Good Seats

Last night Heather and I took in a game from the 6th row, sitting directly to the left of the tunnel to the visitors dressing room.  This was quite a different perspective for me, because I usually sit up in the balcony with the riff-raff.

Things you notice when sitting in the 6th row that you don’t notice in the balcony

- The rink looks TINY and the players look MASSIVELY LARGE.

- Right above the tunnels to the dressing room behind the benches, there is a pane missing from the glass.  I’ve never noticed that before on television, but let me tell you, when you are sitting directly behind the missing pane of glass you’re suddenly hyper aware of the fact that it’s not there. Heather and I totally could have died at that game.  We’re lucky to be alive, frankly.

- The hockey players are really, really, really good at ice skating.  I found myself hugely distracted by their fancy footwork.  When you’re sitting that close the speed seems incredible.  The fact that they are leaping around doing goofy little pirouettes while pushing a little black disc around with a stick just seems insane.

- We got a lot of time to check out the Ducks while they were standing around near their bench, so, here is my highly professional report on them:  I don’t care how much you scoff at his 70’s porn star mustache, George Parros is hot.  I’m worried that maybe I think he’s hot because of the mustache rather than in spite of it.  Which, when you think about it, brings up a whole cornucopia of other disturbing issues, not the least of which is that I caught myself wondering if Netflix carries any 70’s porn in its inventory.  I dunno.  The Parros thing was kind of confusing.  Ryan Getzlaf is reeeeally ugly (even before Goose demolished his face).  Rob is better looking than Scott.  Chris Pronger reminds me of blond guy who played the villain in all the 80’s high school dramas- the guy who got knocked out by the Karate Kid.  That guy. (I’m actually not sure if this idea was planted in me by another hockey blogger, or if I came up with that likeness myself.  Either way, it’s totally true.)

- Derek Roy really is just a wee little fella.

- I was paying close attention to Goose’s faceoffs.  I’ve noticed him doing it on television, but sitting so close it’s very noticable how he’s constantly pointing at his teammates and telling them where to stand.  The rest of the Sabres just dutifully shuffled around until they were arranged to his liking.  At one point he was rearranging them over and over.  He’d be like, “Pommerdoodle, you stand there.  No wait.  Timmy you stand there. Okay, now Jaro and Pommerdoodle switch places.  No, no, go back.  No.  Not like that.  Staffy!  Why are you way over there?  Come closer.  NO!  TOO CLOSE!  Yeah.  There.  You stay there, Timmy.  Good.”  It was totally odd, but really fun to watch.  It’s possible he was just switching them around as the Ducks scooted around, but I couldn’t figure out the pattern at all.  To my untrained eye it just looked like Goose was having an OCD moment, and I half expected one of the other Sabres to suddenly be all, “GOOSE!  Snap out of it!  We’re FINE where we are!” but they never did.  They just went where he told them to go without any lip.

- When you’re sitting super close, you occasionally feel like you are looking at animals in a zoo, until all of a sudden one of those animals makes direct eye contact and you get all weirded out.

Things you DON’T notice in the sixth row:

- For the most part, I had no idea what the hell was going on with the game.  I could see most of the surface of the rink, but the net on the far side of the ice was at an incredibly odd angle.  I tried to look at the jumbotron when the play was down there, but the camera was on the other side, so the action on the screen was opposite from what I was looking at.  The end result was that I had a surprisingly difficult time keeping track of the game.  I’m not sure how many games I would have to see from that vantage point before I got used to it, but I suspect it would be a lot.

- I cannot accurately judge how well the Sabres played.  The energy just DRAINED out of the arena once the Ducks scored their shortie, but overall the Sabres didn’t look that bad to me.  They certainly didn’t look great, Lalime obviously could have been better, but other than that….I don’t know.  *shrug*  I was too busy looking at the clear tape they use to keep their socks up to also keep track of their playing.  The Sabres need Miller and Vanek back, ASAP if they want to make the playoffs.  Duh.

- I have no idea what happened with Goose and Getzlaf at the end there.  It happened on the far side of the rink, and I never saw the replay because I was too busy staring in horror at Goose laying facedown and motionless on the ice.  Then, Getzlaf walked right by us with blood and guts everywhere.  It was gee-ross.  I’ve heard some squawking that Goose’s hit was dirty, and if that’s true I will be so sad, and I will always blame Jerry Sullivan for ruining everything.

16 Responses to “Good Seats”


  1. 1 Porky February 25, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Up close at a Sabres game IS like watching animals at the zoo. Examples:
    “Whatever you do, don’t turn your back on the Kaleta.”
    “Did you see how hairy that Goose was?”
    “Awwww…There goes No. 9… he must be the runt of the litter.”

  2. 2 ms.conduct February 25, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Love it! When I was first getting into hockey, I loved sitting down close. I still enjoy it occasionally just to get a reminder of what my players look like and the speed and stuff. But now that I sit in the press box, I have a much better sense of how the team played and who stands out for something other than being really foxy.

  3. 3 Katebits February 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    “Whatever you do, don’t turn your back on the Kaleta.”
    “Did you see how hairy that Goose was?”
    “Awwww…There goes No. 9… he must be the runt of the litter.”

    AAAAAAAHAHAHAHA!

    ms.conduct, I LOVED the seats we had last night, but it was SUCH an odd view. Almost too close. But certainly fun from time to time. I’m definitely going to do it again.

  4. 4 Shelby Rose February 25, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    I’m glad my brothers share seasons in the 300s’, because then I can actually pay attention to the game. I feel like if I sit close to the ice I have ADD moments and watch what people are doing in the 100s than the game itself.

  5. 5 Caroline February 25, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    I’ve never noticed that before on television, but let me tell you, when you are sitting directly behind the missing pane of glass you’re suddenly hyper aware of the fact that it’s not there.

    More times than not, my seats end up being right near this gap. A few games ago a puck game flying at me but thankfully it hit the person in front of me!

  6. 6 danielleia February 25, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    I totally have a massive crush on George Parros and I could never figure out why. I think it’s the stache.

  7. 7 Ang February 25, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    For the Rangers game, we sat directly across the aisle from the organist! talk about distracting! All i could do was watch him tickle the ivories! i was so taken by his organ prowess i totally missed the hit on Cruncy’s spindly ankle! (loved that line.. had me laughing all the way to the office this morning!)

  8. 8 Shari February 25, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    That was a great post! Once I took my kids and my cousins kids to watch the Sabres practice. (One is 16 and plays for the Buffalo Regals so it was all good for him) Ussually I sit a little higher to get nicer pictures but this time we sat right behind the glass.
    I made the same comment to my daughter about feeling like I was at the zoo wathing the animals behind the glass.
    I was in a trance watching the way they skate. But yep, it shore is a diffrent view down there!

  9. 9 kar February 25, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    i totally agree about george parros! he has always been my secret hockey crush that i’ve never admitted in public. i have a ton of crushes that i’m very vocal about but i’ve never admitted the parros one because i was sure i was the only person who thought it. now i know he really is good looking! or at least i feel better about my weird attraction to him.

  10. 10 Schnookie February 26, 2009 at 11:30 am

    I love this post! Sitting so close to the ice is such a different beast from sitting up high, and it’s so cool that instead of trying to make assessments of how the game played out, you’re giving the Rob Ray between-the-benches report instead. You’ve got all the visceral, in-the-moment stuff to report on, like that Goose is OCD about faceoffs and Parros is hott. That’s an essential part of hockey!

  11. 11 reigningfrog February 26, 2009 at 11:31 am

    They wear clear tape on their socks!? Who knew…

  12. 12 Katebits February 26, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Schnookie, I was just looking at the Capitals “Scarlet Club” *shudder* and wondering why it seemed so…off. I mean I spent Tuesday night essentially ranking the Ducks in order of hotness. I’m totally not above objectifying men, obviously. I was thinking that the Sabres should hire us to create their “Blue and Golden Girls” website. I think we could do better than the dumb Caps. I would, of course, need good season tickets….for research purposes.

    Reigning Frog, Goose also uses tape to hold up his pants.

  13. 13 Matt February 26, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    don’t care how much you scoff at his 70’s porn star mustache, George Parros is hot. I’m worried that maybe I think he’s hot because of the mustache rather than in spite of it.

    Ever seen him without the ‘stache? Not so good, IMHO.

    And, for the record, Netflix does not carry porno, but there are some other reputable services out there that do. Or so I’ve heard…

  14. 14 Schnookie February 26, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    I think we could do better than the dumb Caps. I would, of course, need good season tickets….for research purposes.

    Well, of course! And I think our respective teams should consider hiring us as “Team Hottness Assessors” or something, because we’ll be able to help promote the team hottness without ever veering into Tiger Beat/male escort service territory.

  15. 15 Katebits February 26, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    So, you think it’s the mustache, Matt? Huh. Weird. Also weird? That anyone would rent porn. Isn’t that what the internet is for?

    Schnookie, the Scarlet Caps thing DID feel like a male escort service. I do not understand what they were thinking. I’m ALL for marketing to women, but I think it should be done in a more tasteful manner. That Club Scarlet is just plain old tacky.

  16. 16 Pirates_fan_1969 February 27, 2009 at 4:14 am

    Sitting down low at HSBC Arena is awesome. I have yet to sit higher than the second row there. Seeing how it’s an 8 hour drive for me to get there, it’s worth it to treat myself. I get some pretty good pictures from there, as well as 1 puck during a game.

    Getzlaf looks like a rat. Parros is tall, I met him a few years ago before game 1 of the Stanley cup finals, really really nice guy. It’s nice that he got his name on the cup.


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