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Seven Quick Thoughts from the Predators Rally

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Tonight's "Our Team" rally at the Sommet Center was a truly inspiring event. As a born-and-raised Red Wings fan who has lived here in Tennessee for just under two years, I can say that tonight I've drunk the Kool-Aid and am 100% on board with these Nashville Predators. The fan base, the corporate community, and the members of the organization itself have been energized to solidify the future of hockey in Nashville, and rather than go into a detailed blow-by-blow I just wanted to share some of the highlights from tonight's festivities. One fan's pictures can be found over at Flickr, and John Glennon has posted his story this evening over at the Tennessean.

1. Walking into the arena and seeing the floor filled and people sitting throughout the lower bowl, all for just a few short minutes of speeches, cheers, and video highlights.

2. Watching Gov. Bredesen grab this sign from a fan near the front and wave it for the crowd and the assorted news photographers. For those who may not be aware, Bredesen was previously mayor of Nashville and was a major force behind getting the arena built and landing an NHL team.

Nashville hockey fans send a clear message
Pic from Geek Thoughts

3. Seeing Vernon Fiddler, David Legwand and Ryan Suter appear in the new home & away jerseys. Head to the Flickr album linked above to take a look, I think they're pretty snazzy.

4. Meeting George Plaster and congratulating him on assembling this rally. I also took the opportunity to pass him a business card and plug my blog work - George, if you ever need another voice on the radio to talk hockey...

5. Hearing throughout the day various members of the Preds organization making commitments to buy season tickets of their own to help boost the cause. Guys like David Poile, Barry Trotz, Chris Mason and David Legwand have a pretty good view of the game action already - but they have all stepped up and put their money down as a sign that they want to remain in Nashville. Heck, today I heard David Poile talking optimistically for the first time since the Forsberg deal. The poor guy has been through the wringer the last several weeks.

6. Hearing the heartfelt roar from the crowd whenever the term "send a message up north" was used. It would be nice to assume that others are out there are pulling for Nashville to come together and keep the team, but the vast majority of commentary out there has been extremely vindictive and derogatory, mostly from individuals posting after news stories, but among the professional writers as well. About the only person outside Nashville rooting for Preds fans that I've seen is Eklund, who flew in for the day and sat in on the radiothon.

7. When I bought my partial season ticket plan at lunch time, I was able to walk right up to the ticket window and make my purchase, and at that time they had gotten around halfway to the stated goal of 300 Full Season Ticket Equivalents being sold today. By the time I left the rally around 7:30 tonight, over 700 FSTE's had been sold, and the line at the ticket window was at least 30 people long. Add to that the people still calling in, along with the money raised by local efforts to purchase tickets for charities, and I'm guessing the number we'll hear tomorrow morning will be impressive indeed.