Event Gets High Marks on FanHouse's Winter Classic Report Card
PITTSBURGH -- NHL FanHouse writers Adam Gretz and Christopher Botta were at Heinz Field for the 2011 NHL Winter Classic and have submitted their reports cards for the event. All grades are 1-10.
Chris Botta -- 6: No, it wasn't a classic hockey game, but the second period was sharp. Also doubt you'll hear any complaints from the 25,000 or so Capitals fans at the show.
Adam Gretz -- 5: It wasn't pretty, and the weather went downhill in the third period turning the rink into a swimming pool.
CB -- 9: Once you got within a half-mile of Heinz Field, you felt the spirit of the Winter Classic. Pittsburgh did not disappoint.
AG -- 10: I've been to NFL Conference Championship games and Stanley Cup Finals games, and this atmosphere was right on par with them. There was a buzz in the air both inside and outside the stadium, and before and during the game.
CB -- 5: Hinder, Styx (those still left), the Clarks. Alright, so it's not U2 at the Super Bowl. No biggie. Nobody goes to a hockey game for the music.
AG -- 3: I can't tell people what sort of music they should like as it's all personal opinion, but this was a pretty uninspiring lineup for me.
CB -- 9: Heinz was soooooo good. Superior sightlines to the old baseball parks. To be fair to those not in attendance, there were plenty of reports on the web and Twitter about the camera angles being poor for the television broadcast.
AG -- 10: Pittsburgh is at its most scenic when its skyline is lit up at night, and the football stadium design is far more fan friendly than the baseball stadium design. All of the seats are closer to the field and the sight lines are tremendous. Fans in the first six rows probably got ripped off, but everybody else had a great view.
CB -- 9: Pittsburghers were very proud to have the event in their city and were wonderful hosts for the weekend. Penguins and Capitals fans were loud and, as far as I could tell, respectful.
AG -- 10: This goes hand-in-hand with the atmosphere, but the fans were incredible with dueling chants all night.
CB -- 8: I'd give the Capitals' old-school '70s look a 10, the Penguins' uncreative blues a 6. Don't get me wrong: Pittsburgh will sell a ton of their WC jerseys, but the buzz on them from the faithful was a bit ho-hum.
AG -- 5: Split right down the middle. Love the Capitals look, but not a fan of the Penguins jerseys. Too much blue, and the stripes around the bottom of the jersey are a bit much.
The Classic Overall
CB -- 10: Yeah, I know it's just one regular season game, but I'm an unabashed fan of this event. They played in a football stadium this time, but the NHL once again knocked it out of the park.
AG -- 9: Great setting, great matchup, great atmosphere. Prettiest game? No. But for fans this is almost as much about the experience as it is the game itself.