November 26, 2007

Hockey Fans Show Loyalty

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Sprinting and ducking through the customary throngs of people in Times Square as I made my way from 47th street to MSG in a vain attempt to find two more tickets to the Cornell-B.U. game Saturday night, my head kept whirling around as I saw cafes and restaurants chock-full of red and white whirring past my ducking and dodging head. If you were at the game Saturday night, you already know there was no way I could have purchased two last-minute tickets. At the risk of exposing my “wild” side, I did ask a very shady looking scalper if he had two tickets. The interaction went something like this:

Me: Two tickets?
Shady Scalper: You want two?
Me: Yeah, how much?
S.S.: 100.
Me: 100? They are selling for 15.
S.S.: What? What show are you talking about?
Me: The hockey game.
S.S.: Oh s— why are you trying to get tickets to that? It’s sold out.

That’s right, sold out. Walking to my seat, (section 408, F7 a.k.a the nose-bleeds) I could hear people around me gasping in wonderment at the sea of red. Given that B.U.’s colors are similar to ours’ (copycats), this may not be that impressive. However, as the game wore on, I came to realize two things.
First, the majority of the fans were undoubtedly in favor of Cornell. How could I be sure of such a bold assertion? During the third period when the band keyed up to start the “Say, you suck!” cheer/song, despite the fact that Cornell was losing 5-2, a pretty sizeable majority of people willingly got to their feet and commenced the hand motions so the effect was something like a panoramic of red people raising their hands left and right (almost) in time to the music. In fact, the only noticeable gap of people not participating consisted of the B.U. pep band who I’m sure (although I could not see them due lack of um, proximity) had annoying smirks plastered to their faces expressing a mixture of gloating that the Terriers were winning and jealousy that our pep band was clearly superior (ahem).
My second realization was that Cornell might actually have some school spirit. No offense to the Lynah Faithful, but prior to this weekend, I was certain that outside of this loud but relatively small demographic, there aren’t many people on this campus who would call themselves diehard Red fans. On Saturday, it was clear by the number of students and alumni singing the alma mater with gusto that we have a little more school pride than we receive credit for. Only people who really care about Red hockey would make up the majority of a sold out 18,200-seat arena that doesn’t even sell out consistently when the Rangers play there.
Our fans were so valiantly loyal that they even started booing 1980 Olympic gold medalists Mike Eruzione, Jack O’ Callaghan, and David Silk until they realized that they weren’t just B.U. hockey alumni but the real life hockey studs every girl fell in love with from the movie Miracle. So if you were in attendance at the Garden on Saturday night and demonstrated your appreciation for the Red hockey program and for an important revival of a classic college hockey rivalry, you proved that just because we didn’t win the game, we’ll be back next year more than ready to “Screw B.U.!”