7:30 AM : Get up from an easy going night of not drinking too much. I get my four layers of clothes on, check to make sure I have everything I need and run out the door to our meeting place for our limo.
8:30 AM : Arrive at my waiting destination, we start to celebrate with a few glasses of Champaign and Orange Juice which is also commonly known as a Mimosa. After we consume four bottles between nine people we pack over one hundred beers into our coolers and get our shrimp cocktails and subs ready we double check to make sure everything is accounted for, especially the tickets.
9:30 AM : Limo arrives, we find out when the limo driver gets out that we got an upgrade our limo for free. Come to find out, it was supposed to take Tallinder's family to the stadium but they arrived earlier and got another limo to cart them over. We pile into the limo with beers in our hands and rush off to the stadium.
9:45 AM : As we're in the limo everyone is ecstatic with Sabres fever. Some still drunk from the night before and some hung over. As we cheers each other for a day we will never forget, we get on the skyway getting closer and closer to the stadium, we're going nuts! I have consumed three beers on the way there so far, as well as everyone else drinking their faces off.
10:00 AM : We arrive at a hellacious line to get into the stadium parking lot where limo's park near gate 5. My buddy Pat looks out the window and sees a good friend nicknamed Country. Let me tell you, you have never seen someone as huge as Country. He's 6'8 and about 290 lbs. He is the size of a small city. With all the air in his lungs Patty screams out "Country!" (Who is at least fifty-sixty yards away at a tailgate in a crowd of what seems to be midgets standing around him.) Country is the guy you will see on the news all the time for Bills games and Sabres games walking by. You'll never miss him on camera because he stands a cut above the rest. With hearing powers that seems to match the likes of Superman he waves his gigantic arm and screams back "Patty!". The day already started out great finding friends you didn't even know you would see in the sea of hockey fans at this amazing event.
10:15 AM : We muscle our way into the LAST spot in the limo area that wouldn't be turned away to be told by the Ushers to go into a regular spot in a regular parking lot. Lady luck is on our side so far we all say as we crack open another beer to celebrate making it into the parking lot. (Any reason to drink is a good reason at an event of this caliber.)
10:30 AM : All of the coolers and food are placed on the frozen snow covered ground outside as we start to get comfortable. We start to consume more beer as we talk trash to the Penguins fans walking by. I was shocked when most of them seemed to be defensive and what seemed to be a little angry, which just made us heckle them even more. The swarm of hundreds Crosby jersey's turned my stomach inside out, as the three Jordon Stall jerseys made me laugh in Unison. I felt like a Bulemic super model high on laughing gas. Nonetheless it was good to see as many opposing fans as we did. We continue to drink with no looking back.
11:00 AM: We all have been to the Porto-Potties at least twice by now as the lines start to become longer and longer as the day goes on. I look over to my two wonderful friends Shell and Amy and they have Russian esque hats on. I bug them both enough to a point where they allow me to wear their hats for one picture each. I did a friendly Russian dance pose with my arms crossed and leg out as i'm squatting and quickly give their hats back to them. Hands down these were the best hats out of the 73,000 + people that were there. We grab some beers and four of us ventured into the crowd where the festivities were taking place.
11:15 AM: We walk through and see the Mountain Dew AMP tent which were giving away free shots of AMP energy drinks, both red and yellow. We stop there to get these free give-away blow up pole bangers with the AMP logo on them. When you slam these things together they make a pretty loud noice considering it's just full of air.
11:17 AM: We circle the area and come to an ice sculpture with the Sabres logo and the Penguins logo carved perfectly with the Winter Classic symbol underneath them. As people swarm to it to get pictures we muscle our way through and get a nice picture together.
11:18 AM: I drop my drivers license and don't even realize it. Shell, Amy, and Scotty point to the ground and let me know, otherwise guess who would of lost his license? As I set my beer on the ground to take my gloves off to grab it, I see Amy walking toward my beer as she starts to walk around again. (This next part played fairly well in my head as if it was on a comedy show like Seinfeld or that 70's show.) I can see she is going to kick my beer, but I don't have time to say anything even though it felt like slow motion.
11:18 almost 11:19 AM: My beer falls over spilling at least half of what is left in the can. We all have a good laugh as I put my ID into a better pocket and pick up the can and check to see the remains of what is left in it.
11:19 AM : We see three people on huge stilts and ten foot long hockey sticks taking pictures with everyone. Of course we need a picture with them so we get in front of them to get a quick photo. Shell's camera won't go off! As we sit with our big drunken smiles on our face we all start to laugh as Shell fidgets with her camera quickly to get it to work. After three attempts the flash goes off and another one added to the history books of what is to become one of the most memorable days of our lives. We thank the three giants and start to head back to our tailgate.
11:20 AM: As we're walking through the crowd, we see Donald and Daisy Duck dressed in Buffalo Sabres jersey's! We quickly get a picture with the two and move on to the next attraction. Donald seems to fair well with the ladies and he's very much about taking pictures with them.
11:25 AM: We arrive back at our tailgate to find everyone still where we left them, minus a few beers of course. People we know start to come up to us and another fantasy hockey league member happens to show up!
11:30 AM : Our Fantasy hockey league members George, Chris, Brad, Myself, and Pat all pose for a picture near the Winter Classic logo they had on the outer wall of the stadium. I raise my middle finger as I usually do in fun pictures and we capture that moment forever in one flash. Unfortunately as we took the picture I realized I had a cigarette in my mouth and get a flashback of all the pictures I remember looking at with my Aunt. Wedding picture? Cigarette in hand... Family picture? Cigarette in hand... am I turning into my Aunt? Let's hope it was a fluke and not a sign for things to come.
11:45 AM : As a few of us (not myself) got a few things from vendors outside such as Winter Classic Hoodies ($75.00) Skull caps ($25.00) Scarfs ($15.00) etc... etc.. which by the way were ridiculously over priced merchandise. No wonder the NHL threatened to sue a print shop here in Buffalo for making "Ice Bowl" shirts and apparell. They made oodles of money on Crosby jersey's alone i'm sure along with the half and half jersey's. These jersey's were half Sabres and half Penguins Jersey's with the double zero's on the back. The logo on the front is the Winter Classic symbol.
12:00 PM : People around us were starting to flood the gates to get in. As we watched and laughed at the people who had to walk a long way as we're sitting right near the gate with our beers still we thank Lady Luck once more as we polish off a few more beers.
12:15 PM : Not only is it cold out which raises the rate of urination, but add drinking beer to it that also raises the rate of it as well. That dynamic duo didn't sit well as I was pondering to go into the never ending line of the porto-potty or wait until we got into the stadium. I chose option B, which if it was a test I would of failed miserably with a 50% chance of making the right decision I later find out.
12:25 PM : We get into the line which only took not even give minutes to get through. Girls on the left side to let the women security guards check them, and men on the right side to let the men security guards check us. We get through, beep beep beep is all you hear as you file through the gates. The beep sound is the never ending ticket consumption the scanners the ushers had were making.
12:35 PM : We get our beers, the girl ID's Pat and I and Danielle (Pat's girlfriend) Pat continues to say "Are you f***ing serious?" with a smile on his face. He's happy to be ID'ed because it makes him feel young, even though he's only 29. We get our refreshing huge drinks and I rush to the bathroom. There's two doors for the men's bathroom. The in door and the out door. I rushed through the out door not even thinking about it, whoops.
12:45 PM: We meet up with everyone else, have a quick smoke and get another beer before the game starts. There's a two beer per person rule, which becomes a hastle later on.
12:59 PM: We go live in 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (We're told to stand up and be as loud as we can and we all did just that!) The place Errupts with energy and enthusiasm!