No beer thrown on me this time. No fights in the stands.
Sorry. Sometimes shit doesn’t happen.
So I’m eating my pre-game dinner at the Garden with my wife and daughter when my daughter says “uh, Dad, there’s someone here to see you.” I turn around and three members of the “Blue Crew” are standing there. (The Blue Crew picks out fans for contests, throw shirts to the fans during breaks, etc.) One of them noticed the autographs on my jersey and asked what BSB stood for. Then he asked me if I’d be interested in participating in a trivia contest during the second period. Sure, why not? He started explaining what would happen and I just nodded my head like I’d never done it before. (I didn’t want to tell him I’d done it just six weeks ago. Shhh!)
After dinner, while my wife and daughter looked around in the team store, I decided to take a walk. The NY lottery had a stand there. Buy a $10 scratch-off and spin the wheel for a prize. Sure, why not? I bought a ticket and a TV cameraman filmed me while I spun the wheel (I won a hat). I then scratched off the ticket … and won $25. I’m starting to think that this could be my night.
The Blue Crew guy came to get me during the first intermission. We walked through a guarded door to the pressroom, went down some stairs and through a corridor, and entered the bowels of the Garden. This is where they keep the Zambonis and any other equipment they might need. There were big tubs filled with the ice shavings they scrape off the rink during commercials. Security and other employees were walking around. It's cool to be down there.
I was the first contestant there but the others soon arrived. We were kept off to the side while the officials left their break room and made their way through the tunnel onto the ice. “BOOOOOO” I said. To myself. In my head.
We were told the rules and given our ABC cards. Having done this before (and lost; a Beatles question? Seriously?) I developed a strategy. Most people hold all the cards in one hand, pick out the letter they want after reading the question and possible answers, and then hold it up.
As I learned, that takes too long. I decided to hold the A and C cards in one hand and flip as needed. I had the B card in my other hand. I was going to hold up B as soon as the question was asked (so I’d at least be first), but be ready with A or C as needed.
We moved next to the glass and got to watch Pittsburgh score their first goal. Then Crosby hit the post.
Then there was a whistle and we ran (well, walked fast) up the stairs into position. I made sure to point out my BSB jersey to the crowd during introductions (you're welcome Joe).
Here are the questions. All Rangers and pretty easy. Well, two of them at least.
Which member of the “GAG” line scored the first goal against the Penguins at the current Madison Square Garden?
A. Jean Ratelle
B. B. Vic Hatfield
C. Rod Gilbert
The 1981-82 season marked the first time that the Penguins and Rangers played in the same division. What was the name of the division?
Mario Lemieux hung up his skates for good during the 2005-06 season. Who was the Rangers’ captain for the 2006-07 season?
A. Chris Drury
B. Jaromir Jagr
C. Mark Messier
Here’s the video (with the answers):
I won! Woo Hoo!
Besides the stick I got a $250 check, a $50 Mastercard gift card and a Rangers gift bag with a wool cap, a shirt and a few odds and ends. I got to carry the stick to my seat and got a lot of high-fives along the way. Actually, people were congratulating me all night, even on the train. It was awesome.
Oh, and Matthew Perry was at the game. They showed the clip from Friends where Ross gets hit in the face with a puck at a Rangers - Pittsburgh game.
As for the game – what a heartbreaker. The place went crazy when Kreids tied it up, but I couldn’t believe we didn’t win in OT. Oh well, a point (at home!) in a “meaningless game”.
Finally, an update on the fight I wrote about last week. I was speaking to a security guard who happened to be in the middle of it (“Oh, that’s right. You were the guy with the beer”). It turns out that no charges were filed against anyone. The police looked at a video of the fracas and decided that the two Islander fans deserved what they got – a good beating - so they let everyone go. I don’t condone violence but I thought that was pretty funny.
Finally, Finally: I
blame thank Tony.