San Jose Sharks ‘Teal & White’ Event
Okay so I know I said I’d post about this last week but I got busy and just could not find the time to write. But I’m here now and wanted to continue on with my experience as a *new* full season ticket holder. A few days before the first pre-season game the San Jose Sharks hold an event called ‘Teal & White’ Three things happen at this event - autographs with the players, a team scrimmage and ice skating in the arena.
The autograph session is very interesting. The arena opens at 5:00pm but people start lining up outside at 4:00pm. Insider the arena the players are set up in groups of about 5 or 6. When the arena opens you get a list of what players are sitting where and you can go, get in line and get an autograph. For example I went straight for the Joe Thornton table where he, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Benn Ferriero and a few others were seated. After getting my mini-helmet signed by Thornton and Vlasic I rushed over to the line where Dan Boyle, Jason Demers and Doug Murray were signing. Because the autographs only go until 6:10pm I got cut of just before the front of the line! My girlfriend managed to get through the Ryane Clowe/Antti Niemi table AND the Joe Thornton table…she’s much faster than me.
Many of the players appeared shy and/or uncomfortable at the event. I’m sure meeting fans, especially en-masse, has got to be a strange experience if you’re not used to it. Think about it. As a fan I watch, read and talk about the players all the time. Over the years you get a sense that you know these guys. When you finally meet them in person there’s this assumption on my end that we kind of know each other when really Joe Thornton has no clue who I am. As a player you’re meeting all these people who talk to you like they know you and really, what would you say to someone like that? It’s actually kind of creepy…in like stalker creepy.
You want to know which player seemed to be having the best time of them all? Ryane Clowe! He was smiling with everyone, making eye contact, engaging the fans - while right next to him Niemi just kind of nodded hello to everyone.
Then there was the scrimmage. You get to file into the arena and sit anywhere. First let me tell you - whoever owns Section 215, Row 16, Seats 1-3, your seats are AWESOME! My seats are in Section 209, Row 16 - you can touch the roof of the building from up there! Anyway we watched the game where the team was split into two squads - Teal (home) and White (away). It’s a much more fun game to watch then I thought it would be. I thought it would be like the All-Star game where everyone pretty much never puts their head down and contact is non-existent - wrong. They do go at it pretty hard, especially the ‘rookies’ who are trying to make the team.
Team Teal beat Team White 5-4. What’s interesting about that is 4 of the 5 Team Teal goals game from Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski. There’s your offense Sharks fans.
After the scrimmage you can take your skates and ice skate in the arena if you so desire, however I can’t skate so we skipped that part of the event.
I really enjoyed the event and must say the Sharks organization really does a good job of making their fans feel connected to the team. I have yet to have a bad experience as a partial or full season ticket holder. And Mr./Mrs. Section 215 Row 16 Seats 1-3, when my dot.com goes public I’m gunning for your seats!