Thursday, January 1, 2009

Detroit Red Wings 6, Chicago Blackhawks 4

Nine hours after leaving Andersonville early Thursday morning, I parked on Argyle Street to meet my friend for the game viewing party we were to attend in Lakeview. What a beautiful place these guys had! It was on Waveland Avenue, just across the street from Wrigley Field Gates J and K, which are bleacher entrances. The Waveland Avenue circus atmosphere before and after Cubs games was in full force today. I saw the fighter jets roar overhead after the national anthems, and I could hear the crowd after the (too few) Blackhawks goals. I walked right past the NHL refrigeration truck that controlled the ice temperature.

When are the Blackhawks going to beat the Red Wings? Sometime this season, please? They seem to have "two-goal-lead-itis." They had a two-goal lead Dec. 6, too, and that one was in the third period. Today's only lasted until the second. The Red Wings are a far superior team; they're 4-0 against the Blackhawks so far this season. The Hawks need to figure out how to reach the Wings' level of play.

The NHL worked hard to dress up that dump Wrigley Field as much as possible for the Winter Classic today. One nice addition was the two video screens the NHL installed for the fans' benefit. Could the Cubs possibly do the same? Nah....more fun to keep fans in the dark!

From my vantage point across from that bleacher entrance, I could see the queue for the men's room. This reminded me again how disgusting the men's rooms at Wrigley Field are. There aren't enough of them, and they have troughs instead of individual stalls. What a horrid health code violation! I firmly believe once the Cubs receive permission from the city to renovate the ballpark, they should completely raze the main grandstand and rebuild it. Fans need modern amenities and conveniences, such as: clean restrooms, wide concourses, more concession stands, decent gift shoppes, comfortable seats with cupholders and decent, unobstructed views, and seat numbering systems that actually make sense. The main grandstand was never designed to hold 35,000 people 81 times a year. That's what the Cubs demand of it, and it's not holding up its part of the bargain. Not at all. (Actually, the Cubs added the upper deck 22 years after the ballpark opened, so it's not surprising they don't work together well.) "Disgusting" is not the same as "charming." Please.

I love hearing Red Wings fans crowing about their city. None of them live in Detroit. They live in East Side suburbs. None of them ever set foot in Detroit unless they're visiting MGM Grand or attending a game (Lions, Tigers and Wings, oh my!). They're terrified of their crime-ridden city. Two entire generations of Detroit-area suburbanites have lived outside of Detroit their whole lives--since 1967. Very sad.

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