Archive for the ‘Life’ category

The Cup Resides in Chicago – Some Thoughts in The Afterglow

June 12, 2010

 

It finally happened…. 

In my lifetime… 

The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup! 

Ahhh, the celebration amidst friends and family was sweet indeed.  I was hoping to have pics by now of us celebrating, and me wearing my Bobby Hull autographed sweatshirt, but will post those when I receive them via email. 

There was a time, right after the Hawks bumped off the Sharks, that I thought the Cup was going to be theirs.  I wasn’t going to make predictions though, or write about their shortcomings, or about how Patrick Kane still rubs me the wrong way a little bit.  I just thought that the worst competition was eliminated and that Philadelphia wouldn’t be that tough – but then I hadn’t really seen much of any of the Flyers’ games.  

I really want to take my hat off to Philly.  I mean, they ground, and crashed, and limped and fought the Hawks all the way.  While all eyes were looking at Anti Niemi to be the weak spot, nobody looked to Michael Leighton.  Sure he was great earlier in the playoffs but he’s still Michael Leighton and against a high firepower team like the Hawks, I wasn’t sure he could handle it.  

In the end, Niemi wasn’t a weak spot, even though he wasn’t great either. 

Michael Leighton was a weak spot.  

Goalies.  This series showed how important they can be in a game.  If either goalie got relatively hot in this series- I don’t mean scalding Patrick Roy hot,  just a notch above Anti Niemi- the series would’ve definitely gone to that team.   

Philly needs to look at their goaltending situation in the off season.  That last goal just shouldn’t happen. Period. 

Speaking of which, that has to be the most bizarre finish to a tournament competition in the history of sports.    We sat there watching, not sure to jump and scream or wait for the next face off or what.  Kane saw it go in , and Leighton knew it was in as well (I just think Leighton was trying to sell it to the ref that he had it in his pads and was hoping for a whistle.)  Everyone else just looked and thought, “What happened?”  (I love how Anti Niemi acted when Kane jumped him.  He acted like someone in an airport getting hugged by a person who mistook him for someone else.) 

Then there’s this song from YouTube that pokes fun at how many people jumped on the Blackhawks Bandwagon.  To be truthful, it got frustrating in how getting tickets for the Blackhawks was like getting tickets for the Chicago Cubs.  I mean, sure you could get tickets, but the tickets from the 300 level and above were the first ones to sell out.  It just cost too darn much and was too hard to get a group of folks together for a game at a reasonable price.   I mean, there can’t be that many people who know hockey in this city, right? 

But, as with the Cubs, when everybody loves a team (incidentally, I’m a Sox fan) everyone left doesn’t want to be left out. (Witness 2 million people at the rally today!)  One thing is for sure: John McDonough and crew know how to market.  

Still, here my brothers and I had a Blackhawk head painted on the floor of our basement when we were kids in the early 70’s!  (It’s still there when we sold the house this May, as this picture will attest.) 

The Hawks Emblem on the Basement Floor from My Childhood - Look Closely, it's There.

 

So yeah, it felt at times that it was (more…)

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Patrick Kane Arrested – How Much Did Management Contribute?

August 10, 2009
Is 20 Cents Worth it? Is 15 Dollars Worth it?

Is 20 Cents Worth it? Is 15 Dollars Worth it?

Unfortunately the sports world is filled with people who give a pretty good impression to most of the world and then come home and beat their wives….or cab drivers.

Kaner looks like a good kid.  When he talks he doesn’t give the impression of being a scholar but that’s okay – intelligence doesn’t necessarily correlate with peaceful behavior.

Right now we assume he’s innocent until proven guilty.  The cab driver doesn’t seem like the sharpest tool in the shed either but he does have marks around the face and neck that are consistent with his story.

Regardless,  things like this don’t happen with ‘character’ players.

We can make excuses and say “boys will be boys” but that’s what they are: excuses.

If Kaner  really did say something like, “Do you know who I am?” then this sounds a lot more like a kid where fame has gone to his head, where the accolades of an adoring crowd and management has fueled a mentality that he is entitled to something more.  That the Blackhawks came out and said they, “stand behind him” (without putting anything up about this incident on their website!) corroborates this but what else could they say?  They’ve contributed to this problem by putting out a team with no veteran, seasoned leaders who can help young players adjust and grow when subjected to new found fame and fortune.

Being on a professional team is about more than playing a season – it should also be about growing as human being and being more than just a cog in wheel.  It should be about showing people athletic prowess is just one facet of being human. 

This whole situation d0es not smack of maturity or growth over the past year.   One has to wonder if this would have happened if the Hawks spent more time molding their kids as opposed to feeding them the line “they’ve already arrived.”

Well folks, they’ve arrived and the fare is more than $13.80.

Pay up.

My Goalie Masks Through The Years

February 4, 2009

As promised, here is a summary pic of my masks through the years. 

masks1This is a reproduction of my first mask.  A paper plate.  (more…)

The Character of the Chicago Blackhawks.

December 15, 2008

Recently I was emailed a story about the Chicago Blackhawks heading over to their GM, Dale Tallon’s, dad’s funeral.  While it is beginning to take on the earmarks of an urban legend, it really doesn’t need the fluff- truth is better than fiction in this case.  Read the real scoop here.  The article says something about the character of this team.  The emailed version is below:

A True story…..

In the middle of a grueling six game road trip where a very young
hockey eam is away from home, the third game of the trip ends late on a
cold Canadian Saturday night.  This is the only break on the trip and the
three days between games allow them the only break to get back home in
their own beds for a couple of days before going back on the road.  A scheduled
commercial flight waits for them at Toronto’s International Airport for the short flight home; they could be home by midnight.  This plane departs on schedule, but without a single member of the hockey team. (more…)

Great Hockey Tonight!

December 7, 2008

Tonight was a hockey game.

 Good speed, checking, fights, a bit of blood and the Wolves won.  I called it.  

The Blackhawks, while mustering another point in the standings (Though it’s a good thing, for some reason I’m really getting tired of OT and Shoot Out losses and STILL getting a point! Either 2 points or NO points), blew a two goal lead in Detroit tonight.

Perhaps even better was the drunk group of fans in the row in front of us.   The elder statesman of the group shared the story of his youth: “I gave up hockey for alcohol and drugs”

Oooooookay.

Soon he began singing, “Too too, shy shy, hush hush, eye 2 eye.”  His buddy, on the other hand, eyes glassy from what was probably herb smoked between periods, yelled, “That’s bulls**t!” and quickly leaned over to the row in front of him:

“Sorry, Father…”

Live Life-Set Yourself On Fire!

November 27, 2008

Great article here, quoting hockey mind Fred Shero with a reminder for how we need to approach life.  Love this quote:

People all too often wait for success to happen to them. “If only it would fall into place…”, “Surely someone will discover who I am and what I can do soon…” or “Just a little while longer and it’ll all come good…” are examples of the things we say while we’re waiting for success to come along.