Greeting from snowy, icy, cold Nashville, Tennessee…a place that looked more like the state capital of Montana this weekend than that of one in the south.
As I’m sure you know, hundreds of Thrashers fans braved the elements to make their way up here to participate in Music City Snow Jam 2010…most traversing the frozen tundra in buses with the Atlanta Thrashers Fan Club.
But many made their own way…climbing through the slippery slopes of I-24…or even up I-65 by way of Birmingham…to take in the festivities and root for our hometown Thrashers. Such was the case with the Rawhide-Blueland Chronicle Consortium. Razor Catch Prey and I traveled together and met Big Shooter, Mortimer Peacock and French Catalogues who arrived an hour before us, just about lunch time.
It only took about 3-1/2 hours to get to the outskirts of Nashville…the roads were cleared off nicely and we traveled speed limit most of the way. The Tennessee DOT deserves much credit there. But once we got inside the city’s perimeter, the ice, slush buildup slowed traffic to crawl and it took 90 minutes to go the final 20 miles.
As for the game itself…very, very disappointing outcome. The Thrashers had gotten here the day before and were rested while the Predators played Friday night in Detroit. Atlanta came out flat…left some people unattended in front of the net…and fell behind 2-0 halfway through the first period. This certainly did not go unnoticed by the throngs of Preds fans sitting around us, who enjoyed showing us just where the scoreboard was…making sure we were aware of the situation.
In all honesty…Preds fans are pretty cool folks for the most part. They, along with Caniacs are among my most favorite of supporters of other teams. They can rib ya…take some in return…and not take it personally.
Wasted in the effort were Bryan Little’s pair of goals and Chris Thorburn’s shorty. For Bryan they were numbers 7 and 8. Todd White assisted on Little’s first goal…the one that got Atlanta to within one before the first break…giving him two points in as many games. Whitey is also a +1 in the past five games.
After Martin Erat’s blast put Nashville up 3-1 halfway into the second, Atlanta roared back with Thorburn’s short-handed goal…assisted by Marty Reasoner…and Little’s second assist of the game. But it was all undone right at the beginning of the third when Jason Arnott, Cody Franson and Steve Sullivan teamed up to take a face off win and score with just seven second elapsed in the third period.
Apparently, they had observed that the Thrashers tended to come out of the locker room somewhat flat and had a plan to capitalize on it.
“It was Franny’s call,” Arnott said after the game. “He came up to me before the draw and said, `If we win it, bust up the middle and I’ll hit you,’ and he did. And it just happened so fast”.
And that was all Nashville ultimately needed to procure the two points and send the Thrashers back to Atlanta with nothing to show for their stop off in Nashville.
After the game, the buses packed with disappointed fans headed back home. However, the five of us decided to meander out onto Broadway to do a little in-depth investigation into the nighttime activities of the local population. What we found was fascinating, to say the least. There are many establishments in which folks can gather to listen to…and dance to…live bands while consuming vast quantities of adult beverages. Morty, Shooter, Razor, Frenchy and myself made it a point to…ahem…investigate several such businesses on our way back to the hotel.
Actually, this “checking out” process of the local pubberies began shortly after lunch when we found two or three such places and began our “studies”.
Along the way, we ran into several Thrashers fans who were doing the same thing the five of us were…and a great time was had by all.
One of the people I met was John, an occasional contributor to this forum. I also met some great fans from Douglasville… Melissa and Aimee…and they promised they and their husbands would move from “lurker” status to actually posting a comment or two.
I’m gonna hold ‘em to it once they make their way home…which is something I will do myself later in the day once some of this snow gives way to the sunshine that is starting to appear up here right now.
Oh…and one last thing. In one of these Nashville bars, Mortimer Peacock lost his Ilya Kovalchuk signed jersey. I can only imagine that somewhere around here, a pretty young gal is waking up wearing a blue Thrashers jersey and wondering just where in the world it came from.
Oh well…what happens in Nashvegas, stays in Nashvegas.