Saturday in Smashville: A Road Trip Journal

Photo credit: Lisa Desabrais

Not every hockey fan has the chance to attend an NHL game in person, and even more so when their favorite team are the visitors. For Capitals fan Lisa Desabrais and her husband, they were lucky enough to attend the Capitals’ game against the Nashville Predators last night. This is her first-hand account as a visiting fan in the home of the Predators and country music.

Four years ago,  I would go to an NHL hockey game here and there, but I never considered myself a true hockey fan. My husband had been trying to talk me into season tickets and I finally gave in three years ago.

lisa-debrais-nashvileSomehow, seeing the Caps play on a regular basis flipped a switch inside of me and I’m now TOTALLY obsessed with all things hockey. When my husband laughs, shakes his head, yet indulges me, I remind him it’s all his fault.

We decided back in November we wanted to see the Caps play a road game. There are a few groups that do this on a regular basis, but tickets were wait listed so we planned the trip on our own. We flew into Nashville the Friday before the game because we figured we would check out the local area while we were there. I walked around town with my “believe” shirt on, and never had any issues; in fact people were very welcoming since in their words we “weren’t ‘Hawks (Chicago Blackhawks) fans”. Before the game we met up with other Caps fans; there were so many of us there

I have to say, I really like Bridgestone Arena. They have a nice selection of places to get food and drinks and the people who work there were very friendly and welcoming. Someone asked us if we had gotten our complimentary photo, which we ended up getting, along with a hilarious one with the Preds’ prop guy. He even joked he could see the Facebook post now: Caps fans accosted by Predators’ employee.


Photo credit: Lisa Desabrais

We were seated seven rows behind the penalty box, so we had a great view of the game. The wife of the Preds’ radio announcer sat next to us and was impressed we came from Virginia to support our team.

smashvilleAs the Caps were being introduced, the song choice was “Send in The Clowns”, which actually made us laugh. I yelled in support of the Caps the entire game and got more than a few looks,  but I didn’t care. The people around me were more interested in socializing then actually watching the game…until a goal was scored.

When that happens, Tim McGraw comes on the Jumbotron singing “I like it, I love it, I want some more of it”. I’m a big fan, but after the third goal I wasn’t liking it or loving it, and didn’t want anymore of it.

They also chant “He Shoots, he scores, you suck” after each goal as well. If one of the Caps was in the penalty box, they chanted “you suck” while making their fingers look like saber tooth tiger teeth, which to be honest, was really creepy. During the second intermission we were entertained by a live band, which I thought was a great idea, and found myself wanting to dance to the venue’s choice of music. With four or more goals scored (by the “bad” guys), we could have exchanged our ticket stubs for a free frosty. We will stick to cheering for the Caps and enjoying the 50% off Papa John’s.


Photo credit: Lisa Desabrais

Although the team lost, we still had a great time supporting them in Nashville and are definitely planning on other road trips in the future. The common theme for fans of both teams is the mutual respect for Barry Trotz. Everyone we came into contact with had nothing but praise for their former coach, and we thanked them for essentially giving him to us.

We are looking forward to getting back to Verizon Center, Rocking The Red, and “Unleashing the Fury, which no slam to “Smashville” is clearly much better, but I’m sure I’m biased. 

By Lisa Desabrais

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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4 Responses to Saturday in Smashville: A Road Trip Journal

  1. Anonymous says:

    My group of friends were there as well and Nashville is a great place to watch a game.

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