Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Guest Column: An Unlikely Friendship

by Marie Miesel
I am fairly active on the Nashville Predators message boards. There is a poster who goes by the screen name 29Dryden29 from London, Ontario. Bet you can’t guess who his favorite team is? Yep, he is a diehard 3rd generation Montreal Canadiens fan. And yes, he is the classic obnoxious Canadiens fan. He was one of the folks who put down a deposit on the Hamilton Predators. So he could see his beloved Habs, of course. But despite this elitist front, he has a human side. He cares deeply about his children and it shows when he occasionally posts about them.

In reviewing the Predators schedule last season, I noted that the Canadiens were coming to Nashville for the one game we play them a year. It was also on a Saturday night. I decided to reach out to this mysterious 29Dryden and asked if he would like to come to Nashville and see his team play. After all, seeing them in Nashville would be very cheap compared to a game at the Bell Centre.

He was quite amused by my diplomatic efforts. After making the necessary arrangements, he and his father made the trip for the November date with the Canadiens. We even had a wager between us. Loser wears winner’s jersey around town that night.

Dryden and his father did the tourist thing downtown on Friday. Friday evening some folks gathered at a local pub called The Flying Saucer. We had a nice evening of hockey talk along with the obligatory razzing from the two Habs fans with us. Saturday they went out to a shooting range with another board member while I worked. Saturday evening was the game. They were unimpressed by our arena, our crowd (unfortunately it was not a sell out) and our team.
However, “I like it, I love it” echoed twice during the game and we won 2-0. Kudos to Carey Price for 45 saves in a losing effort. And so the proud Habs fan had to exchange his Vezina Habs jersey for a Bonk Predators one for the rest of the evening. It was quite comical. Sunday I took them out to the pre-flood Opryland Hotel. It’s a sprawling complex with indoor gardens and even a tiny river. And then they hit the road back to London, Ontario.

And that might have been the end of it. Dryden continues to post on our message boards. He and I have talk regularly about our teams, the state of the NHL and other hockey related topics. I was able to visit him this summer and went to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto (swoon). And yes he still gives me grief about being a Predators fan but that is to be expected; after all he is The Pompous Habs fan.

- Marie is a long time hockey fan, a Nashville Predators season ticket holder and an occasional guest columnist at Lisa's Lounge

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