The boys spent almost the entire afternoon playing cornhole - probably the most popular tailgating activity. A close second is slap-shooting hockey pucks into a trash bin. (Here's a tip: try not to park near the slap-shooters. Their aim is never great after the first five or so beers.)
Joe and Amy provided ribs and chicken with bbq sauce and corn on the cob while Jason and I took the easy way out and brought a cooler stocked with beer and some store-bought fixins. It was quite the spread.
Cornhole alley... abandoned only for food and beverage. I think I counted six games going on at once on our stretch of pavement alone.
Relaxing between matches.
The real party was in the cheap seats though.
But I couldn't let that be the only photo of me and Amy to exist...because...ummm...well, do I really have to justify that? I mean, look at us. We look ridiculous!
Unfortunately, the fun ended in the parking lot. And not just because of the loss. But because of the Pens fans in attendance. It was 100% the worst home game experience of my life. The cops came into our section multiple times to deal with them and the Pens fans actually decided it was a good idea to argue with the police. Smart! They were drunk, rude, disrespectful and all-around obnoxious and it made a bad loss beyond miserable.
In fact, the Pens fan behind us (accompanied by a 'Canes fan) was drunk and toppled over onto us (crashing down mainly onto Joe and Amy) in the first period and then kicked Amy in the head when he got up for another beer run at the end of the second. (No, of course it wasn't deliberate but the point is that he was drunk and careless.) I grabbed his jersey and yelled at him and he just shrugged me off so I turned around to his friend and unleashed my fury on him, saying he'd better get his friend under control, in a shower of F-bombs. The jackass finally apologized when Joe came back and strongly encouraged him to do so. And I've heard multiple similar stories from others today.
So, thanks Pens fans! What a joy you were! But let me assure you this. No matter what happens on Tuesday night, whether our season ends or whether we live to fight another day, Caniac Nation will NOT let you ruin another game in our house. If we lose, we will stand and cheer for our guys louder than you can comprehend because they have given us an amazing post-season with miracle comebacks and underdog heroics. If we win, we will give them a sendoff back to Mellon like you've never heard. Loudest house in the NHL? Damn right. But you ain't heard nothing yet.