Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Puck The North!

Tampa Bay, Florida. Raleigh, North Carolina. Those are two pretty damn Southern cities, I'd have to say. Stanley Cup winners. Hockey isn't JUST a northern sport any longer... in fact, it never really has been a northern-only sport. We've had hockey down here for decades. Anyone remember the Atlanta Flames?

Here in metro Atlanta, hockey has flourished thanks mostly to the Thrashers. We have a local minor-league AA team, the Gladiators, not even 30 minutes (with no traffic, of course) away from Philips Arena. Peewee teams have popped up everywhere. Hockey is now no longer restricted to the north. Anyone that thinks it only belongs up north needs to seriously open their minds. We may still be a bit more obsessed with other sports, like football, baseball, and basketball, but to me, anyways, hockey is a very close 2nd after baseball.

There's nothing like it. At all. So I thought I'd do a little comparison. At my office, my entire floor has been talking about the World Cup for weeks. So, about two weeks ago, I attempted to sit down and watch a game. I don't remember which countries played, but it doesn't matter. I was bored out of my everloving mind. I mean, I would be more entertained watching paint dry...and, in fact, I HAVE been more entertained watching paint dry...I mean, I used to work at an Ace Hardware store for over 8 years. There's only one Cup series to watch...the Stanley Cup.

Speaking of which, I'm glad the Hurricanes won it, for a few reasons. One, it proves that hockey isn't a northern-only thing. Tampa and now Carolina have won the cup: Both in the Southeast Division, the same as the Thrashers. There's no reason anyone should ever put down or disrespect Southern hockey teams any longer. Another reason I'm happy is because the Thrashers have faired very well against the 'Canes...meaning we can compete with and beat the now Stanley Cup Champs.

I know, I know... I haven't written in this thing in a while. I did end up at the one Gladiators game that they won, I think the final score was 6-1. We sat right on the glass for $25 a ticket. Not bad considering Thrashers glass tickets are $250 a piece!
But the Gladiators were taken down by the Alaska Aces the very next game...but they had a helluva a season.

So now the Stanley Cup is over. Carolina won. They can have their fun. Because this season or 07-08, the Thrashers are gonna bring the Cup to the ATL. There's only one really exciting thing now that the playoffs are over: The 2006-2007 Schedule has gotta be out soon!!!

I am looking even MORE forward to the hockey season now that our beloved Braves, after 14 years of winning, have fallen into last place. This is a hockey blog, so I won't even get started on THAT. But it's all the more reason to get excited about a team we know is going to win. I'm not expecting a Cup next season, although it'd be incredible, of course... I'm expecting us to at least make the playoffs. From there, who knows what'll happen.

I'm not quite sure when my next post will be in this blog. But I'll let you know that my season ticket rep sent me a set of were-going-to-be Thrashers playoff tickets. They are BEAUTIFUL and are a representation of dreams and hops that may soon come.

There's this one kid I work with who is, or at least claims to be, on the inside with the Thrashers. He knows every stat and about ever player and claims I'm not "True Blue" because I don't know everything he does. It's not even about knowing stats and enough trivia to win a hockey trivia contest. That's GREAT if you care about all that stuff...and yes, it's important...but you don't have to know the history of every single player and every single state to be True Blue.

True Blue is being first in line. True Blue is being the FIRST ever to get a jersey in the jersey trade in program. True Blue is going to Thrashers practices to watch and get autographs and meet player. True Blue is going to every single possible Thrashers game and watching every away game on TV. True Blue is making plans to go to a few away games this coming season. True Blue is having your heart race in the 3rd period and shootout because you gotta go home with a win. True Blue is having a hockey blog of your own. True Blue is simply pure hockey love with a dash of loyalty to your home team and a sprinkle of pride in being a Thrashers fan. True Blue is flying the Thrashers flag on your car every game...even if you rode MARTA (our subway) and no Thrashers fans see your flag.

So, this post will now come to an end. Like I said, nothing much at this point is going on. If the Thrashers make any big pickups in the draft or any big news happens, I'll be writing. If nothing else, as soon as the schedule is out, I'll be here praising or bitching about it. I'm hoping soon after the schedule comes out, my season tickets arrive...it will be just like the scene in Fever Pitch when he gets his Red Sox season tickets...I'll be waiting by my mailbox. Seriously, I will be waiting out there for my tickets...lawn chair, cold beer, and all.

For now, this Thrashers fan has other things to attend to.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Link Information & Requests

I just wanted you all to know I just updated the Regional Sports Links on the right. I wanted to put together a comprehensive links of Atlanta's (as well as here in Georgia)sports teams and venues, present and past.

If you can think of anything I have yet to add, please let me know! I'll be more than glad to add your suggestions. I am not, however, going to include every high school field or anything like that, but anything related to pro or minor league teams.

I'm also looking for more of the 3rd tier teams in Atlanta like the Atlanta Rollergirls and Atlanta Xplosion...if there more "obscure" teams along those lines, please let me know.

I'll take any suggestions you guys have... I'd also like to eventually put together a nice list of Thrashers only links as well, so if you'd like your Thrashers fan website or if you have any good links to other Thrasehrs websites, send 'em on in!



Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Pimpin' Blueland!

So I decided to wear my "Welcome to Blueland" t-shirt that they gave out on the first homegame of the season. Everyone on campus looks at me like I'm crazy or weird because I'm wearing a Thrashers shirt and the season is over. So what?!? I still love my Thrashers, and despite the fact we didn't make the playoffs, it still was one HELLUVA season, and I don't care if it's the dog...excuse me...Dawg days of summer...I'm still going to wear my Thrashers gear and wear it proudly. Anyone that just stops wearing Thrashers stuff because the season is over...well... they are just bandwagon fans.
But, wearing this shirt always reminds me of that first game back... the first game back after the lockout. The total awesomeness of seeing ICE on the floor of Philips Arena. I was thinking to myself: How the HELL did I live without THIS for an ENTIRE YEAR?!? Man. It was SO great to have hockey back! It almost seemed like during the entire year when there was no hockey that it was just a weird skew in the timeline, like the alternate 1985 in Back to the Future II!
That first game back... the lines outside and in CNN Center were insane... and the emotion of the crowd and the players was incredible. It was great to just have hockey back in Atlanta!!!!

But, as I noticed all season, 99% of the time, during intermission, Thrash would shoot out t-shirts to the crowd. But 99% of the time, it was ALWAYS... ALWAYS on the corporate side of the arena. In other words, he would always shoot t-shirts mostly to the crowd on that side...leaving no chance in hell for people on the other side to get t-shirts. Oh well.

I also remember, one day we were eating lunch over on Broad Street and Thrash was out mingling with the lunch crowd. This was a few days or weeks before the season had started. He came over to us and my girlfriend snapped a really cool photo of Thrash eating my head off with his beak. There was even a homeless guy singing for money, but he could sing really well, and Thrash went over to sing and dance with him... it was really funny. I told Thrash I was a season ticket holder, so he gave me a huge high five and a huge thumbs up. I was the only one on Broad Street with a Thrashers shirt on, so he really loved me that day ;-)

Ahh, the fond memories of the first Thrashers game after the lockout: The crowd was electric and it was a kick ass moment in history.

I'm already looking very much forward to the first game of the 06-07 season!!

Anyone have a flying DeLorean with a Flux Capacitor? ;-)

Feeding The Need

Man... it's not even been...what...two weeks since the Thrahsers season ended...and I'm already feeling the full effects of hockey withdrawal. Man it's bad! But there's one way to at least get your hockey addiction taken care of: Gladiators playoffs hockey! Essentially, you are watching the Baby Thrashers - the Gladiators, as I'm sure you know, are the AA (minor leagues, so to speak) affiliate of the Thrashers. You might even see some familiar faces, such as goaltender Adam Berkohel, who has been the Thrashers 'tender in previous games. Prices are SO much more affordable as well than Thrashers games: If you are lucky enough to get glass seats, they are only $25! It's a great deal and you are still watching great hockey. It's not as good as NHL hockey... it's more sloppy and there seem to be a lot more fights, which isn't bad, of course, but it's still lots of fun. I have a set of great seats for Friday's game in 117. The only downside is going up 75 North will suck during rush hour, but what can ya do? It's not THAT bad of a drive...but with gas prices the way they are now... it will only get even worse... I'd love to go both Wednesday and Friday, but it's too much of a pain to get up there after work on Wednesday. I wish the games were on TV locally! They are also on 550 AM, but the reception is horrible unless you live near the arena or up in Gwinnett. It's too bad they don't have better media resources.
Anyway, I've extremely excited about Friday's game... it's nearly summer time and it's hot as hell down here in Atlanta and we are still watching hockey! Gotta love it!

Monday, April 24, 2006

310 BABY! (Why I Love My Seat!)

Well, over the past 6 seasons, I must have sat everywhere at Philips Arena - way up in the nosebleeds in 400, on the right and left sides behind the goals, the lower level, right on the glass, on the sides, and yes, even a visit every now and then to a suite...and even once in the Delta box! My dad, may he rest in peace, used to get us seats ALL the time on the corporate side.
But I love my Season Ticket seat more than all of them...yes, even more than lower level or on the glass. First of all, I can't afford lower level season tickets. It's great to sit there, but damn near impossible to get tickets for lower level, direct center ice. My seat is 310, ROW J, SEAT 1. I love it because, A, I can afford it, B, it's a GREAT view, C, you don't have to turn you head constantly like you do on the lower level, D, the annoying ushers aren't screaming "COLD BEER!" all damn night, and E, most importantly, my section has some of the BEST Thrashers fans in Philips Arena! Most of all, though, they are the best seats I can afford ;-)
But I love the view - it's a great bang for the bucks. If I were to move even just a few isles down, the price of my tickets would nearly double.
Plus, I think my seat location is pretty ironic. My name is Jason, hence the J. I was born on January 1st, hence Seat 1. Isle 310, however...not quite sure what that has to do with anything.

I'm looking VERY forward to returning my home away from home next season and back to my good 'ole seat in 06'07'! I sat there so much I think when I return it will STILL be warm!

Oh how I already miss 310, Row J, Seat 1...and Philips Arena. It's just weird - when you go to Philips for anything else other than hockey...a Force game, concert... and there's no ice... it feels like something is just totally missing!



With all the great hockey blogs out there, I figured I'd start my own. First, I'll tell you a little bit about myself. I was born and raised in Atlanta and am proud to be one of the few Natives in this city!
I was born on January 1st, 1981, the night that UGA won the National Championship! Naturally, I am a Dawgs fan, but I've been a sports fan sense the moment, naturally, I was born.

During the 80's, growing up in Atlanta, no one around here played hockey of any form - no ice hockey, no roller hockey, nothing. I grew up a baseball kid.

But, ever since I attended my first Atlanta Knights game @ The Omni, I've been addicted to hockey! It's a night I'll never forget - I got a puck, still the one and only puck I've ever been lucky enough to get at a hockey game... and, on the same night, I won a Pearl Jam CD on 99X, a local rock station here in Atlanta...think about that...getting a hockey puck AND winning something on the radio in the SAME day...the stars must have aligned the right way that night, and ever since that night, I've been in love with hockey!

Ever since that first Thrashers game in 1999, I've been even more hooked. It was only last season that I was able to afford Thrashers season tickets. I've already put my deposit down for 06-07.

Sure, the end to the 05-06 season was disappointing, and although the past is never far, this blog will serve as a place for everything that's happening when I go to Thrashers games. It will not only a place for news, but a place I can log my experiences at Philips Arena.
A few of the awesome experiences I had during the 05-06 season included being FIRST in line and the first ever to the jersey trade in program, being inducted into the "Nation of Blueland" that was given out to only the fist 100 people who traded in their jerseys, being first in line every time for bobblehead nights, meeting Thrashers players at practices... and even meeting some Thrashers players on MySapce!
So, yes... we have 6 months to go, but stayed tuned, Thrashers Thrashings will be THE place for your Atlanta Thrashers news, updates, and HOCKEY LOVE!!!

Looking much forward to the 06-07 Season! LETS GO THRASHERS!!!