Road Tripping Into the New Year – Smashville

This post and the several that precede are a retelling of my experience on my first ever road trip. The trip started in Newark, NJ, went through Pittsburgh, stopped in Cleveland, continued on to Indianapolis, landed in Saint Louis, and the final stop was in Nashville. Along the way, I would see 5 games in 5 days with a grand total of 7 games in 8 days and travel about 2,100 miles by car. Yes, it was as crazy as it sounds. But, to me, it was the perfect way to end 2016 and kick off 2017.

My final stop in this crazy road trip had come. I made it to Nashville – buzzing off an outdoor hockey game. This was my second time to Nashville, and unfortunately, this trip would be much shorter than my previous visit. Essentially, I was in town long enough to grab a bite to eat on Broadway, watch a hockey game, and sleep before my 12 hour drive home.

I had planned to go to this game back when the NHL schedule game out over the summer. This was a big one – Shea Weber’s return to Smashville. Over the summer, a trade between Nashville and Montreal rocked the hockey world when the teams traded essentially the same player. The trade had been discussed at length (read: over analyzed in every way imaginable), but given the nature of it I wanted to be there for one of their homecomings. With Nashville close to St. Louis and the game occurring the day following the Winter Classic, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

My first stop in Nashville for some grub before the game. Acme Feed and Seed came in highly recommended and was a quick walk from the stadium. Who am I kidding, anything on Broadway is a quick from the stadium. Again, another stadium in a prime location.

Just like my last trip in Nashville, fans wearing the Predators’ yellow filling up Broadway. There was something a little different this time though. Cameras and bright lights all around the stadium entrance. Just in case we forgot what was happening tonight, the reporters abound were there to remind us.

Again, I arrived to the stadium well before game time (and really, well before the players came out for warmups). The first thing I noticed was how many Canadiens fans were at the game. I imagine Nashville is a pretty popular travel destination, so it has to be somewhat frustrating for fans how often people travel there to see their team play. The last game I was at didn’t see too many out of town guests, but it was definitely very noticeable for this game against the Canadiens.

I saw a mix of emotions from Canadien fans. Some with signs saying we miss you PK. Others, maybe in an attempt to be humorous, showed more of a “glad your gone” type of sign. Apparently those fans were silent when he was traded, because from what I gathered, the majority of fans were heartbroken to see him go.

Personally, I think they were only like that because the media made it seem like they “lost” the trade, but they are doing very well (which wouldn’t be the same if their goalie was hurt like he was like season). Whatever the case may be – both PK Subban and She Weber loved their respective cities, were key pieces to the team, and didn’t ask to leave. Respect from the fans should be given.

And Nashville did just that. A lot of that actually. Just the perfect amount with a sweet tribute and some “Thank you Weber” chants in the first period. Weber is a good guy, and for reasons that continue to frustrate me, Subban doesn’t always get that kind of respect from some people and organizations around the league. Just glad to see that he is in a city that gives him that respect he deserves. Smashville!

Previous Stop: St. Louis

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