Tonight’s game at the Stone (Bridgestone Arena) is the biggest of the Predators seasons. Both the Redwings and the Predators enter tonight’s contest in desperate need of points. Although both are essentially guaranteed a playoff spot, both of them will by trying to get that coveted fifth spot in order to avoid the powerhouses (San Jose, Chicago).
This could be the first season EVER where the Predators finish ahead of their bitter rivals and I guarantee the boys in the locker room want nothing more than to demolish the opposition tonight in order to obtain that goal. People might not think this is a rivalry game, but fans will tell you these teams hate each other. Let’s explore my feelings toward the Redwings over the years.
The Early Years
I suppose my hatred for the Redwings started back all the way to the Avs Wings rivalry back in 1999 and the early 2000′s. I hated that Redwings team, they made me want to puke. I hadn’t become a Predator’s fan yet because I had just moved down to Tennessee, but I did know one thing: Any enemy of the Redwings was my friend.
The 03-06 Years
These are the years I really embraced the Predators as my team. I absolutely feel in love with the gritty, unsung group of miscreants who busted their tails off every night to literally grind out a win. One thing people forget about Nashville is the large number of Detroit families that have moved down to Music City USA the past few years. Whenever the Preds play the Wings, there is literally a 40% to 60% advantage for the Predator’s fans, but in the early years the arena was absolutely FULL of Redwings fans. We affectionatly call these fans “PredWings” due to their dual loyalty. They support the Preds every game of the season except for the ones against the Redwings. I consider them a bunch of Benedict Arnolds but what can I say.
Opposites do NOT attract
One day I was walking down the street with one of my friends when we saw this absolutely stunning girl walking in the same direction we were (so her back was turned to us). She had one of those Daisy Duke shorts on and a black T shirt. it was just before a Predator’s Redwings game, so I was all dressed up in my Preds garb. Well, I was just about to go up and talk to this amber haired beauty when she turns around and there is a tire with wings splattered across her chest. I actually had bile rise up to the top of my throat. No kidding. I was inches from projectile vomit. It took me awhile to get over that one.
This was the season the Predators and Wings were just about equal in skill level. These games were heated, skilled, and just about as exciting as any I have ever seen. I think my favorite sports memory is the Peter Forsberg goal in OT to win this particular game. Take a look.
After this particular game, I felt like we’d won the Cup. People were cheering, hugging, crying. The parking lot was an absolute zoo. (RANDOM NOTE: I MISS THE MUSTARD).
This particular video says it all. Tonight it’s personal. With so much at stake, these two teams are going to come out flying. Only one team can win… and I hope, for my sanity’s sake, it is the one in blue.
About the Author
Written by Chris Rydburg
Chris currently attends my Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He hopes to one day be a high school teacher.