This post reminded me of the last time I was at the ACC.
What follows is an entirely true account of my night at the Flyers/Leafs game that night.
It's a ridiculously long story, but I dont know if I've ever been more proud in my whole life
It all started on Sunday, a day after the Leafs in heartbreaking fashion to the New Jersey Devils, forcing them into 100% do-or-die mode in an upcoming 2-game series against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Humber, a friend from work, Flyers fan and known fiend for online shopping, gambling and overall scrounging popped up 2 Standing Room Only seats for Tuesdays game, and upon seeing my schedule, invited me to join him. Having nothing better to do that night, I agreed, and we made a plan to pre-drink and then arrive for the game at 7:30.
Tuesday morning came around, and I met Humber downtown at a PACKED Jack Astors, where we downed a Jager Bomb and a couple of Heinekens. Humber, being the fool he is, naturally had 2 cans of heineken in his pocket, so as we could avoid paying $12 for the same thing once inside the A.C.C.
We entered the building without an issue, and made our way up the flights of stairs to the very, very back row of the top level of the arena, in the standing-room only part of section 319. We'd made perfect time, as the teams were just about to be introduced, and Oh Canada hadn't even been sung. To celebrate our achievement, we cracked our beers, and looked forward to a great evening of hockey.
As if he'd HEARD the beer open, a security guard immediately came through a door in front of us, and motioned for us to come towards him.
Guard: "Drop the beer guys, you're out of here."
G: "You heard me, drop the beer."
Z: "What, are you kidding me? We just got here."
G: "Do I look like I'm kidding you? Drop the beer and give me your ticket"
Humber: "Listen, take the beers, no problem. But come on, we've got to see the game"
G: "I'm just doing my job pal, its the rules. You've gotta go."
Z: "You've gotta be fucking kidding me!"
G: "Do I look like I'm kidding you? You're out of here."
Z: "Are you fucking serious?"
G: "How many times do I have to tell you? Yes, Im serious. Lets go talk to my supervisor"
H: "Alright, we'll talk to the supervisor. There's no need to take this any further than it needs to."
So, we head down the steps as the Maple Leafs and Flyers take the ice for the first time, to the sounds of "Enter Sandman" by Metallica. 'FUCK!' I think to myself. 'I didnt even get to watch a second of hockey'
We make our way down to the main foyer of the arena, and are greeted by no less than 6 other security guards, much larger than the skinny punk bitch we met upstairs.
Asshole Guard: 'You guys know you're gone, right?"
Humber: "For one beer? Come on."
AG: "No dice pal, you're done. Lets go"
H: "This is fucking ridiculous! It doesn't say anywhere on my ticket that i can't do that"
AG: "Thats the rules buddy. Lets go"
H: "This is fucking stupid! I got patted down by security, they didn't do anything"
AG: 'You got it by security on the way in? You were clearly trying to hide it in your jacket, its not like you had it in your hand"
H: "Yeah, well, im not going to carry it in my hand"
AG: "Well, regardless, you broke the rules, you're out of here"
H: "Man, fuck this. I'm going to buy scalper tickets, I'll be back in here within 20 minutes"
AG: "Oh yeah asshole? I'd LOVE to see you try that. I'd fucking love it. We'd serve you with tresspassing, and arrest your ass. Just fucking try it."
H: "Arrest me with what? I've got a legal, paid ticket to get in, thats not tresspassing."
AG: "You've been told to leave the building, you come back in, thats tresspassing."
H: "Fuck that. I'll be back in here before the night is over."
At that point, we exited the building. I was angrier than I can ever remember being, swearing VERY loudly about the fuckholes who'd fucked us out of our fucking seats on the biggest game of the fucking year. On our way back to the subway, we made small talk with a lot of scalpers, and roughly priced out what we'd be looking at for available tickets later on in the day. Unable to get any money out at the time, we decided to head it back up to Davisville, and make a decision from there.
We got home to see that the 1st period had just ended, the Flyers were up 1-0, and the 2nd period was moments away from starting.
"Fuck it... We're going back"
The first thing we did back at Davisville was change clothes. Humber removed his Chelsea Jersey, Flyers hat, and Leather jacket, and replaced it with an ohio state shirt, one of my blazers, and dress shoes. I replaced my beige winter jacket with my black one, and changed my dress shirt (i'd been on a date earlier in the day) for a blue leaf jersey, and a sportsnet hat. We were completely different people!
We headed back down to the subway, eager to show those punk assholes in security what was up. We walked out the doors of Union Station towards the A.C.C galleria, to find two of the beefier security guards that had escorted us out looking extremely tough by the doors. We decided then that perhaps heading out to the Bay Street exit was the best idea.
Luckily, it was the 2nd intermission, and there were hundreds of people on the streets outside smoking. We found our way to a scalper, and worked our way down to $120 for a pair of seats in the Reds. combined with the $45 we'd each spent on the standing-room only tickets, we'd each spent $105 for $225 tickets. Still a pretty good deal. It was kind of a sketch though, as the scalper gave us FOUR tickets. Two upstairs in section 318 (only one spot over from our standing-room tickets!) and two for the reds in 107. We were told to scan the 318 ticket, and then show the 107 ticket indoors to get our 'real' seats.
We waited for a large group of suits to start walking in, and blended into the crowd. After splitting up, we met back at the seats with 4 minutes to go until the start of the 3rd period, and the Flyers leading 2-0. Completely elated, Humber ran off to grab a beer. Competely smug and satisfied with myself, I had a big laugh and soaked it all in. And THATS when I heard this voice...
"Pardon me sir, can I see your ticket?"
I must have turned white as a ghost, as my only thought was "OH SHIT! We've been seen." I turned to see this kind woman usher, and stumbled "Oh yeah, for sure, its right here." I accidentally pulled out my 318 ticket "Oops, thats from a different night" and then rifled around for my 107 ticket.
Usher lady: "Huh, thats funny."
Zuber: "What is?"
UL: "A little old couple was sitting in these very seats in the first period, and they left and didnt come back"
Z: "Really? Odd."
UL: "Yeah, I saw their tickets too, they had them for these seats"
Z: "Huh..." (slowly putting together the facts) "Thats really weird, because we got these from work"
UL: "Oh really?"
Z: "Yeah, I just got off work now. Thats why I'm late"
(Humber walks back to the seats with beers, and looks terrified to see me talking to an usher)
Z (quickly) : "Hey Humber, can you believe there was a couple sitting here in the first period, in the same seats we got from work?"
H: "Really? Would work give us fake seats?"
Z: "I certainly hope not!"
UL: "Oh well. Enjoy the 3rd period!"
(side note: what must have happened is: the old couple must have decided to leave early, and then sold their tickets to a scalper. This makes sense because why else would they have given us the extra shitty seats, right? If the good seats had already been scanned, they wouldn't have worked when we tried to re-enter the building)
We sat in and prepared to watch what could possibly be the final important period of Leafs hockey all season long. Immediately, of course, the Flyers score, Humber goes crazy, and half the building leaves.
Hell, its 3-0. The season is over, right?
BOOM - The Captain blows it past Biron. 3-1 Leafs.
Ah well, too little too late.
BOOM - Kubina scores from the point. 3-2 Leafs.
It's not over yet... is it? could it happen.
BOOOOOOOOOOM - Jeremy Williams (!?!!?!!?) drops a DIRTY snipe past the shoulder of Brion, and the A.C.C. Explodes. Humber sits silently. I lose my mind and voice screaming at the top of my lungs.
The final 2 minutes approach, and P.Mo pulls Vesa to create a 6-on-4. Hijinks ensue, insanity happens, amazing chances, ridiculous hockey.
Eventually they win in overtime on a goal I still haven't seen.
Seriously, could there have been a more fortuitous turn of events? Missing the first 2 periods of that game became COMPLETELY irrelevant with the ridiculous amazingness that was the 3rd period.
After the game, Humber and I did a lap of the A.C.C, as Humber's grand plan was to simply make eye contact with one of the security guards who'd thrown us out like Jazz on an episode of Fresh Prince. I simply wanted to do the "You can't see me" move in front of my face to one of them, or say "We went home and thought about it, and you were right. We shouldn't have brought beer in here." But there were too many people, and we weren't allowed to go back upstairs after the 300 level had been vacated.
All in all, it was quite an event, and has become the greatest sports-event related story that I've ever experienced.