Friday, March 13, 2009

Luxury Boxes Are Sweet

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(Originally posted on The Sidney Crosby Show on November 23, 2008.)

I know this from experience because the company my husband works for has one at the Mellon Arena, and we've gotten the tickets for it about a half dozen times in the twelve years he has worked for them. The view is almost like an overhead view from a blimp (though not quite that far away, haha!). The TVs in the suites are tuned to the broadcast of the game, so you just have to turn your head for an instant replay if something spectacular happens. There is so much leg and elbow room, and the box we occasionally have the privilege of using even has a couch!

The best part is that there is a very real chance to bump into a legend in the hallway or one of the injured players from the current roster, who often watch the game from Mario's box. In the few times we've been blessed to watch a game from the box, we saw the likes of Mario himself and Joe Mullen. Once, ex-Pen Robert Lang (who at the time was nursing a hurt wrist) was trucking down the hallway and put his hands on my shoulders to gently guide me out of the way and said, "Pardon me, ma'am." and winked at me.

The reason I bring the suites up is because Friend of The Show Lauren H. got to have her own experience of a lifetime in one of these luxury suites. Here is her recap of her incredible day - oh, and she took along a very special little guest:

I had the opportunity to attend Saturday’s game against Vancouver, and even better, I got to enjoy the game from a luxury box! I had never sat in a luxury box at the Igloo before, and it had been a dream of mine since I was a little girl!

My dad’s company insurance is through Highmark (a major sponsor of the Penguins) and his Highmark rep was the one who invited us to sit in their box! It was definitely an experience I will never forget!

Sitting in the box was surreal – I’d always dreamed of what it would be like, and it pretty much met all my expectations! At one point, Ryan Whitney walked right by our box on his way upstairs to the press box, but we were all had our attention directed towards the ice and the person who did see him go by couldn’t remember his name (!!!!) and he was gone by the time we all ran out into the hall (by we, I mean my siblings and I). My sister is a huge Mario fan, so we had our eyes open looking for him the whole game. We *think* me *might* have spotted him a box directly across the ice from ours, but then we also heard that his box was located on the same side as ours, so we’re not sure if it was really him, and our camera wouldn’t zoom in any more to confirm it.

One of the highlights of the day was meeting Iceburgh! I’ve been to tons of Penguins games over the years, but today was actually the first time I got to meet and get my picture with Iceburgh!

[snoop: Look closely to see who's between Lauren and Iceburgh!! Thank goodness this mascot encounter wasn't as risky as the last one! ;)]

We were trying to figure out why he would be up wandering around among the luxury boxes, but then after the game as people were leaving, I noticed a big group of kids walking toward the elevator at one point, and I immediately thought of the luxury box that Sid purchased for kids and I thought that *maybe* those kids had been Sid’s special guests and that Iceburgh had paid them a visit! :) I don’t know if that’s really the case or not, but I like to think it is!

The fight 25 seconds into the game was great!!! I hadn’t seen any good fights lately (I was still at class when the Gronk dropped the gloves a few nights ago) and this one was definitely one for the books! Too bad it cost the Cookie Monster a game misconduct. :( Hearing John Barbaro list off all the penalties was kind of amusing.

[snoop: What a photo!!!]

I was very sad that I wouldn’t get to see Fleury play, but I was slightly consoled by the fact that I was going to get the rare opportunity to see Roberto Luongo play in person – I’ve heard so much about him and the Pens don’t play them often. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury early in the game and had to be helped off the ice by his teammates. We had FSN on the TV in the box, but it was muted, and the best we could figure is that he suffered some type of groin injury. After he left the ice and Sanford came out to replace him, my brother-in-law and brother and I got into a conversation about backup goalies. We were explaining to my brother that since Fleury is out right now, Dany, our backup goalie is playing, and they called up John Curry from WB-S to backup Dany. Since Vancouver’s backup goalie was now playing, he asked what would happen if something happened to him, something I was curious about too. My brother-in-law informed us there would be a brief pause in the game to give another player (most likely a defenseman) time to suit up in goalie pads and come out to tend goal! The thought of this was really amusing and as much as I hate to see players get hurt, I would love to see something like this happen in a game!

The game itself was just weird. That’s the only way I can describe it. The Penguins didn’t seem to have too much desperation and the Canucks’ playing didn’t really blow me away either. None of the goals were too impressive – the whole game was just weird. And where the heck did this rivalry come from?! The Boys of Winter were definitely playing more on the physical side today, and the scrums were all pretty fun to watch.

The Highmark rep who invited us said he loved watching the game with all of us, and we would have to do this again sometime! Of course, we all agreed whole-heartedly! So, with any luck, this won’t be the last game I get to enjoy from the box!

Also, they showed a video clip that I really hope they decide to post on PensTV for everyone to enjoy. It was Dupuis, Max, and Sid sitting in the locker room and it went like this:
Max: Hi! I’m Max Talbot!

Sid: And I’m Sidney Crosby and we’d just like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving!

Max: Don’t eat too much turkey.
(Dupuis doesn’t say anything, but has this big goofy grin on his face the whole time. Sid was smiling too – a nice change from his usual serious self!)

So many childhood dreams came true today and the whole experience was quite surreal!

Thank you SO MUCH, Lauren, for taking these pictures and sharing the memories of your amazing day with us!! I'm glad you had such a good time. I hope you get to take more pics like these from that box again sometime, too! ;)


  1. Am I the only reader of this blog?

    ...that's not so much of a joke as before...

  2.'re not the only one!

    We've thrown so many posts up here all at once that the comments are pretty spread out. Things will calm down a little soon and I am looking forward to hearing from everyone as things return to "normal" :)

  3. I love the banner, and this blog. So cute. :)

    I'm wondering if posts will always be in copy-and-paste format from TSCS. I understand that there's quite a bit of catching up to do now, but will you include your own thoughts about Roamer photos and events when you get new pictures? I think that that might draw more readers, if this blog has the Penguin Mama's insight on the far-reaching travels of her Roaming Penguins. :)

    I'm also curious to know if you've sent any accumulating Roamer proceeds to the MLF, or if you'll wait to send anything until you're finished with all Roamers. I'd love to know what they think of the donation they're getting!

  4. 1wingangel

    The banner is all Jodie! Isn't it great? :)

    After we're done loading the TSCS posts, I will do future posts as a mix of people's own stories and my own commentary (which will consist mostly of "oh my god, aren't these the cutest pictures EVER?")

    Nothing has been sent to the MLF.....yet. But stay tuned ;)

  5. Sorry. . .I'm retarded and posted this comment on the "How To Order A Roaming Penguin" page. Let me try this again:

    I'm SOOOOO excited to get my Marc-Andre Penguin! I have S.P. and J.P., but I don't have a goalie yet! I am excited for my first goalie penguin! And my first assistant captain also.:)