We’ve been to watching parties before, most notably outside Columbus Crew Stadium, to watch World Cup matches last year and in 2006. Those have been a blast; we weren’t there for last year’s game against Algeria, but the reaction in the tent outside the stadium for a USA goal is always something like this:
I’ve been in Pittsburgh for a bunch of Penguins’ playoff runs, but Mrs. Crappy and I had never made it into town to watch a game on the Big Screen. Sort of independently of each other, we both thought Friday would be the right time to give it a try.
For the uninitiated: For years, the Penguins have set up an enormous TV outside the Civic Arena so those not fortunate enough to have tickets to the game inside could still watch in a something pretty close to a game atmosphere*. I have friends who have watched games at the screen for a long time, and all swear by the experience, but we’d just never got around to it.
Because I was the only one not working on Friday, I loaded a cooler with sammiches, snacks and Fresca — they’re pretty tough about the drinking in the lot — and set up early a pretty good distance from the screen. Mrs. Crappy and a bunch of other friends arrived with the rest of the crowd; the empty spaces around our chairs filled in pretty quickly.
We had an awesome time. We didn’t see a lot of great hockey — the Pens managed playoff intensity for about 10 minutes in the second period — but watching Mikey and Bob work the crowd before the game and sitting with a few thousand close friends on a breezy night made it worth it nonetheless.
And yeah, when the Pens scored their only goal of the night, we got a reaction pretty close to the one in Crew Stadium.
Mrs. Crappy made some grumpy pronouncements after the game about not being able to go back because of the loss, but if I had to guess, I’d say we’ll be back.
*Unless NBC is showing the game. Dicks.