So, I am a little late in posting about my trip to the last Penguin game of the regular season. This is the third season in a row that I have been lucky enough to make it to the "Shirts of Our Backs" night.. one of these times I WILL walk away with Sidney Crosby's sweaty jersey!!!!!!
Like normal, I headed down to the glass to watch warm-ups. After I got home I looked at pictures from the 1st game I went to (beginning of October) and this game... the increase in the number of scratches on the glass is amazing... you can barely see the players now because of the scratches.
After warm-up, I headed back to my seats. I know I hadn't been sitting there for 5 monutes, when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and there was a guy in a suit looking all serious. He said, "Excuse me, is this your correct seat? C1, Row J, Seat 11?" I said "yes". He was so serious, that I started to worry that I was in the wrong seats and that he was going to yell at me. Finally, he said, "Hi, I'm Mark, and I work for the Mellon Arena. As you know, tonight is Fan Appreciation Night and I wanted to let you know that you've been selected for one of the prizes." Meanwhile, in my head I'm freaking out because I won and am thinking OMG WHAT IF I WON A JERSEY!!!!????!!!! So, I try to pay attention to Mark and he explains that he isn't going to tell me what I won, but he will be back to get me during the beginning of the 2nd period and will walk me down to the East Igloo Club where they will show my picture on the jumbotron and tell me my prize.
I have never in my life wished away a Penguin game, except for Thursday night. Finally, the 2nd rolled around and Mark came back to get me. He walked me down to the East Igloo Club and on the way there, I saw Jeff Reed walking back to his seat. So, I had to wait for the next break in action and I found out that I won free pizza for a year from Pizza Hut. Although this is not nearly as cool as winning Sid's sweaty game used, signed jersey, it is pretty cool that out of 17,000 people, I managed to win one of the prizes.
I can not explain how impressed I am with the Penguins organization. They gave away tons of prizes: Blackberry storms, flat screen tvs, a washer/dryer, $500 gift certificates, playoff tickets, the list could go on and on.
After the game, the players came back on the ice to give away their jersey. They threw free t-shirts up into the seats and Matt Cooke even took a turn with the t-shirt gun. I was so amazed by the generosity of the players (although I may be a bit biased). A few people threw Kris Letang jerseys down to the ice behind the bench and he signed them all- probalby about a dozen or so. Once people saw Kris signing jerseys, they started throwing jerseys to Sid. I lost count, but I would guess he signed about 40 jerseys, which is something he totally did not have to do. Even Geno and Marc signed some jerseys. I love how appreciative they are and willing they are to go out of their way to make the way to make fans happy.