The Winter Classic is the one time during the season that hardcore and passive fans alike will be tuning in to watch 2 random teams play a regular season game. But as most of the hockey watching world is watching the scene through NBC’s lens, there were about 30,000 people that were lucky enough to be in the 35 degree weather and actually attended the memorable event.
While some of us were kickin’ it with pajamas and a mean hangover, the lucky ones were all bundled up heading to a baseball stadium in the dead of winter. Friend of the site “Anne” was kind enough to answer a few questions about her experience at Fenway Park. It’s great to get a different perspective of some of the things that we couldn’t see through Bob Costas’s talking head.
View From My Seats: If you had paid $450 for a seat, would it have been worth it?
Anne: If you were paying $450 to watch a hockey game I would say NO. But if you went for the experience and an NHL show, you got a treat.
VFMS: I’ve heard a few people say that it was surreal. What made it surreal?
Anne: I have been to other outdoor games, but this one really captured my home town spirit. It seemed like it was just a very detailed and planned out event this time. I thought the Team USA stuff got people excited for the Winter Games.
VFMS: You have been to other outdoor games before. Which outdoor games did you go to in the past? How did this compare? What were the major differences?
Anne: I went to outdoor college games in the past plus the Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo game in New York. I thought that game had a more of an American feel and people could see a little better. This game had just so much going on (but maybe it was because it was in my hometown).
VFMS: What was one of the coolest things that you didn’t expect?
Anne: I never expected the singing of Sweet Caroline. I thought the touches of the drum and bugle corps marching in were great—it was an AWE moment. People just watched and almost got a feeling of civic service. There were a lot of people from all five branches of the U.S. military. Boston police and firemen stood in salute on the side lines. It was very touching.
I never expected all the stuff going on around the ice. There seemed to be a lot going on down there, but it was good because you could not always see the hockey game. I also never expected how emotional people would get when the Bruins won! It was like a lump in the throat. It was almost surreal—like a story book !
VFMS: What was the one of the worst parts that you didn’t expect?
Anne: The worst part maybe would have been that it was hard to see what was going on the ice at all times. But it seemed like people were cool with it. I also thought the anthems were weak by James Taylor and Daniel Powter. I am sure they were fine, I just expected more.
VFMS: Which got a bigger reaction? The Dropkick Murphys before the game or Sweet Caroline in the 3rd period?
Anne: If you came from the Boston area, then more people loved Sweet Caroline. If you were a Flyers fan, then it was Dropkick Murphys. But anyone with Fenway Park love is all about Sweet Caroline.
VFMS: How was the Team USA announcement received at Fenway Park? Did everyone know that it was going to be announced on the ice immediately after the game?
Anne: People got the Team USA stuff. The kids were a cute touch and got people to watch more.. EVERYONE loves KIDS wearing NHL players stuff. So people really got into the moment.
They were also pumped when the Bruins won… Thank God! People were still screaming around.
VFMS: Speaking of the end of the game, do people hate Phil Kessel as much as it sounded?
Anne: People either don’t care about Kessel or just went along with the crowd. I think people seem to be waiting to see if the any Bruins players would be called. Either way, I loved the little kids flipping the names of the Team USA players.
VFMS: Lastly, if Milan Lucic was in the lineup, who gets into the first fight? Lucic or Thornton?
Anne: Thornton in the fight every time