Belly: Canadian

“Go Sens Go”; unreleased (2007)


2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Game Three In Ottawa
just click on the thumbnail to see the full photo…



When I’d go to concerts as a young punk I’d usually… get up front for a few songs and jam my head deep into the speakers. I’m fairly sure, at a couple of shows, the bass took over for my heart as the pump for my circulatory system. Forty minutes before tonights game — no, not the game, the shoot-around before the game — the ScotiaBank Place / Corel Centre / Palladium was packed. Twenty minutes before the shoot-around the announcer came on to tell us aboot the regulations on smoking and drinking and whatever and the crowd started screaming and we couldn’t hear him. The lights dimmed a little and music got louder and the crowd, 20,000 people, started screaming and we couldn’t hear the music. There was some feedback over the sound-system and the crowd screamed. Then the kids hanging over the glass separating them from the hallway where the Senators march out to the ice leaned down with their hands outstretched and Ray Emery appeared leading the Senators to their practice and the crowd went fucking crazy.



This was for their pre-game practice. Everyone was on their feet and clapping and cheering and whistling and screaming for ten fucking minutes straight during a practice. There was music playing, some kind of very loud metal march, but no one could hear it. I only realized it was playing because I thought I could feel a bass beat that was out of rhythm to the crowd. Then there was a lull just as the Senators were preparing to leave the ice, and we could hear the music… then the screaming and chanting started again. Go. Sens. Go. And the Senators left the ice and for the next five minutes the screaming and chanting kept going. It was like being in an engine. Or having your head buried in a speaker at a Henry Rollins concert. I had to yell into the ear of the guy beside me just to tell him that “this is a helluva thing”, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t hear me… and this was before the fucking game even started — for sweet Christ, the national anthems were still thirty minutes away.



The anthems were great. Lyndon Slewidge always does a great job… the problem with trying to get the crowd to sing the anthem in Ottawa is we get the bilingual version and the Anglos don’t know the French parts, crap we barely know the freaking English parts… once the anthems were out of the way I was really surprised at the complete lack of ceremony. When I was at the 2003 Flyers v. Senators for Game Five there was a massive, chill-inducing multimedia presentation… the Senators appeared onscreen as gladiators and there was a suitable soundtrack. Very cheesy, but when Spartacat dropped from the rafters I nearly cried. This time the multimedia presentation was limited to some powerpoint images flashed on the ice, some spotlights and two songs where the crowd was supposed to sing along but Music Dude kept fucking up the timing… I actually don’t even remember if there was a ceremonial faceoff. I do remember there was a 600 foot wide Canadian flag that almost made it around the third level. That was pretty freaking cool. Then there was a faceoff and Chris Neil beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-3… oh, and Chris Pronger nearly killed Dean McAmmond.



Chris Neil’s wife gave birth to a healthy baby girl before the game. Then daddy went out and smacked some bad men upside their heads. Chris got the second star, Anton Volchenkov got the first and some Duck… Getsajob? I don’t know, he got the third but he didn’t come out for his skate around. Unfuckingbelievable. I didn’t even realize there was food available until the third period. My hands were numb from clapping until I got home and my voice is still blown out. I stood for the whole thing… I stayed towards the back of the box so I wasn’t in anyone’s way, but I was up and hopping around for over two hours. Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister, was in da house. We were in Box 119A because Vincent Lecavalier, the goalies from the Minnesota Wild and Sidney Crosby had taken over our usual spot, 10something, I can never remember (they were there because they had won the individual awards). The people we were sharing with were great, the guy next to us was an asshole but I told him to fuck off and he did so everything was cool. I don’t know what else to write… Game Four’s on Monday… I need a haircut… I bought some new underwear yesterday… I still have to fix the photos from the game… it’s after 4am and the sun’s coming up, looks like a brand new day to me.


…it’s aboot fucking time.


-30- banner


About Gabriel

I’ve lived in more than fifty places. I've been paid to pick stones out of fields, take backstage photos of Britney Spears, and report on Internet privacy issues. My photos have been published in several newspapers, and a couple of magazines.
This entry was posted in Canada, CSN:AFU Short Cuts, Hockey, Humor, Humour, Ottawa, Photography, Pot, Punk. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Even as a Ducks fan, I’m soooo glad Pronger is out this next game for that foul hit to McAmmond. He gets the job done, but he’s catching a rep as a dirty player and rightfully so.

    And it’s GETZLAF. Emotional player, but he gets them goals!

    Now that you Sens have FINALLY showed up, it’s looks like we have some exciting hockey to look forward to, eh?


    (And my husband envies your jersey. Dorks.) ;-)

  2. Yay for you for getting playoff tix! Shit, even if where I lived and our team ever made it there it would be impossible between the highfalutin business types and the scalpers. Even for the regular games it’s so hard. PA loves a good hockey game and second to her home team her favourite team is actually the Sens.

    And by the way, keep your playoff beard…looks good on you and it’s the tradition, right *wink*

  3. Thanks PatAnon… I actually shaved most of the beard off after Game Two… I was trimming it and it got out of control. Technically I’m growing another one. Where you live there may be choices, sooner or later, as to what team you have the opportunity to cheer for… but The Senators are always happy to be someone’s Number Two.

  4. Hi Mercurial.

    I like the new Ducks home sweater… it kind of looks like the Batman logo. My favourite NHL sweater of all time is the original Phoenix Coyotes LSD Away sweater.

    Just a little off topic, I kind of understand why someone south of the border calls it a “jersey”, because that’s what it’s called in every other sport, but more and more Canadians are calling it a “hockey jersey” as well… but in hockey it’s a sweater. At least it’s supposed to be… or it used to be.

    And Danny Alfie just drilled a Duck with the puck at the end of the second period… that was funny. I have no idea why he wouldn’t get an Unsportsmanlike penalty but there you are… Playoff Hockey.

  5. Truthfully sen, when I dated men I always loved facial hair so I say grow it baby *laughing*…although I know every man grows facial hair differently. Patchy, peach fuzz, too itchy…on and on it goes.

    Even if they might be out of style now, if you have the face for it (usually thin and somewhat angular but not always) I still like goatees. Why I have no idea. Throw a beret on and some small glasses, grab some bongos and it’s all good. HA!

    I once had the pleasure of shaving a friend’s face. Yes, just a friend…it was fun! He had to give me some coaching as it’s a lot different shaving a man’s face than shaving any part of a woman’s body haha.

    But I did okay and didn’t cut him at all. PA’s gentle.

    As far as mercurial’s post…I’m trying to think of my favourite jersey or sweater. I always think of sweater as an older term. I think I really liked the Quebec Nordiques and the Minnesota North Stars before they both disappeared.

  6. Gabriel says:

    Sweater is definitely the old school term, but that’s the point… we’ve adopted “jersey” to replace sweater because when the American networks started getting involved they changed the terminology for a lot of Hockey… and that was fine, as long as it had stayed South, but then our networks started picking up the terms and our advertisers started advertising “jerseys” instead of “Sweaters” in their catalogs… football jerseys, hockey sweaters. And what the f*ck are “the half-boards”? They’re talking aboot where the glass shortens near the corners… the “boards” are always the same height… actually I enjoy watching the NBC broadcasts, they’re a lot more animated than the CBC ones.

  7. Pingback: CSN:AFU Week 17 In Review « …cultural snafu.

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