I was wrong.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen so much red before, nor have I high-fived so many complete randoms.
It all started with a beautiful day in Calgary and a pre-game tailgate complete with food trucks, face painting, beer gardens, and the Budweiser Big Rig – a Stampede staple.
The chanting was in full swing from before warm-ups even started.
The few Canucks fans in the crowd congregated around the visitor’s tunnel ready to cheer for their team while waving their white towels. Does Vancouver realize that waving a white ‘flag’ is a universal sign for surrender?
Also, as much as I may not like him, Derek Dorsett provided some entertainment during warm ups as he was pelvic thrusting – or ‘stretching’ – to the beat of the music.
Think the warm ups intro was loud? Wait until you hear the Dome once the Flames took the ice for the game.
The regular chants were there. Lots of "Go Flames Go!" and some "Let’s go Flames, let’s go!" But nothing brings a City together like heckling the other team’s goalie. The "Eddie" chant coming from 20,000 fans was so cohesive and clear – you have to wonder how much it really affects the players. Judging by the "Impenetrable Eddie Lack's" performance on Sunday, it may have thrown him off just enough.
It was apparent that the Flames were feeding off the energy of the crowd as soon as the game started. This was Calgary’s game to lose. The possession stats may not show it, but the home team was dominant in their 4-2 win over what could be their most hated rivals, much to the pleasure of the home crowd.
The game was only half the fun (okay, more than half but let’s just go with it), as the City took to the streets.
Yes, it was a Sunday, and yes, I had to work Monday morning, but did you think I was going to miss out on the Red Mile? The last time I was there I was half my size and being dragged around by my parents!
Also, from my place I could hear everything – the fans, the cars, the horns – and a wise person in my building once told me, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Sleep would not come anyway.
The Red Mile is not even close to the standards set in 2004 (it is only the first round and first home game), but it did not disappoint.
I got absorbed by the hoards of people and did a lap – screaming and keeping my hand up the whole way. My left shoulder was aching for a break by the time I made it back home. (Let’s just hope everyone washed their hands!)
Welcome to my world, friends. I’m short, but I was also only holding my phone up by my chest.
As I got to work Monday morning, my voice was absolutely shot, and I hadn’t gotten much sleep.
But it was worth it.
That was only the first game. Let’s show up again tonight and show the Canucks, and the NHL, just how great Calgary can be. Make 'em jealous. Make the rest of the teams fear playing in the C of Red.
But don’t be dicks about it.
I dropped $20 from the balcony and it just got returned to me. Thanks stranger! #CofRed— Sydney (@saltysyd) April 20, 2015