May 25, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique (14) celebrates his game-winning goal during the first overtime period in game six of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals at the Prudential Center. The Devils defeated the Rangers 3-2 to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Hockey, The Kings of Live Entertainment Part 1

While some may argue that the NFL, NBA, MLB, and international soccer games are the most enjoyable to watch live, there simply isn’t anything that beats seeing an NHL game live.

Ok, so maybe I haven’t gone to enough of these games to make that accusation. I’ve been to one NFL game (tickets are TOUGH to get), 3-4 NBA games (maybe only paid for one), and about 4-6 Mets games (yeah I know, those Mets).

As my bio suggests I’m not a season ticket holder or a fan that can recall the golden years from the early 2000s. I am entering my first year of college and I’m still 17 (granted only for a couple more months). The NHL season rings in my 18th birthday with style as I can kick back and enjoy Opening Day as my birthday gift.

Aug 8, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New Jersey Devils players Andy Greene (left) and Bryce Salvador (right) at a press conference at Yankee Stadium. Two outdoor regular-season NHL games will be played at Yankee Stadium during the 2013-14 season as part of the 2014 Stadium Series. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

This year, now that I am apart of Fansided and Pucks and Pitchforks, I decided that I will cut back on those pesky video games that cost so much money like a good college student should and put it to more mature, thoughtful things.

By that, I mean going to some Devils games this year of course. While my hopes of going to the home opener vaporized before my eyes (waited too long, now it’s too expensive), I saw it as an opportunity to put that money into more games. My ultimate goal for this year is at least 3-5 low level games.

Yeah, those are games against distant, slightly irrelevant teams like the Oilers, Coyotes, and Blue Jackets but it is better than nothing, right?

I have to hand it to the Prudential Center’s designers because it is such a nice arena to be in. There is a reason why the Devils are Jersey’s Team: in the outer, indoor portions of the arena where you can walk they have every NJ high school’s hockey jersey including my town and it was really humbling to see my little, seemingly irrelevant town be showcased for all of the Tri-State Area (and more) to see.

Then you get to your seat and you hear the organ play tunes that you surely heard on the radio on the way to Newark. You see everyone in their red, white, and black (and unfortunately sometimes red, blue, orange, and a yellowish Pittsburgh-type color that I can’t quite think of the name of….ah yes mustard is probably right) and you feel that everyone is there for the same reason: to watch an exciting hockey game.

Then there’s the intro. It is always unique to every team but really gets you pumped for the game that is about to happen. I was looking for videos of these intros yesterday and I came across one here (skip to a minute in if you wanna jump to the intro video) that was shown before a Devils, Rangers game (all credit goes to the person who uploaded it).

When you are at the game, you hear the music, you see the history, and most importantly Henrique’s goal, you know that it is going to be intense tonight.

Then, the roof explodes before the game even starts.

GONG

June 9, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) during the first period of game five of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals against the Los Angeles Kings at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Easily the most ominous noise for a sporting event and one that AC/DC will be forever known by, similar to Queen and We Will Rock You’s *Stomp Stomp Clap* theme.

Now, as you see in the video, everyone starts the booing and hissing when the Rangers come out and everyone that’s a Devils fan is united in doing this. Once the Devils come out, led by the Hall-of-Famer Brodeur, the atmosphere is absolutely electric.

And this is all before the puck even drops.

 

Stay Tuned for Part 2 of this look into why hockey is arguably the best live sport to see.

This topic is near and dear to my heart and is easily the most personal article I have posted since I started on Pucks and Pitchforks in June.

Stay Tuned!

Tags: New Jersey Devils New York Rangers Prudential Center

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