Anaheim? Really? Fine!
Anaheim might as well be Timbuktu as far as I'm concerned. I've stated before that I'd rather live anywhere in California than somewhere outside of California, and that still holds true for Anaheim. But a true Angeleno knows that a mention of this so-called Greater Los Angeles city is worthy of a little under the breath chuckle. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim doesn't really sound right, does it? Sure, it's home to the "Happiest Place on Earth," but certainly no one believes that has anything to do with the charms of Anaheim as much as it was a real estate play by a genius business man named Walt Disney who, when you really think about it, was also responsible for 99% of the city's entertainment - both the Angels and Ducks built their franchise's brand DNA around the spirit of Disney's playful nature. In any case, my profound love for hockey brought me out of my Los Angeles shell for a little trip down south to the Tragic Kingdom (shout out Gwen Stefani).
We had insanely close seats to a Western Conference championship game five between the hated Anaheim Ducks and the rival Chicago Blackhawks. Seems like a lose-lose for me, right? Wrong. Probably one of the best hockey games my eyes have ever witnessed as the Hawks scored two goals in the final 90 seconds of regulation to tie the game and take it into overtime, only to be wiped off the ice in less than 30 seconds into overtime. Whoever says hockey is slow and boring is wrong. It's easily the fastest game in sports and you can miss something spectacular with the blink of the eye. Thus, a true edge of your seat kind of experience.
Visiting new stadiums is one of my favorite past times, and this was my first trip to the Honda Center. However it's looking old, paling in comparison to the Staples Center and many other venues I've attended. With all due respect, a team that has won the division as many times as the Ducks deserves a better home. Anaheimians know it, they would just never admit it. Why would you, when you're stuck in Anaheim. Hey, that sounds like a great name for a move, "Stuck in Anaheim." Sounds a little bit like a 90's Pauley Shore movie.
Our seats were incredible, right in front of the action. During regulation, six of the eight goals were scored on the opposite end, so basically we didn't really see them, but the final three - the ones that mattered most - happened right in front of us.
Pissed off Anaheim fan looking like he's saying, "Get outta heeeer." But that would be a little too Boston, and I'm not sure what an Anahyman sounds like. They probably sound pretty chill bro.
Here's proof that the sudden death goal and the subsequent celebration happened right in front of us, you can't beat the excitement, and since I didn't have a dog in the fight, it was all the more exciting to experience the home team victory.
I guess another Anaheim highlight is Knott's Berry Farm, which is in Anaheim for some reason that I'm not going to research. I'm going to assume it's not because Anaheim is the home of the first berry. Maybe it's the philosophy of "if it's good enough for the best it's good enough for us." The best being Disneyland. In any case, we were treated to a little Memorial Day celebration with fireworks right over the 405 freeway. I have to admit, I did endanger myself to get these photos, but so did everyone else, so we were probably swerving together into the night.
See you in 2020 Anaheim!