Random Beanpot Observations, Or View From The Top–of the TD Banknorth Garden

Ah, the Beanpot. The only hockey game all year that the TD Banknorth Garden sells out.

For the second year in a row, I had the opportunity (aka, Chris and I had enough “Terrier loyalty points”) to attend the Beanpot. For my Upstate New Yorkers, the Beanpot is a four university hockey tournament that has been going on for 55 years. It features Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern, and Harvard. The tournament takes place the first two Mondays of February, with two games each night. There is a women’s hockey Beanpot, a baseball beanpot, and even a Rice and Beanpot, but the most well attended and well known is the men’s hockey Beanpot, played at the Fleet-Banknorth-Boston-Garden-Center.

The last thing that y’all Upstate New Yorkers need to know about the Beanpot is that Boston University has won more times than the other three teams combined. Bostonians snidely call it the “BU Invitational.” (And as a good Binghamton alum, I always respond to that by asking, “But I don’t see any Bearcats around.”)
While I can’t contribute much beyond what everyone else in the blogsphere has already, I bring you my thoughts from my second in-person Beanpot final.

I like the Boston University band. They are a traditional, large, hard-core athletic pep band. They play upbeat, horn-led, traditional peppy songs. It’s interesting to compare other schools with the BU Band, which is easy to do at the Beanpot. The Harvard band knows five songs total, but I like their fight song and often have it stuck in my head, so they get props. The Northeastern band had the bright idea to include their cheerleaders, but that always makes me nervous, because they place them in front of them, in the front row of the upper most section at the Garden, which has an unacceptably low guardrail. The Boston College band has recently come to the realization that they are a Top-40 station, and played, among other TRL like material, Ridin’ Dirty by Chamillionaire. I don’t have a problem with that…but how does that pump up a crowd? I mean, “They see me rollin’, they hatin’, they’re trying to catch me ridin’ dirty?” (Mind you, I didn’t have to look up these lyrics, that’s how horrible my musical taste is.) I mean, gosh, I know BC tends to play dirty (hello, Gerbe!), but the band shouldn’t be pointing this out in a song.

A young woman at a sporting event alone (Chris had class during the consolation game, and so I ended up at the Harvard-Northeastern consolation game alone) who has knowledge of the game astounds any male over the age of 50. Case in point: I take a wrong turn and end up on the lower box level of the arena. As I’m trying to get to the escalator that will take me where I should be, I pass one of the Boston University players warming up. There were two middle aged men in front of me on the escalator, and they were staring at the player, astounded that he would be out in public stretching. They turn to me and ask me if I knew what team the player was from. I told them, including name, number, year and position without flinching, and they looked at me like I had three heads. But yes, I’m used to this.

It amazes me that the Garden still will acknowledge that the Celtics play there. They had tons of advertisements on the ribbon board and Jumbotron during breaks in the action for the remaining Celtics games. I mean, when the Bills were low they weren’t even this bad. 18 losses in a row? They haven’t won in over a month? How is that supposed to woo me to finally attend a Celtics game? Can they just totally revamp the team, starting with the pronunciation of the name? It’s the Boston Celt-ics! See them wear kilts! See the dance team Irish dance!

I love the second to last row at sporting events. You are either with the die-hards or the careless. There is no in-between in the last two rows. I have fond memories of the second to last row in Rich Stadium, because that’s where my seat was when I saw the 49ers-Bills game (including the one and only Steve Young of course) back in 1998. You know you’re dedicated when you are in the last two rows of any game–in particular football games–because you so want to see this game that you are willing to have that poor of a view.

Why is Budweiser served at hockey arenas? If I ruled the world, all beer in hockey arenas would either be Labatt Blue or Molson Canadian (aka the official beers of Hasenauer family functions–only the most Canadian of beers for the most Canadian of accents.)

Am I correct in remarking that college hockey coaches raise heck over calls a thousand times more than NHL or AHL coaches? In my years of watching hockey with my dad back in Lake-Effect-Snow-Land, I do not remember John Tortorella flinging his arms about regarding a call like the wild-wacky-inflatable-arm-waving-tube-man. Yet college coaches argue every call so spastically and physically that it’s a wonder one hasn’t flipped over the board while doing so yet.

Speaking of Lake-Effect-Snow-Land, here is an off-topic comment: yes, 100 inches of snow is a ton of snow. However, trust me when I say that the people of Oswego, Fair Haven, Sterling and Red Creek, NY know how to deal with it (I would know–I spent summers with my grandparents and aunt in Fair Haven during my childhood.) And really, there are people in those towns who aren’t even batting an eye at this amount. It’s Lake Effect–it’s unpredictable, it’s crazy, and it lasts from October till April. Gotta love it!

If I were BC Athletics, I’d tweak the maroon in their uniforms and other apparel. It’s not consistent and, in its worst form, it resembles a muddy brown. That gold is nice, and is much too vivid to pair up with a maroon with too much brown in it.

Last but not least, I would like to wholeheartedly thank the management of the TD BankNorth Garden for having the foresight to include two Dunkin Donuts in their arena. The championship game didn’t start until 8:15pm, had TV timeouts, and went into overtime. The only thing keeping me going at the end was coffee (or coffee-flavored cream, as I tend to make it.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to listen to the news reporters go crazy over 3 inches of snow. Now, when I was a girl, I walked back from school in valleys created from 3 1/2 feet of snow being plowed. Freaking out about 3 inches and some freezing rain will always seem like overkill to me.

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Filed under Beanpot, hockey, lake effect snow, TDBanknorth Garden

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