The Nashville Predators sure know how to throw a party and last night was no exception.
Looking past a rough night and morning for those who follow the Nashville Predators, I’d like to go through what makes playoff games just that special. I’ve been to a total of four playoff games in my life, including last night’s, and each game you always get this different buzz that you just can’t get from a regular season game. Even the walk from the parking garage to the arena feels different.
As you begin your walk to Bridgestone Arena, passing by all the freshly added gold and Stand with Us visuals, probably the first difference you will notice will be the large crowd surrounding something. As you get closer you see what they are all standing around is a fenced in-car. Not just any car, it’s a car that’s been painted in the opposing team’s colors and logo.
Why, you ask? Well its quite simple really. The reason for this ugly duckling of a car is for our fans to take out their anger on the other team. We smash it. With a sledgehammer. This car, after the series, will be a broken and crushed memory of what it was. After last night’s loss, I’m sure plenty of fans will take their frustration out on that car for Game Four on Thursday .
After mingling with other fans and listening to live music outside you will make you way inside. Once you get through security
and you’re welcomed inside you can just feel it. The feeling of hockey.
If you’ve been to a regular season game you know that feeling. The cool breeze of the area and ice, the sound of your fellow brothers and sisters in gold talking with one another, and that adrenaline getting you ready for a great game. Well take all that and multiply that by ten. That’s the playoffs.
Quick note, if you have never been to Bridgestone for a game I recommend getting there early so you can just walk around the arena. It is gorgeous. All the wonderful food venues and stores are great to visit. As the puck drop gets closer you prepare to go to your seats.
For me my favorite section to sit in is Section 303, or as its more commonly known, The Cellblock. The Cellblock is like a college football section, but more intense and, quite frankly, much better because of the chanting. I’ll circle back to that in a minute.
What’s so energizing about playoff hockey is what starts off the first home game. The lights go out, the crowd cheers, and the scoreboard comes alive. The organization gives you a video of the players talking about the playoffs, providing hard-hitting highlights of the season, and some intense music that they probably borrowed from Shea Weber‘s playlist.
The video fades out and then the show begins. The beautiful and electrifying light and laser show gives you chills down your back as the music intensifies and the highlights of our boys keep going.
As the show finishes, the lights come back up, and the crowd rocks the building to its core you then see something else, unexpected to some mind you, a catfish. And yes, the glorious catfish, thrown on the ice. Three last night in fact, if my memory serves me right. I still don’t know how they sneak that in past security. How is a large fish and the smell of it not noticeable to anyone? Oh well, I still love it.
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Remember the Cellblock? Well, they get the home crowd rowdy and ready. They provide motivational chants to keep our boys going, and some anti-motivational chants for the opposing team. Just to remind them where they are. “Let’s Go Preds” and “Let’s Go Predators” chants fill the arena.
I have never heard it so loud and clear as it was last night. Sadly we didn’t get that puck into the net, not for the lack of trying, so we didn’t get to hear Tim McGraw’s I Like it, I Love it sung as one by the hometown. But take a moment and think about how beautiful that would sound.
Most players and coaches like to say that the playoffs are a different animal compared to the regular season, and I completely agree. Players skate faster, they hit harder, they have this added energy that they have never had before, and that’s no different for the fans. The intensity and the pure passion of the crowd and our fans gets turned up to eleven in the playoffs.
If this upcoming game on Thursday is your first playoff game or even your first game ever, take in the sounds and the sights of what is around you. Because you are here, you are at Bridgestone Arena about to watch a fantastic sport during the time of the year when being at a ten just isn’t enough. Bring it to an eleven and Let’s Go Preds!!