DALLAS!!! (*bomp bomp*) STARS!!! (*bomp bomp*) DALLAS!!! (*bomp bomp*) STARS!!! (*bomp bomp*)(*heavy metal barre chords follow, by the band Pantera*)

Text message at 2:26PM. Author: Retrophisch. “Feel like going to the Stars game tonight?”

I thought long and hard about any and all responsibilities I had going. Lemme see…soup and sandwich at home and watching on TV or getting to Game 3? Elapsed time: 0.357 seconds. Replied affirmatively.

Text message at 2:57PM. Retrophisch again. “I’ll let you know the final outcome re: tickets in a bit.”

Popped off to office hockey fan Sharon that tickets to Game 3 of round 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs might find their way into my hands while gathering necessary materials for my meeting at 3PM.

Text message at 2:59PM. Retrophisch: “Currently we don’t know how many tix we’re going to end up with…either 2 or 4.”

I attended the meeting at 3PM. I was distracted somewhat (“Mr. Burgandy, are you paying attention?” “No.” “Well, this pertains to everyone.” “Okay.”) because I didn’t know if Mrs. Diner would be going or Kid1 would be the beneficiary. It became moot as it wound up being 2 tickets, and Mrs. Phisch had Little Phisch duties involving martial arts lessons.

Text message at 3:26PM. Retrophisch: “Game’s at 6:30. No parking pass this time.(Mrs. Phisch) thinks we need to leave about 4:30. Too early?”

I replied that was fine with me. In fact, gave me an excuse to kick out of that awkward time-frame when the meeting’s over but nobody’s left yet.

Discussed with Retrophisch whether or not to participate in the “blackout” where the fans where black clothes to support the team. Didn’t think I had anything. Turns out I did.

Got parked and too the arena just in time. Turns out 4:30 was just about right. Parking was a zoo, and I joked with the Phisch that next time that to procure a parking pass before taking free tickets…but it turns out that we accidentally got a good spot for exiting to the interstate after the game, anyway.

Got towels to wave around from pretty girls handing them out when we walked in. They have a Stanley Cup on them and say that we’re supposed to “believe.” I mentally agreed to believe…guessing they meant we should believe our team can win the Cup. In fact, got two by having one under a jacket and another pretty girl handed me another. The Phisch did the same thing.

Got to the seats…and they were pretty good, man. Felt the necessity to text photos to lots of hockey fans I know while waiting. There’s a lot of hullaballoo when a hockey team skates out:

Sharks get a late 1st period goal.

In between periods, American Airlines gives away plane tickets to anywhere in the world. The last time we went with the Phisch family, Kid1 actually won them. This time, Phisch said that if I won tonight, he was going to punch me. I’m glad it never came to that. Actually, I’m not. It would’ve been HYSTERICAL to me if it had.

No scoring in the 2nd.

We get a power-play goal early in the 3rd to tie it up. Building gets LOUD and stays that way for half an hour or so.

Lots of hitting and skating. Lots of great shots & close calls. Lots of booing and cheering. Lots of standing and sitting. Lots of tense moments as the game went to overtime. This was especially tense as a Stars goal would give us a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. A goal by the Sharks makes the series all “game on.”

Phisch and I need sustenance, thinking we might be here a while the way this was going. They play until somebody scores, so Phisch and I make a pact to stay no matter how late. Even 3AM…which would translate to roughly 14 overtime periods. We chose pizza, which we got. Fun fact to know: They stop serving beer with 5 minutes to go in the 3rd. I agree with the policy, but could see the pizza-selling guy turning away customers knowing overtime was afoot also knowing he was turning away $6 a potential bottle. There were lots of potential bottles.

Well, we got the goal! I actually saw it go in even though it was at the other end of the rink…from our angle you could even see the open net & positioning of their defense.

On the way out, I picked up towels other fans left to give as a gifts to folks I harassed earlier in the day. I felt like a little kid hopping down aisles to pick up more gifts, but they were appreciated by those I harassed earlier in the day.

Our earlier traffic situation payed off as we got out in GREAT time (even though I made the kinda awkward move of rolling down the passenger window and motioning to a driver that we needed over because we were a lane too far over…and this always more or less guilts that guy into doing it. To top that off, the guilted party missed the light and had to wait while we zipped along Woodall-Rogers right onto I-35)…even getting to see the news show the game-winner from a better angle.

If there’s a better sports-intensive way to spend a Tuesday evening than attending a home playoff game on the road to the Stanley Cup (with the possible exception of making a run to the concession stand with SIX minutes to go in the third period), I’m not sure what that might be…

And, tonight, I’ll be by the channel hoping for the sweep, man. I already have the towel on my door at work:

Thanks, Phisch! Really good times, man. Really good.