February 22, 2007

Maximizing Your Sports Entertainment Dollar

Last night my beloved San Jose Sharks were in town to play the Washington Capitals. You may recall that my wife had gotten us a pair of tickets for the game and gave them to me as a Christmas present (quite kick-ass, I must say).

In the extended entry is the low-down on the evening, for those so inclined to read all about it. But here I'd like to point out the odd coincidence that of the last three hockey games I've gone to, each has gone to overtime and then a shootout, and each time the team I wanted to win did just that.

If you'd like me to attend a hockey game for your favorite team, I'm sure we can arrange something. I left work a little early yesterday so that I could drive home and pick up Liz. The plan, which worked almost perfectly, was to park in Rosslyn (I have a monthly pass), metro over to the Verizon Center early enough to have some dinner, and then enjoy the game.

We were hoping that Victor would be able to join us for dinner, but he got stuck at work and we didn't see him until the break between the first and second periods.

Before I get to the game itself, I'd like to tell you here and now that I don't have a lot of good things to say about DC, but one thing that they do right is the metro. Schedules and weather conspired to keep us from doing a dry run beforehand, and I was a tad concerned about how smoothly it would go since we'd be using metro for the first time with her in her wheelchair.

We hit a snag immediately upon entering the first metro station, namely, that after using our fare cards to get through the turnstiles, we were confronted with four escalators leading down. No elevator in sight. We asked the station employee in the kiosk about where the elevator was hidden and found out that the elevator is located across the street from the station! His solution was practical, we exited the station, crossed the street, took the elevator down to the station proper and at the turnstiles I just manually opened them up and we walked through. This set off an alarm, but he was expecting it and immediately shut it off. No problem.

This is typical of my experiences with metro. They aren't about fussing, they're about solving the problems you have, immediately and with minimum hassle. Every time.

Even other passengers on the trains were cool about our circumstances. Because of the design of most chairs and the station platforms, the best way to enter and exit the trains are backwards (to keep from throwing one of the little wheels in front). Sometimes that involved clearing a space on the platform to swing around, or even on a train full of commuters. Not one complaint and nothing but cooperation. Thanks commuters, y'all did yourself proud.

The seats at the arena were awesome. We sat in the handicap row, which meant a comfortable folding armchair for me and a gap for Liz to park her chair. We were right up against the rail, so the view was unobstructed, even when folks in front of us stood up (like during the shootout). We were a little higher than the rink glass, and just behind the goalie's left shoulder, giving us a long view of the ice. I love sitting at the side of the rink, but seeing the game from the end gives you an appreciation of how much crosswise movement goes on. Try it sometime for a different point of view.

As for the game, what can I say? The Caps jumped out to a quick two goal lead. My beloved Sharks came back to tie it up and in overtime Nabokov stonewalled Ovechkin and Semin before Cheechoo tossed a backhander high over Johnson's shoulder to win it.

I was pleasantly surprised to see many Sharks fans there, way more than I expected. That was the common thread, as my wife (and others) pointed around and said "see, you aren't the only one here tonight".

The ride home was long and slow, thanks to interstate construction, and my butt is definitely dragging today after way too little sleep. Well worth it though.

Thanks Liz, for one of the bestest Christmas presents ever!

Posted by: Ted at 11:32 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Post contains 746 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Swallow your pride and start rooting for the Avalanche. Live. They're really sucking it up so far.

Posted by: Derek at February 22, 2007 02:26 PM (FloaD)

2 Wish I'd have been able to go, but I just can't hack late nights (y'know, after 9) during the week.

Re: Metro - Wow. Anytime I've had a problem, the manager has been surly, bored, and their only solution is to send me to Metro Center.

Re: Lots of Sharks fans - There's always a lot of fans of the other team, especially when the other team is playing well. I think the only pro game I've seen where the visiting team was not well represented was a United game.

Hey, baseball starts soon - can we try again for the Keys or P-Nats?

Posted by: nic at February 22, 2007 06:03 PM (l+W8Z)

3 Glad you had a great time. Also glad to hear about the Metro/accewssibility and courtesy extended to you guys.

Unfortunately, having been on crutches for almost 6 weeks and taking buses and trains to get around I found that few elevators and escalators available weren't always working. Even worse is the fact that some people must confuse the elevator for a bathroom at times. Ugh!

Posted by: michele at February 22, 2007 11:28 PM (Lrt1F)

4 Oh yeah, I'm looking forward to baseball!!!

Liz and I are heading up to Hershey for Easter Weekend. We're getting tickets to see the Bears play the Admirals.

Posted by: Ted at February 23, 2007 06:08 AM (blNMI)

5 It was great seeing you and Mrs. Ted, as well, even if you were wearing teal. Dude, that is *so* 80's!

I thought I saw you during the second break, when the Caps were still ahead? I knew not to get excited, though.

Posted by: Victor at February 23, 2007 11:50 AM (1oGDT)

6 Teal? Moi? It was a black fleece! The only teal was the little bit in the humongous Sharks logo embroidered on the front.

Very classy, you must admit.

And you're probably right about when we talked. I was busy praying that that night wouldn't be the one where SJ let a weaker team rise up and smite them. I hate those "lesson learned" games.

Posted by: Ted at February 23, 2007 01:39 PM (blNMI)

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