Sunday, November 4, 2007

Final Observations on AAN

A few more thoughts on the wonderfully fun Al Arbour Night (or "AAN" as the kids call it). What, you expect us to be watching the Jets on a Sunday afternoon?

One of the great things about being part of the blog box is the post-game walk to the locker room. And one of the great things about the post-game walk is that you never know whom you might run into by chance down there. It could be a random player, coach Ted Nolan, Isles exec Bryan Trottier, or even Scotty Bowman.

The great Coach Bowman was mere feet away from me last evening as a crowd gathered around him to hear a few sagacious words from the living legend. As I was ushered past the man, was I thinking about the 9 championships, or the way he finally brought the Cup back to Detroit, or that he enabled Coach Arbour to become a legend in his own right? No, my pea-brain was thinking about how much he looks like Tony Soprano...

Separated at birth?

Another thing that struck me as slightly off-kilter last night was the music that accompanied the tribute video for Arbour. It was intended to be a sweet look back at the golden years, but came off like a funeral dirge. Let's just say it made Paul Anka music seem exciting. Couldn't the Isles hire a musician to stand at center ice and play a sad, solo flute?

However, the BEST thing about the entire evening was the building. I know, lots of people grumble about how old and small and dirty and outdated the place is. Heck, even my co-blogger thinks it prevents the Isles from attracting top free agents. I think the time will come when a new home is built for our team, but when the old barn is filled and roaring it is alive, and I love it. I LOVE IT.

I'm torn about the Coliseum just like I'm torn about Shea Stadium. They're both worn around the edges and everyone else has a newer, shinier sandbox to play in, but I'll be sad when they each go. Just like at Shea, some of my finest childhood memories happened there. The Coliseum may be a "dump," but it's OUR dump. And last night the 16,234 fans inside made the building special again.

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