Like Mayor Barry and many other Nashvillians, I spent Monday night with my eyes fixed on my television screen anticipating the Nashville Predators’ (Predators) next goal. Being the amateur hockey watcher that I am, I was surprised at how excited I was about the saves. Talk about impressive blocks and dives from Pekka Rinne and defensive tactics executed by the Predators. There were many close calls but Rinne was able to respond effectively; he made it look effortless at times. Among periods, I thought about how the Predators have given Nashville something to celebrate. This is the most excited we’ve been for a professional sporting team in Nashville since our earlier Titan years with Steve McNair and Eddie George. We actually have a reason to cheer this time!
In case you’ve missed the action, here’s a quick recap.
It all started with the win over the Anaheim Ducks that made the Predators Western Conference Champions. 24 hours later, Predators’ fans rocked the Predators’ newly acquired title on their chests as the Bridgestone Arena and local stores stocked their shelves with Western Conference Champion gear.
On May 29th, Nashville Predators entered the Stanley Cup Finals beginning what local media called their “race to the cup.” The coverage didn’t stop there. After their win in Game 3, the Predators were talked about on ESPN’s First Take, a debate show on ESPN starring Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman. Associated Press and ESPN were among the firsts to announce the Predators’ advancement in the Finals.
And the hype continues.
Reportedly over 50,000 people flooded the streets of downtown Nashville to secure a seat before a screen to watch the puck drop. #PredatorPride and #Smashville reached over 10 million Twitter users, showing our overwhelming support for the Predators, win or lose.
Predator banners cover the paint on state buildings in the city. Every game, fang fingers fling into the air in celebration of each block or goal from the Predators. 5th Ave N. became Predators Way and after Monday night’s game, Mayor Barry issued work excuses to Nashvillians who stayed out late celebrating and watching the Predators tie with the Pittsburg Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals. Because of her, June 5th is Predators Pride Day in Nashville.
The Predators will return to Pittsburg tomorrow to play the Penguins for Game 5 in the Stanley Cup Finals.
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