On Saturday night after the Coyote beat the Wild and secured the Pacific Division title, Tyson Nash sent out a tweet asking fans to come and meet the team plane. He was kind enough to give the address and time of arrival. That started a chain of electronic contacts that led to hundreds turning out to cheer on our team. 97 points and a title when no one but the hardest of hard core fans thought it was possible. The Coyotes needed this. The coaches, trainers, security, equipment managers, everyone needed to see what Tyson’s tweet stirred up.
We arrived at 10:30 pm to about 50 fans at Cutter Aviation. Within a few minutes, it was over one hundred. Someone from the Coyotes was handing out t-shirts, stickers, window flags. Everyone was happy, had their jerseys and signs on hand. The chants of Let’s Go Coyotes and Here We Go Coyotes rang out in contrast to the runway sounds. People were talking about their favorite moments. Doan’s hat trick, Ray getting 1000 points, Derek reaching the 1000 game mark. What we want to see (2nd round of the playoffs, Smitty getting an empty netter). What we need (an owner in Greg Jamison who knows hockey).
Channel 12 sent a video camerawoman. She did several stand up interviews, took lots of shots. ABC 15 sent out Craig Fouhy. It was good to see someone from the sports department at the media did attend this event. The crowd was well over 300 when we were told the plane was 18 minutes out. No one jockeyed for position, no one crowded out their fellow fans. It was a beautiful time talking to Bob, Anthony and Avery, Zac. Seeing members of the Booster Club in attendance. Lots of kids. And dogs. A very special dog named Louie stole the show. He was getting more hugs and kisses from women than Taylor Pyatt at a kissing booth.
Then the plane pulled up. And the fans went wild. Signs in the air, cheering and songs filled the night air. When the stairs came down, it was game on. Yellling player names, chanting Let’s Go Coyotes. Guys like Gilbert Brule and David Schlemko pumped up the crowd. Shane worked the fence line, shaking hands with the biggest smile on this face. Even Dave Tippett smiled. We got Tip to smile. I hope someone has a picture of that. Tyson and Todd Walsh were shocked at the crowd size. What made it perfect was that the players were not told of this by security. They had no idea until the plane taxied over to the hangar and they could see and hear us.
As the players left, horns were tooting as we were howling. It was a very special moment that we will treasure.