One of our primary joys in doing this blog is the feedback it generates. And it's not just some yinzer in Blawnox who wants the Penguins to trade Marc-Andre Fleury for Alex Ovechkin.
It's sharp readers who challenge us from all around the globe. We've received e-mails from just about every continent aside from Antarctica in the three-plus years of doing EN. Folks from Brazil, England, Australia, China, Canada, Russia, Egypt, Mexico, Italy, Chile, Curaçao and even all the way out in Greensburg have sent in e-mails on all sorts of subjects from why we picked the Predators to get swept in the first round of the 2008 postseason to what style of eyeglass frames Dan Byslma wears.
One of our favorite readers is Uli Englhart. A native of Ingolstadt, Germany, Uli writes to us seemingly every other day with questions and comments about his favorite NHL team, the Penguins. He appears to be a pretty happy gentleman and always seems to have a better grasp on the Penguins than some of the our other readers from Crafton who feel the need to bench Sidney Crosby.
Well the IIHF World Championships are currently going on in Germany. Uli and a friend, Manuel Herold, jumped on the chance to take in the opening game May 7. And this wasn't just some ho-hum opener. This contest set a record as it was played in Veltins Arena, an indoor soccer stadium in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. A world record 77,803 souls took in this game, including our two readers.
They filed a report which took on the style of a mildly successful Western Pennsylvania hockey blog:
- Hey, guess where we are:
- No, not quite:
- After about eight hours on the bus
- And another 1 ½ on the train:
- We finally arrived in Gelsenkirchen.
- These "lids" were handed out before the game:
- Bavarians seem to show up in traditional clothing everywhere:
- First things first. Here our favorite jerseys:
- A Kris Letang jersey in GERMANY?? How cool is that?
- Jersey foul parade. Some are really flagrant:
- Brett Hull St. Louis Blues:
- Sergej B*#$§in Toronto Maple Leafs:
(Editor's Note: We believe that's a Sergei Berezin jersey.)
- Steve Yzerman Detroit Red Wings:
- Former Penguin Jocelyn Thibault Chicago Blackhawks:
- This number 99 dude still seems to be very popular:
- German fanatics wear jerseys like this:
- And like this:
- The opposing teams:
- Merchandising price list:
- The dinner of a Penguins fan:
- Inside the Veltins Arena filled with 77,803 spectators:
- Opening faceoff:
- Anthem time:
- We don't want to talk too much about the game as the result is well known by most of you guys. Germany took the lead in the first period. In the third, the U.S. got the equalizer and in overtime Germany scored the game winning goal after 21 seconds.
- After the game we took the train back to Duesseldorf where the bus was waiting for us.
- 12 hours after the end of the game we finally arrived back in Ingolstadt, Bavaria.
- Good bye from Germany: