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The HRI Readers Blog

The racetrack is a treasure trove of stories, and many writers, insiders and fans relate to this world in literary fashion. Short stories cross the editorial desk at HRI from time to time, and so it is our intention to share the most entertaining of them with you.

Do you have a take on the state of the game, a favorite race horse, trainer or jockey? Share your ideas. Show the racing industry and media the folly of their ways. The HRI Readers Blog: "When you lose it, Use it." Submit your blog to HRI Webmaster.

Note: HRI holds the right to edit any material or not post a submission due to its content.

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Jersey Boys


Toni Pricci is a mother of two beautiful girls, a devoted daughter, works from home and is a photographer for HorseRaceInsider.com.


Photo by: Toni Pricci
Sure doesn't look like "Hockey Night in Canada"


By Toni Pricci

SUNRISE, FLA., April 27, 2012--It was 12:30 a.m. when I got back to my car. My senses had just been bombarded for four straight hours and the subdued exit into a cool clear night was cathartic.

“I’ve just been to a double overtime seventh game of the Stanley Cup quarterfinals,” I kept repeating to myself. For me, this was up there with seeing Reggie knock three out of Yankee Stadium in ‘77, watching Secretariat’s Triple Crown in '73 and, of course, being upstaged by Joe Namath on my wedding day in January of ‘69.

The party actually had started six hours before I returned to my car.

“We See Red” all right. It was a Red Sea of fans with hair and faces painted, kids playing street hockey on the Concourse, televised Panthers games on replay.

“We Believe” is their mantra.

Maybe it wasn’t Hockey Night in Canada, but these people are very serious about their Panthers.

This wasn’t my first dance at Bank Atlantic Center but tonight was different--and not just because I was solo and the big guy was back in New York. I didn’t even know why yet.

If you’re looking for game analysis, stop reading now. You already know that the Devils scored early and repeated. The Panthers didn’t return a goal until the third period, then blew the top off the building when they tied it up.

Now I’m starting to believe, getting comfortable in my new Panthers jersey.

Game on, Dude
Photo by: Toni Pricci
Game on, Dude


Perfect.

In the third period every assault on the puck was magnified by the rise and fall of crowd noise. Commentary of plays can be heard in the undercurrent, everyone is paying attention. It stays this way for the entire 20 minutes.

Overtime? OMG! The crowd chorus sounds like the Fifth Overture. It’s standing room only. An extra 20 minutes and both teams had their chances, but no pucks went in the net.

“This can’t be happening,” I said to no one in particular. Double Overtime?

Cue the crowd.

And then, just like that, it was over. Adam Henrique slapped one by Jose Theodore. That’s when the chorus stopped. Suspended animation as the New Jersey Devils celebrated. A subdued crowd filed through the exits.

I turned the key in the ignition, lowered the top, and headed into the beautiful night. I slid in a disk – knew just what I needed, with homage to Mr. Brodeur…

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain, let it rain, let it rain, let it rain, let it rain… Meet me at Mary's place, we're gonna’ have a party, Meet me at…

Let's get it on
Photo by: Toni Pricci
Let's get it on


The rats have left the building
Photo by: Toni Pricci
The rats have left the building


Marcel Goc slaps one past Brodeur to tie it up
Photo by: Toni Pricci
Marcel Goc slaps one past Brodeur to tie it up


For Panthers' fans, the dream is over.
Photo by: Toni Pricci
For Panthers' fans, the dream is over.


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Do you have a take on the state of the game, a favorite race horse, trainer or jockey? Share your ideas. Show the racing industry and media the folly of their ways. The HRI Readers Blog: "When you lose it, Use it." Submit your blog to HRI Webmaster.
 
 

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