That is right, as I placed my butt into the seats last night, I looked around and thought. I am back. We are back. Among family. Among the others whose faces, if not names were so familiar. The kids behind us who yelled Jooooel Waaaard, and threw popcorn with each goal. The guy in front of us who consumes no less than three rounds of nachos and cheese each game. And the ladies beside us, who barely watch the game but rather choose to stare at their phone all evening and see it as some sort of social hour rather than a professional sports game.
Yes, it felt good to be among them once more.
There is nothing like that first game jitters, the hope that this season will be THE SEASON. Yet knowing despite the outcome someone will slam them and find something wrong in the morning. And catching the opener for the first time is always joy. The smell of beer and hot dogs not as much but it comes with the game and would be odd without. It is seeing the hometown crowd for the first time, I fully admit half of the time I just sat back and watched them, knowing I was apart of it all. It is the first anthem(s) of the year, the realization that you know all the words to both. And who thought that would ever happen?
It is Caleb Green and Bob McDonald singing them for the first time. it is beautiful.
And while others may disagree, I truly believe the 400s level is a blast. I may have spent years in the lower bowl but up in the 400s, you can see it all. The anticipation, the fears. The nervous glances at the score board knowing time was winding down.
Yes, Its the crowd, the sweaters and trying to memorize all the new players, their numbers once more. While I may have been crowd watching for half the game, the other half was watching the guys on the ice, and trying to work out the pronunciations and to figure out who was actually worth it all.
No there is nothing quite like opening night. Even if we lost.
I was home.