I know it’s Philly week here at The Riot! but as I said yesterday, we can’t just put all our eggs in one city’s basket so I want to take a little time to give a little play to our brothers up north. That’s right, I’m talking about Winnipeg.
None of us here at The Riot! have ever hid our love for the Jets. In fact we made them the first official Riot! team. Sure I might be verbally lambasted by some friends but I pay no mind. I’m the guy you find walking the streets of Philly with my head held high rocking a Jets hoodie and hat.
Enough about me… Things are great in Winnipeg. The team is currently riding a three game winning streak, currently tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference, and only one point behind the Southeast Division leading Florida Panthers. The playoffs are no longer a pipe dream but a reality. The Jets are getting hot at the right time and without a doubt it’s a great time to be a Jets fan (but when isn’t it?).
A couple of weeks ago Steff and I headed to Wachovia, I mean Wells Fargo Center to see the Jets invade Philadelphia. We went to the first game in October and I left happy (along with 5 other Jets fans), as the Jets won 9-8. We had good seats that game. We were in the corner six rows from the ice. I expected to get shit from Flyers fans but surprisingly I didn’t. Well these seats weren’t six rows from the ice, in fact they were 4 rows from the top of the arena, so I expected more heckling. Aside being able to see the Jets play live, I was out to see how big asshole Philly fans really are (I mean that is the stereotype right?). While Steff was sporting her Winter Classic Jagr sweater, I had my Jets tee-shirt and hoodie on, so I was on the hunt for Jets fans and asshole Flyers fans. I was a bit surprised what I found.
- The first people I encountered upon entering the arena were Jets fans. It was an older couple who was from Winnipeg but has lived in Philly for the past 12 years (he was wearing a flyers jersey and Jets hat and she was wearing a sweatshirt that proudly displayed “Winnipeg, Manitoba” on the front). We chatted with them for about 20 minutes and I got some great insight. From the fact that most US beer sucks to how Winnipeg is nuts about the Jets to the size of the MTS Centre really isn’t big enough for an NHL team (it was built for the AHL Manitoba Moose). The best story he told me was he went to a Phantoms/Moose game last season (AHL hockey), and when they were leaving he overheard two people debating “what state Manitoba was in” (once again the US education system doing a bang up job). In hindsight I wish I got his info for future games or perhaps a hook up getting Jets gear next time they are in Winnipeg.
- After talking to the fine folks from the ‘Peg, we grabbed a beer and I looked for Jets fans and they were few and far between. There were a few here and there but they pretty much kept to themselves.
- The game started very slow. To the point where the first shot was ten minutes into the game (by the Jets). When the first goal of the game was scored (by the Jets Chris Thornburn), I stood up and cheered and not one person said a cross word to me.
- The most obscure sweater I saw was a Flyers Joel Otto. I actually forgot he was a Flyer.
- The biggest asshole was some doucher wearing a Rangers sweater and Bruins jacket. Hey jackass, pick a f*cking team.
- Speaking of assholes there was a Jets fan in my section. He was the opposite of svelte, had a serious mullet, and was rocking a Byfuglien sweater. I tried to talk to him and get a picture but he was too busy talking to a chick that had fewer teeth than Chris Pronger.
- I called a Jets win in a shootout, which is exactly what happened (Bryan Little), even leaving no one said a word to me about my Jets love. The only thing I remotely heard were fans saying “Why can’t we beat the f*cking Jets?!?”
Overall it was a great time. I got a buzz, got to see the Jets play (and win), and went to Wells Fargo Center as an opposing fan unscathed. Granted, it wasn’t like I was rooting for the Rangers or Devils, but still.
Well I’ve got to run. I need to catch a shower (and possibly shave my beard), then meet Steff to watch the Jets beat the Flyers again tonight and move into first place in the Southeastern Division.
I want to hear from you guys. Philly and Winnipeg, you’re both on the clock. Email me at email@example.com and rip me to shreds. Go Jets go!!!
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