Avalon's Army of Angels
Avalon's Army of Angels
|February 6, 2009
You read that right...more hockey! This has really been one "icey" week! (icey/dicey...get it?
OK, fine...I was reaching. You could have worked with me...)
Surprise, surprise...this wasn't the Blue Jackets. Tonight, we were screaming BUCKEYE
fans!!! We received an email that OSU had released some tickets to a local charity, and we
just needed to email back if we were interested. I couldn't hit "send" fast enough. :-)
Our beloved Danny's brother used to play for Ohio State. A current Blue Jacket friend, RJ, put
several years in with OSU. So we've known about the Buckeye skaters, just never had the
chance to go to a game. We were all pretty jazzed about finally getting to check it out. I'm
sooo glad we did.
The tickets were (as expected) in the nosebleed section. But they were Front Row of the third
tier, and actually - fabulous seats. The usher had been kind enough to tell us we were
welcome to move down to the middle tier if we wished - we'd just have to relinquish the seats if
ticket holders arrived to fill them. While the offer was thoughtful, the truth is, we loved the
seats! We could see everything beautifully, we weren't squished, and we could cheer and
dance all we wanted, without bothering a soul. It was tons of fun.
I have to say - OSU could teach the Blue Jackets a thing or two about getting fans riled up.
They may not have had fancy jumbotron videos, but they had a PEP BAND, cheerleaders,
Brutus, and about 10 times the fan vocal support of any Jackets game I've ever been to. The
Band was a BLAST! We danced, we sang, we clapped rhythms to cheer...it was pure
The difference in calls between the NHL and college were interesting. We went into the game,
knowing that college games don't allow fights. We ever-so-erroneously thought that meant it
would be a less physical game. Oh mon' ami..we couldn't have been more wrong. In the
absence o' the "fight" - they checked twice as hard, and did 101 sneakier evils to each other.
We saw dozens of hooking, cross checking, roughing, and tripping events that went gloriously
UNpunished. Instead of recent NHL games where even the players were confused why they
were aiming for the sin bin...this game was chuck-a-muck full of bash and smash playing that
made for great energy on the ice. It was fantastic!
Anam was a hoot. He was completely flummoxed that everyone was cheering, "Go Bucks!" He
kept arguing with us, "No...Boo Yackets. Go Boo Yackets!" After all, normally if we're yelling
for the Buckeyes - its directed toward the television during a football game. An arena, ice, and
hockey sticks...and he was thoroughly confused. We quit arguing, and he kept cheering for
the "Jackets", only occasionally tossing us an irritated glare for our insubordination.
We ended up sitting close to good friends of ours, the OBrians. You may remember Will and
Isaac from the fashion show entry. While Isaac was busy elsewhere, our fellow hockey fanatic,
Will, seemed to enjoy the night as much as we did.
Sad to say, my hockey jinxing abilities seem to span venues. The Buckeyes lost too. I have to
say though...it was exhilarating. Notre Dame scored the goal that tied the game...in the last
second of regulation play! No kidding, time of goal was 19:59 - in the third period. It was
crazy. Notre Dame went on to win it in overtime, but not before they taught an entire arena, it
really isn't over until its OVER.
In complete agreement with our last trip to Schottenstein arena, we once again found it to be
the LEAST handicapped friendly venue in the city. Truly, they should be ashamed of how they
treat people. Last time, we were parked in the furthest reaches of the lot, with the promise of a
"shuttle bus" - that ended up having no way of transporting a wheelchair. (even though we'd
specifically asked) This time, we were trapped by the elevator, or rather LACK of the elevator.
Its important to point out, the game was far from sold out. There were a decent amount of
people there, but the third tier nose-bleed seats we were relegated to...weren't even available
around the entire arena. Seriously, they had curtained off the vast majority of that level,
leaving only two or three sections. In other words, when only about 25% of your lower two
sections have sold - you know you don't need the upper one, and can offer tickets to local
charities to try to save your ego and bottom line. Fair enough - we enjoyed the gesture.
The problem is, it never occurred to anyone that they donated those tickets to a medical
children's charity. After the game, they turned off the elevator!!! Oh yeah, you read that right.
Here we were, multitudes of flights of stairs up, with a little one in a wheelchair, a toddler, and
Will who is still recovering from a stroke, and only recently out of his wheelchair. To say I was
livid - would be more of an understatement than women "like" chocolate. I wasn't just livid...I
was bordering on hockey-violent.
After finally grilling a security worker (who had been watching us stand there for several
minutes) he finally went to ask someone what to do. They ended up having us hike to another
elevator quite a ways away - because that one was still on. The walk wasn't hard on us,
Avalon's wheels saved her. But it was difficult for Will, and each step he took infuriated me
more. What I wanted was a giant posterboard that said, "Nationwide Arena would never shut
off an elevator". What I had was moral indignation, boiling rapidly, but doing me no good. I
ended up deciding that Avalon and I will someday soon pay a personal visit to the man in
charge of the building. I want him to have to look in the eyes of one of the people they work so
hard to exclude. I'm not bothering with giving them a chance for a third strike. Between the
two events, we've experienced enough to know that differently abled people aren't welcome at
the Schottenstein center.
The stress of exiting did entirely destroy my mood for the evening. I admit it, I had a difficult
time getting past it. Looking back though, we did have a WONDERFUL time during the game.
I forgot to mention, Aurora and I were able to look up an old friend during the second
intermission. What most of you reading this would have no way of knowing...is that when
Aurora was 6, she was a concert reporter for a local rock and roll station. Nick and I had
purchased a season ticket for her to be able to come with us to all the concerts at a local
outdoor venue. No one at the concert venue could believe we were planning on taking a 6
year old with us. On a lark, we had her call the station after the first show, to tell them how
much fun she'd had. They LOVED her! She ended up being a regular contributor for the
entire season. She even appeared at the their live end-of-Summer bash - holding her own
with the DJ's in front of a live audience.
As fate would have it, the same station had held a promotion for the game we attended. Near
the end of the first intermission, they had shown one of the jocks on the jumbotron, so we knew
where he was sitting. We hunted him down during the second intermission - to say "Hi!" and
catch up a bit. While he fully admitted he couldn't come up with Aurora's name (its been 8
years!), he absolutely remembered her - and how much fun they'd had. He said he couldn't
wait to tell one of the other guys that he'd seen her - Dan had been her biggest fan. Hockey
and a huge, warm smile from an old friend...Aurora had a great night!
Actually, we all did - in spite of the building. The game was exciting, the band was unexpected
and fun, and the company was perfect. We had a memorable family evening...and I'll take one
of those any day!