Due to the inability of the Hockey East commissioners (or whatever their official title is) to think in advance it was impossible to buy tickets to the semifinals this Friday through any of the schools. Besides presenting a huge inconvenience to students this also means that there are no designated sections for each school. One of the best parts of the Beanpot was having all the schools segregated so that we could chant terrible things back and forth at one another. The Northeastern hockey fan club, called the Doghouse, decided that section 315 would be our section and urged everyone to get tickets as close to 315 as possible. This is what led to me rushing over to the TD Banknorth Garden on Monday evening.
I walked out of work at 6:10, hurried down Harvard Ave. to Coolidge Corner and waited impatiently for the T. The last time I had gone from work to the Garden I had gotten there at 6:30, which was the time I had agreed to meet Patrick and McKenna. The box office closed at 7 and I figured I would have plenty of time. The T got to North Station at 6:53 and I did my best to shove through the crowds and get off the train as quickly as possible. I ran through the station and as soon as I was above ground I called McKenna. “Go inside the Garden and when you see a McDonald’s turn left, right by the pro-shop,” she told me. I was too busy running to pay close attention to her instructions.
I spotted the McDonalds and paused, trying to remember what she had said. Straight past the McDonalds? Or right? I couldn’t turn right. The escalators were there going up into the garden and a huge line of people was waiting to enter. Must be a Celtics game tonight I thought. I ran past the McDonalds until I was at the other end of the lobby. Still no ticket office. I ran back and forth, calling McKenna again and trying to figure out where the hell my friends were. I finally found them with just a few minutes to spare. McKenna’s sister was there as well. I had forgotten that they were going to the Britney Spears concert at the Garden that night which explained the enormous crowds I had run past. We were waiting in line talking about the crowds and the concert when a guy behind us jumped into the conversation: “yeah, it’s that damn Britney concert. I’ve never seen so many 13 year old skanks in my life.” I laughed and looked awkwardly at McKenna and her sister, neither of whom are 13 years old skanks.
The line moved forward and we managed to buy all the tickets we needed. The Hockey East commissioner can suck it. Our seats are section 314 so hopefully UMass Lowell didn’t decide that’s going to be their section or we’re in for an awkward night. I was relieved that the ordeal was over. I had spent the last hour rushing from work, freaking out about the time, sprinting through crowds and thinking that I wouldn’t make it in time to get tickets to the semifinals. We walked leisurely through the lobby towards the exit only to find the mass of Britney fans had swollen and now filled the entire area in front of the doors.
I stopped for a second and stared into the seething crowd and tried to convince Patrick to go out a different exit. “We can make it through,” he insisted and with that he stepped forward and disappeared. I followed close behind, not wanting to lose him. At first it wasn’t too terrible. We zig-zagged between people while working our way towards the door. The crowds were facing us and we a few dirty looks but nothing more than that. The further we moved forward the thicker the crowds got. I couldn’t see the doors yet but the people seemed to disappear right up ahead. I pushed forward a few more desperate feet before realizing that the crowd didn’t abruptly stop like I had thought. We were at the top of a staircase looking down into a solid mass of people but the doors were in sight. Patrick and I stood surveying the scene from the top of the stairs when everyone started screaming. I had no idea what was going on. Why were they screaming at us?! Then the crowd surged forward toward us, not as thousands of individuals but a single Britney fan monster. Patrick was gone, swallowed whole by the angry monster. This was it. I was going to die in the worst possible way. I just wanted fucking hockey tickets! No, I wouldn’t go down this way, I would live to see the Huskies in the semifinals. I let out a guttural cry, ducked my head and charged forward.
The screaming surrounded me as I dove down the stairs giving no thought to the safety of any of the monster’s several thousand heads. If several of them perished in my struggle for life then so be it. I was fairly convinced two more heads would pop up for every one I knocked down. I made it down the stairs with gravity in my favor but now I was facing an uphill battle against the streaming tide of people. I could see the doors, they were right in front of me!, I was almost there!, I pushed through gasping for air and I was outside but the monster was too. Its body extended beyond the doors and my hope almost faded when I realized this. I screamed again and with the last of my strength I bowled through the last group of girls and fell onto the cold concrete, hockey tickets in hand. Bring on UMass Lowell.