Hey all, Jeff here from Pittsburgh! Just thought I’d give a post about the story so far with my first season with the meetup family and the experience of seeing the Islanders sweep the local flightless birds (Penguins).
The idea for me to start the meetup group came shortly after the season started and after a few ounces of liquid courage, I decided that I was going to do it. I knew I was going to a pens game (an eventual 6-2 blow out loss) but I didn’t want to be surrounded by all black and yellow. So off to Twitter I went. I don’t remember much….maybe too much courage, but I do know the next day my new Twitter account was blown to kingdom come and Mikey of Charlotte had contacted me. So thru some word of mouth and a bit of promotion, people had discovered me and knew about me at the game, unfortunately most were simply travelers, no transplants except for 3. 1 of these guys you will notice is in every one of my pictures (not the red-head, that’s my brother). Eventually the heat was on to get a meetup started, so I did, a game against the Blues at BWW in Monroeville since finding Center Ice in the area is NOT an easy thing to do. After some odd stares, some heckling from a very “courageous” gentleman who was leaving for 2 hours thru the game, we had our first meetup. There were 5 of us. It was nerve wracking as I have anxiety issues the way it is….but it happened. Fortunately the Isles won, and away we went. We had some more meetups at the same location, with the same people plus one of my best friends and we ended up sporting I think a 5-1 record for meetups prior to the post season. Good stuff.
I’ll keep this section nice and brief, but I figured I’d share it.
For my birthday, my wife had gotten me tickets to DMV’s meetup against the Caps. I was nervous as hell for some reason, probably because I was fairly new to the family and didn’t know anyone. It was awesome. The compliments I had gotten on my Lehner jersey were very humbling and I met some awesome people…shout out to Skoota Clint for the awesome conversation and entertainment once we all crushed the Barn Rocker. Finally it was game time. Not much to say, exciting Isles hockey…a 2-0 shutout. My 2nd win in person and first shut out….The Greiss is Right.
The second part of this journey was meeting Brett of Philly. Again, another Isles win. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay long for the pre-game pic, I had to get my brother to the game in a futile attempt to get a puck from Matt Martin (they took his sign??). But again, it was a great time meeting more of the family and listening to Devin spew it at the fans. It was also awesome finally meeting Mike Carver of Isle Seat Podcast. What a day, back and forth to/from Philly.
PLAYOFFS BABY, PLAYOFFS! FUCKIN’ RIGHT
Now this is where it gets good. I’m the Pittsburgh organizer, the Islanders are coming here, to play against a team that is basically Kryptonite to the Isles. Fuck it, were going out and watching. Game 1 unfortunately was me sitting at my house working while watching, not very exciting until the buzzer. But man was I juiced, sleep didn’t happen that night. Game 2 comes around, and that’s where the fun started. We decided we were going to go to Brew Gentlemen in Braddock to watch (great beer, if you come to visit and you drink, make this a sure stop). I get there and the place is D-E-D DEAD! I was quite surprised, but there was a single table in the center of the side room for the game reserved….boy were these people going to be pissed. As time where’s on people start showing including my dude Jay and his family, the OG members. As we all know, game 2 the Isles won. Man its amazing how similar it is to the fans leaving the arena and a bar when this team is down. Perhaps a bit spoiled? Either way, I’ll take good beer and Isles win any day of the week.
Game 3 finally comes, and my contingent minus my wife are going. I was damn sure to put it out there as hard as I could and get as many people as I could united and meeting each other. Social media is a wonderful tool, the results for the in-game picture blew me away. Shout out to Meetup DMV for coming out/up as well. I was at a beer cart and left my brother to be my stand-in for a minute. Every time I looked over more and more people where coming he was in shock as was I…but I couldn’t quit smiling. This was bad ass. So we got the picture and returned to our seats. The crowd was trying so hard to vanquish the shouts of LEH-NER and lets go Islanders but it never sustained. They’d cover it and stop and Isles fans were back to yelling, it was awesome. Another great game experience for me. My first personal win at PPG and a playoff one at that. Plus my dude Lehner with the head-butt save <3. I was also sure to get out for a beer or 2 and meet some fans if they were in the mood should the Isles win (did I mention they did?!) at Fatheads on Carson Street. Met a few more traveling fans there, 2 of which were part of DMV’s contingent but still awesome they made the trip.
All in all. This season has been nothing but a success on so many levels for me. I’ve accomplished a lot with this group I feel and I’m so excited to get more going. See you guys in round 2!