How I rang in 2011 – Winter Classic Alumni Game, new baby and The Reverend

New Year’s Eve 2011 will go down as a crazy day.

First off we have the debacle that was the 2011 Winter Classic Alumni Game. John and I arrived 1 hour before the game started and walked around to see the booths and overpriced swag that was for sale. At 9am we made our way to the gate and found ourselves in the middle of a near riot.

There was only ONE gate open for 10,000 people to enter. Doesn’t seem like an issue but apparently that plus a couple turnstiles lead to a total bottleneck that ran over an hour wait for some people. The game started at 9:30 and it wasn’t until almost 10am that we got in. I was reading tweets from people inside the game to get score updates and fans wondering where everyone was. A good 60% of the fans were still outside.

Check out the quick video of the Winter Classic crowd outside I shot with my phone.

Oh wait it gets better. So not only did we miss all but 6 minutes of the 1st period in which the score was 3-3 but then they only played 2 periods and it ended in a 5-5 tie! The guys all wanted to play more but one made the comment in an interview that the NHL said no. So for $25 + 20 in ticketing fees from Ticketmaster per ticket I saw 26 minutes of hockey most of which was spent watching on a scoreboard. The audio and video were way off sync, the food was bad and the mics barely worked.

The NHL and Heinz Field were a complete FAIL on this event and I hope for the sake of the 70,000 fans coming to the Winter Classic that they get their shit together. Heinz Field should stick with the football business and keep entertainment to the professionals.  Can’t even buy anything with an ATM/Debt card.  What a joke this place is. Another thing they should take lessons from the Pens on.

At least the seats weren’t bad.

Thankfully the night was better and I got to spend it with my boys (Teaspoon was sleeping at this point)

And a delicious beer