After the game ended, they did open the gates and we were able to get in. Fans still hung around as Cardinal players randomly came back onto the field to celebrate with them. After reveling in this for a while, we headed back into the street and went over to Paddy O's, where we partied until 3am. And let me tell you - a lot of people were still there at that time. I don't think anyone realized, nor cared, how late it was. I know we didn't - we were amazed to look at our watches and see the time. It was just the euphoric nature of downtown that seemed to make time stop, but of course, all good things have to come to an end. So, we finally hit it and headed home.
Without going into every intricate detail, that's pretty much my Game 5 experience. And what a game and night it was - except for actually being in the stadium for it, there was never a better feeling then seeing the third out displayed on the scoreboard and everyone in the street cheering, high-fiving, and hugging strangers. It was pretty cool. The best part? The riot police were prepared for the worse, and nothing happened. That's a testament to Cardinal fans - we know how to celebrate championships without rioting.
(Now about that Stanley Cup . . . )
©2006 Steve Sagarra