After a one-year hiatus, the annual hockey road trip returned for the 2014-2015 season last Thursday. While I'll write about the games and trip over the next few weeks, let's go back to Thursday when this happened:
As a result, every school district in the Washington DC area closed as did the Federal Government. My original flight from Washington National to Tampa scheduled for 11:00 AM was cancelled. I was rescheduled for a 2:20 flight which would get into Tampa at 6:30 (after a stop in Atlanta) giving me just enough time to rent a car to get to the Lightning-Maple Leafs game. However, after the plane arrived late, a mechanical problem needed fixed, the runway closed to be plowed and the plane got de-iced, the 2:20 flight left 2 hours late.
When we arrived in Atlanta, the 4 passengers continuing to Tampa (including me) were instructed to stay on the plane. As we waited for the Atlanta folks to board, I started talking to the flight attendant (who I learned had worked at Hooters in her previous life and once drove NFL Hall of Famer Barry Sanders in her car) and another passenger. The other passenger seemed like a nice woman who was heading to Florida to see the Baltimore Orioles spring training. When I mentioned that I was originally from Pittsburgh and went to Spring Training a few years ago, she said something to the effect that she was disappointed I was from Sh!tsburgh.
I know that I get defensive about my hometown, and I may celebrate the accomplishments of current and former Pittsburgh residents a little too much (Michael Keaton got robbed for Best Actor!). However, when is saying Sh!tsburgh to someone, particularly to someone you just met, ever appropriate? Did she want me to agree with her and trash my hometown? Did she want me to declare my love of the Orioles (though I did say that I liked Camden Yards) and state that Baltimore or DC is significantly better than Pittsburgh? Instead, I quickly ended the conversation and said I needed to use the restroom.
In case you're wondering, I arrived at the Amalie Arena in Tampa with 15 seconds left in the 2nd period, but that's for a future blog post.