Hockeytown, Southern district

This past weekend the boys and I met up down in Columbus for a Red Wings game and some general debauchery. I met up with Chris, Darin, and Guy at Darin’s house, then we made the journey down. It’s not a bad trip really – only about 3.5 – 4 hours if you take out the stop for food. Andre and Jon each drove from their respective areas in about two hours. It’s probabably about the most central place for us all to meet, which is cool.

After we all arrived and got situated in our suites, we sat around and shot the shit for a while, enjoyed some frosty beverages, and watched some bad TV. After a while we got bored and decided to head out and see some of the night life. We walked around for a while and stopped at a brew-pub, mostly due to the diuretic nature of the beer we had already partaken in. We each had a drink, but quickly decided to take off because the place was dead and the beer wasn’t that good. After a while, we found the place we were looking for, a local dive called the Char Bar. Before we left, Andre called down to the receptionist asking for a good local dive bar, and that was her recommendation. A good recommendation it was. The place was very relaxed, and the staff behind the personable. We had a few rounds there before closing time, then took off. The walk back was interesting as well. Andre and I decided to have a sumo match in a patch of lawn in front of some sort of office building. I relied on my agility (which isn’t saying much) to best Dre in the first round, but he pancaked me pretty good in the second. I think we gave up after that. The match must have made Andre feel spry, because he decided to jog all the way back to the hotel. The rest of us didn’t follow his lead.

The next morning we had scheduled some golfing at a local course, and that came far sooner than I would have liked. It wasn’t the picture perfect day for golf. It was sunny, but the wind was roaring on top of about 45 degree temperatures. It was pretty chilly. In addition, there were no trees on the course (!!), so there was nothing to knock down the wind. Rumor has it that the course was built on an old landfill, which might explain some things. After a while, the wind and chill caught up with us, and we took off after nine holes, even though we paid for 18.

A few of us napped for some of the afternoon, which was very much needed. After our slumber, we got ready and headed over to the WIngs game. We were the stereotypical visiting fans, totally decked out in Wings garb. Our section was up in nosebleed, and there were a lot of other Wings fans up there as well. The Wings pulled out a close victory, 4-2. (The fourth goal was on an empty net with about three seconds left, which makes it seem a bit less close.) We had some good fun with the locals shouting insults after the game, but it was expected and taken in stride.

After the game, we headed back over to the Char Bar. It was much more lively after the game than it was the previous night. We spent a good amount of time there and had at least 7 or 8 rounds of beer. We took a decent amount of ribbing from the locals, but nobody was out of hand. I actually recieved a free shot from a guy I was talking to at the bar while waiting for a round. Apparently his feeling is that it’s good for the sport to treat the travelling fans as well as possible while they’re on the road supporting their teams. I can completely agree with that one. He sat down and talked with the rest of us for a while a bit later in the night, and he seemed like a very cool fellow – very passionate about hockey. There was even an instance of conversation with random attractive females, which was made easier because they were picking on my Wings jersey. I had to defend my honor! A good night all in all.

The next day we parted company, after at least 20 minutes of being “those guys” while trying to figure out the bill at the reception desk. For a group of six engineering/science types, we sure do suck at basic stuff like figuring out a bill. The drive back was quiet for the most part. Chris and Darin were pretty worse for the wear, and they slept for most of the trip back while Guy and I talked music.


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