the entire BU pregame event. At 6 p.m. we were let into "The Club" part of MSG. Jesus and I walked through the area that seemed to be for all parties, BU related, and found the senior area.

It was like a blast from the past - I thought I was a senior in high school again. Air hockey, regulation basketball hoop and lane, Blitz 2000, Cruisin' the World, and so many more games! I couldn't believe my eyes. On top of that there were free hot dogs, chicken fingers, and waffle fries!

Of course there was a fully stocked bar sitting right in front of me as I walked in. I should have known though, it being inside the Garden, it would be $8 for a mixed drink. No matter, I had Blitz 2000.

Jesus and I got into an epic four-quarter game (it cost $4 but it was totally worth it). Remember this is 2000, so I rocked the Jets (with Vinny Testaverde) while Jesus was the 49ers (Jerry Rice = unstoppable). It was a defensive grind, and both Jesus and I had to deal with multiple people coming up to us and trying to talk. Most quickly realized the seriousness of our video game and left us in peace. However, there were some instances where I got so caught up in discussions I thought I was on defense when I was really on offense the whole time!

When all was said and done I walked away victorious, 28-21. I then walked the streets and purchased an N64 with every Blitz game created.

Shortly there after, Dean Elmore's assistant, Dan, found me and walked me all the way to the way through the concourse, down to the ice. I was being called upon to ride the zamboni! Dean Elmore offered me the chance a couple weeks ago. I feel like he felt really bad for me about what I had to endure in Iona. Props, dean, you didn't have to do that for me!

My zamboni driver was very cool. British and a Yankees fan. He gave me some crap for being a Phillies fan, and hot dog, but then wised up when he asked me more about my role as a costumed freak.

Riding on the ice on the zamboni, in the world's most famous arena, was pretty awesome. Tons of people were waving my way, taking pictures, showing love. Only a few Cornell fans were showing any signs of hate, and most were just thumbs down. I was expecting more!

I tried to take as many pictures as I could, but there was so much going on around me. It was a lot to take in, but definitely not an experience I will soon forget about.

After the ice was good to go, I jumped off the vehicle and worked my way back to my seats. The highlight on the way back was me going to the bathroom, and a janitor hanging out outside, upon seeing my outfit, said, "oh yeah, I feel dat uni." I gave him a nod.

I found Jesus, his mom, and Manuel in their seats - right in front of the band. I'm talking, drums directly behind me. I've never sat that close to the band, mostly because I enjoy hearing. Had I known that's where I'd be sitting I might have thought about bringing earplugs - not to mute the band, but to lessen the volume. It was fun though, I got to hear all the commands that I'm not supposed to as a common fan via BDCP.

My favorite part of both the 2007 event and this years might have been the National Anthem. The Cornell fans, upon the word "Red glare" yell "red" and fist pump. It's pretty damn awesome, and very intimidating, especially since Cornell fans outnumbered Terrier supporters around 70-30%.

The game got off to the start I truly expected. I didn't think that BU could hang with this Cornell team, especially with Scrivens in net for the big Red. 2-0 after one, certainly didn't sit well.

The Red Hot Hockey is a great event because so many people get to NYC to see this game. I saw so many people I hadn't seen in a while, and in that sense, this event can't be beat.

The second period got going and BU showed signs of life. Warsofsky scored a real softy on Scrivens, but then, it seemed like, any momentum BU might have got from the goal, disappeared instantly when Cornell scored a on a tick-tac play in front of the net. 3-1 entering the third, and as the second intermission began, I actually lost focus of the game.

Instead, my attention turned toward the uncostumed Jesus as he was riding out onto the ice of MSG in a helmet three sizes to small, on a mini bike, which looked equally as small. Before the game he was picked to partake in what was simply advertised as a "race." We both assumed it was remote car based, for whatever reason. I quickly realized that wasn't the case as Jesus was about to compete in a race on the ice in a bike-type vehicle, in which he'd actually have to do work.
The thing about Jesus is he's gotten a lot bigger, physically since he arrived at school. I want to say he's gained at least 20 pounds of pure muscle, and I'm probably short-changing him in that. Jesus loves the gym, and it seems to love him back. Knowing this, I knew Jesus had a good shot to win anything involving physical assertion.

He got off to a real bad start, and as he told me, he was just finding the proper strategy - moving the front wheels side to side to generate more friction and allow for quicker speed. Sure enough by the start of the final lap Jesus was ahead of the pack, and remained that way all the way to the end.

After he won I was expecting him to get off the bike, sprint to center ice, and do a T.O. like pose on the Rangers logo. No luck, as the staff at MSG moved him off quicker than he got on the ice. He won a Red Hot Hockey prize pack, which he actually hasn't received yet and that competition, as he's said, will be the last on-ice promotion the holy one will ever participate in. He's retiring on top.

Keep in mind though, Brett Favre once tried to retire.

BU scored early in the third, which I think everyone knew would be the key if they wanted to stay in the game, and then had another nice flair for the dramatic, by scoring with 50 seconds left.

Overtime was uneventful, but reflective of the rest of the game - hard-played and fun to watch. It took forever to get out of the arena, but that hardly mattered after what was a truly awesome event.

I hope BU and Cornell can keep holding this event. It's awesome not just for the teams and current students, but alumni and any other supporters who want to spend a night or weekend in the city. Lord knows I'd go back, no matter how good or bad the BU/Cornell teams may be.

And for BU's efforts in the city the end up with 1 vote in the USCHO national rankings. Baby steps!


Jesus said...

Allen Iverson tried to retire, too.

Anonymous said...

any reason why Kieran wasn't playing? I know his season wasn't off to a good start but after last year, he deserved to play the MSG game. Kinda pissed at Parker for not giving him that. He brought them a national championship (I know he had a great team behind him, but if we look at the Brett Bennett years, it's clear a good team is not all it takes). Oh well.

The Hot Dog said...

They've been sticking with the rotation of Rolly-Kieran every other game. MSG was Rolly's turn. I don't know or think that'll change anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

then we went to THE BOX