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I had the chance to watch the opening 2 games of the season this year.

I say ‘chance’ because I am not always fortunate enough to get to watch each Flames game, either on TV or in person.I am not a season ticket holder, and I am lucky if I get to go to one Flames game a season. I even have a hard time finding a Flames game on the TV. And when I do, it’s usually Saturday night and I’m watching the CBC’s Hockey Night. It’s not because I don’t try, and it’s not because I’m not dedicated. Far from it.

The fact of the matter is that I don’t live in Calgary. 2 and a half years ago I moved ‘east’ and have had a hard time following the team ever since. I have had to deal with Leafs Nation for a year (which honestly wasn’t hard since their team sucked so bad!), rioting Habs fans in the playoffs last year and now the 100th season of the Canadiens, and a ‘local’ team that has a knack for scoring lots of goals and winning.

That’s right. I’m blogging about the Flames from Montreal. And trust me… it’s not easy.

I’ve tried everything I could to follow my team. I’ve poured over the national TV broadcast schedule to see when I can watch a game live and I’ve even got a sling box hooked up on a TV set in Calgary that allows me to watch the games online. The SlinbBox video is streamed online, so it tends to be choppy, pixelated, and not so smooth. That makes it difficult to follow the puck.

Even with all this help, it never really seems to work out in my favour. Last night’s Flames game started at 8pm in Calgary… 10pm out here. Thursday’s game was a 10:30 start out here. If I had chosen to live a normal Monday-Friday 9-5 style life, I’d have been OK… but my day starts at 3am… so watching a game that finishes at 1am or later doesn’t leave much time for sleep. I’m off today, so I could safely watch the entire game last night, AND stay up to watch CBC’s After Hours show with Dion Phaneuf.

I’ve decided that I can’t go on attempting to blog about a hockey club whose games I cannot even watch. I have 2 choices. Either I, a) stop blogging about the Flames or b) start finding a way to watch more games. I think that choice ‘b’ sounds better.

So I’m going to get myself a digital recorder and the NHL Center Ice package. I’m going to record every game, no matter what time it plays, and I’ll watch it on my own time. Sure it’s not live, and I may already know the result… but at least I’ll get to watch the boys on the ice and see how they’re playing together.

So If I’m not posting game results 10 minutes after the end of the 3rd period… you’ll know why. And if you are watching on December 9th when the Flames come to Montreal… look for 2 guys wearing Flames jerseys in the stands. My buddy and I will be up there representing in Hab-land.

About Greg Hounslow (558 Posts)

Greg is the founder of Red Mile Blog has been following the Flames through good times and bad since they arrived in Calgary in the early 80s. He has written hundreds of articles on the Flames since 2005 and considers himself an expert on hockey inconsistency and frustration. He shoots right and usually plays defence, but has been known to jump up in the rush. He is a 2-time CAHL men's league champion and knows the sweet taste of beer from a Cup.


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