Sticking It to Detroit Red Wings Fans

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Sticking It to Detroit Red Wings Fans
Thirty seconds.
 
That's about how long it took the Sharks to beat the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night. Joe Thornton set up an easy score for rookie defenseman Matt Carle, and half-a-minute later the Sharks picked up a gratuitous insurance goal courtesy of new fan-favorite Mike Grier.
 
For San Jose fans like myself, thirty ticks of the clock represent a particularly auspicious period of time. Why? Because that's precisely how long it takes for Sharks playoff tickets to sell out.
 
Diehard Sharks fans, and there are plenty, know that it's nearly impossible to get tickets for big games. They go on sale at 10:00, and they're gone by 10:01.
 
It's like clockwork.
 
So you can imagine how shocked I was to arrive at Joe Louis Arena, home of the Red Wings, only to find row after row of...
 
Empty seats!?
 
That's right.
 
Red Wings fans think they're America's gift to hockey. Their team has more Stanley Cup trophies than any other United States franchise. They seem to be just about the only American fan base to command respect from our neighbors to the North (or South, as far as the folks in Windsor are concerned). They throw octopi onto the ice, even when asked not to do so.
 
But they don't seem to go to the games.
 
They call Detroit "Hockeytown", population about 14,000...and half that number with five minutes left to play in the final period.
 
While sitting at center ice, using the vacant seats to my left and right as an armrest and a beer holder, respectively, I couldn't help but wonder: Was there a reason for the poor attendance?
 
Maybe it was the stormy weather. Maybe the Detroit workday is so grueling that fans can't make a Thursday night game.
 
But then I heard the announcement:
 
"Tickets to Saturday's game are still available at the box office."
 
That's when I knew it was all a myth.
 
Hockeytown...the diehard Wings fan...the pride of Detroit...maybe it used to be true, and maybe it will be true again.
 
But Thursday night, this San Jose Sharks fan saw none of it.
 
Here's hoping this round breezes by so I can finally see some real hockey fans.
 
Anaheim, here I come!
 
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