Since the Indians were off yesterday, Believing Since 1999 took a break from baseball as well and took in some NHL action at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale last night. Before we start talking a bunch of nonsense about the hockey game, here’s some nonsense about Glendale:
– Jobing.com Arena is located right next to University of Phoenix Stadium, the home of the Arizona Cardinals. That stadium is even more incredible in person, and it’s truly something to behold.
– The area around the arena and the stadium is newly developed, and they’ve done a wonderful job creating a destination in the middle of nowhere, which is basically where Glendale is. There are a lot of unique restaurants, some really nice-looking apartments that probably 5% of Americans can afford, and a ton of brand new hotels. Basically, if there’s a hotel chain that doesn’t have one of their hotels in that area, then they aren’t that good of a hotel chain.
– We ate at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. If you’ve never been, they do serve Cheeseburgers in Paradise, and also have Booze in the Blender. Buffett has done a remarkable job of turning his popularity as a musician into an empire of partying the island way. It’s either pure business savvy, or a lot of really good advice. Either way, everything about Jimmy Buffett is just cool. There’s no other way to put it.
As for the hockey game, it was a rematch of last year’s Western Conference finals between the Phoenix Coyotes and the L.A. Kings. To get the obligatory result out of the way, the ‘Yotes won 5-2 over the sluggish defending Stanley Cup Champion Kings. It was a fun game to watch, and the atmosphere at the arena was really cool, but that’s not the lasting takeaway from the evening. What was is what we’ll call an observation in human behavior.
Before we get there, a couple of quick notes:
– Maybe this is just a hunch, but it’s doubtful that hockey players appreciate the warm-up soundtrack being dominated by Lil’ Wayne and Chris Brown. They probably prefer Machine Head by Bush.
– I didn’t hear Machine Head by Bush until sometime during the game. That song is a hockey game anthem that needs to be played prior to the puck drop. Every single time. Every single hockey game.
– Intergalactic by the Beastie Boys is another one that was absent during pre-game. These are major issues here, folks.
– One final musical note (pun intended, too good to be on accident): The Coyotes redeemed themselves by playing three different songs from the Black Keys, including “Howlin’ For You” every time Phoenix scored. You’ll learn more about howling in a couple of paragraphs.
– As anticipated, the theory that hockey games in cities where hockey isn’t one of the biggest draws are really just invitations to wear whatever NHL jersey you can find proved overwhelmingly true. In cities like Chicago, New York, Minnesota, Detroit, and anywhere in Canada, people are crazy about their teams. At this game, the official count of different NHL jerseys seen included the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Winnipeg Jets, the Detroit Red Wings, and more. The guy in the Jets jersey chanted “let’s go Jets” all by himself. The guy sitting directly behind me must have been from Phoenix, drunk, or both because he thought the other guy was chanting about the New York Jets.
This is the perfect segue to the real lasting memory from last night’s game. Since I’m sure everyone who’s reading this is unfamiliar with Phoenix Coyote game day traditions, they regularly play a sound byte of a Coyote howling. Sometimes, people howl back. Sorta like the Dawg Pound, but actually nothing like the Dawg Pound.
Enter the lady sitting immediately behind me. She howled back every single time, directly into my left ear. She also yelled at an annoyingly high pitch roughly every 10 seconds. Most of the time, she was imploring the Coyotes to shoot, even if they had just crossed the blue line and really shouldn’t have shot, or if they didn’t even have the puck yet. The combination of lacking hockey savvy and continuous shrieking made her presence the bane of my existence for the duration of the game. Like most highly annoying things, it eventually became funny when her level of dedication didn’t waver despite the Coyotes leading by 3-4 goals for most of the game. Until the game was actually over, one would have thought the Coyotes were losing the whole time.
Unsurprisingly, her friend was the guy who confused the Winnipeg Jets fan for a New York Jets fan. That guy soon became known as “don’t f**k up” guy, because every time the Kings got into the Coyotes’ zone, he just said “don’t f*** up” continuously until the Coyotes either regained possession or cleared the puck.
Between the howling lady in my left ear and “don’t f*** up” guy in my right ear, it was truly a family friendly and quite hilarious environment. It’s a good thing that I was in a sane state of mind, because an unstable person constantly being bombarded with howling and “don’t f*** up” simultaneously for an hour may have just cracked.
In total, Jobing.com Arena is an excellent venue, the game had plenty of entertaining action, and Glendale is a really cool place to spend an evening. The Coyotes didn’t f*** up too much, and gave their faithful plenty to howl about. This ends another rare and exclusive look at the game of hockey from Believing Since 1999.
It’s about time to head back to Glendale and get back to baseball at the Tribe’s matinee visiting the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. More from the game soon on Twitter and later on the blog.