They put an extra second back on the scoreboard, much to the delight of the home team faithful. Still, with 1.8 seconds remaining, the realists among us knew how this would end. We daydreamed a bit about what two goals in a little under 40 seconds would have been like, but we knew this one was over. The puck was dropped and the shot sailed near the net on to the end-boards. And the game ended. Paul McCann came across the public address speakers and thanked everyone for attending tonight's game. A 3-2 loss sucked, but it was better than the 3-1 that I was convinced the team was leaving with that evening.
I sent the message thanking another Paul for the ticket as I darted from the building. No reason to hang around -- we'll get them next time is a familiar feeling when leaving the arena during the stretch-run into the playoffs. For reasons that cannot quite be comprehended, this team usually wins just enough games to make the playoffs but hardly has a blistering February or March.
The weather was a bit colder than it had been in previous days as I made my across 5th, 4th and 3rd Avenue to get to the pedestrian bridge. As I walked in front of the Symphony building, I saw a couple that Samantha and I knew from church. We walked up the start of the pedestrian bridge with a hundred or so other folks that also took advantage of the free parking. That's when the misguided and inebriated Nashville history buff joined us.
The gentleman was well intentioned. He too had just come from the hockey game as evident from the jersey he was wearing. I quipped something about the steep incline at the beginning of the bridge, at which point he rattled off the following "facts."
- The bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge in the world (false, although it does rank on up there).
- The bridge is 1.2 miles long from end to end (false, not quite even two-thirds of a mile)
- It is registered as a historic landmark (true, a distinction it received in 1998 as part of the National Register of Historic Places)
- It had closed in 1999 because it was in horrible disrepair (close, it was closed in 1998 a full six years after it was deemed to be in "poor" condition)
- It was the first bridge across the Cumberland in Nashville (the railways likely own this distinction, at least according to an 1889 map)
- The Nashville Bridge Company occupied the space that is now LP Field (true, and has since moved to Ashland City)
Despite some trouble with the accuracy of his statements, I did I find it fascinating that he wanted to share the information so freely. Perhaps it was the beer talking or his own social awkwardness, but whatever the man's profession is was wasting at minimum his zeal for Nashville trivia. It had prompted me to pull up a few maps and Wikipedia articles on the subject, because even at the time I was not convinced of his facts.
I went on to my car to listen to the hockey coach talk about that night's disappointing lost. All I could think about was bridges.