I'm a little bit late with this but it has really taken more time than I thought for everything to sink in and to get back in the swing of what is normal.
Being a part of Herm 2 Hockeytown was more than I ever imagined it would be. Far beyond my wildest dreams.
When this all started out on A2Y, I had no doubt that we'd raise enough money to get Herm to Detroit for a game. I also knew we'd raise some extra for Children's Hospital of Michigan. I didn't realize we'd manage to raise over $5300, although I never should have doubted the power of Red Wings fans (and Michael Petrella of The Production Line who, through some awesome fundraising innovation, got everyone involved in a fun and exciting way).
The entire weekend was a great success, and the credit for that goes to every single person involved in H2H. Everyone who donated money to bring Herm here, everyone who donated to Children's Hospital, everyone who helped plan the event in any way, everyone who attended, and everyone who wished they could and cheered us on. I can't thank you all enough. The Detroit Red Wings were beyond accommodating and I am so thankful to the entire organization for helping Herm achieve some of his dreams (and well, me too).
To all of you that I met and to those of you I did not get to spend enough time with, I can't wait until we see each other again. I was delighted to meet each of you. It's pretty awesome to hang out with fellow crazy fans. Makes one feel normal.
To Guilherme Calciolari - Being able to watch this event unfold alongside you has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. From the mini tour of the Joe Louis Arena to meeting Darren Helm in the locker room post game, it was quite a ride. Thank you so much for letting me share in the joy of it all. I hope it was everything you dreamed of.
To Paul Kukla and Bill Houlihan, thank you for giving us a place where such a crazy idea was not not really that out there and for helping us grow it into the amazing thing it became.
Other people said this far more eloquently. Mostly, I just wanted to say thank you. To all of you.
How lame is it to be excited about that? Or to have to cheer for St. Lose? Whatever, I'll take it, even if it's fleeting. Hopefully not, I am wearing my superfly magical Grinch fleece pants today and if they don't work, I will burn them along with a picture of Shane Doan as an offering to the hockey gods.
It's rough man. Rough. This season feels like the playoffs. All season. Or more accurately, game six and seven of last year's SCF. Brutal. I know I shouldn't be bitching because some fans have decades of suck and there have been some bright shining moments. But shit. I have consumed more beer this season than the last three seasons combined (and you know what? It's working, at least in one way, so shut your face).
Tonight we get the return of the beloved Niklas Kronwall who is a key element missing from the defense. Let's hope that it doesn't take him too long to find his way back. Not only for the Wings, but for my fantasy team and sanity.
I don't have much to say other than don't forget to listen to The Obstructed View Episode 7. You do not want to miss Brian's awesome rendition of Man-Tuzzi or George Malik agreeing with me. Also, I would rather not jinx the team, myself, anyone else.
That was sort of an important game to win, and by sort of, I mean TOTALLY. But while I started off thinking "tonight's gonna be a good night" a la the Black Eyed Peas, as soon as Kopitar scored that first goal, I knew you (and we as fans) were doomed.
I'm not blaming anyone. I am not going to go that route. I did last night but not today. There are holes everywhere and I have theories and whatever. Oh what the hell, I will share:
1. Are our veterans so used to winning that the can't figure out how to lose? Really. How can they blow a two goal lead so consistently it's a punchline like, "Is the Pope Catholic." HOW? There is zero intensity from 30% of the team. I know we can rely on the young guys for that and even Bertuzzi, who yes, while quite possibly the most hated man in the NHL, does not deserve all the hate and "he fucked up AGAIN"s thrown his way. Bert, you do not have to use the spinorama on every move, you look like me playing NHL '96, but yes, it frequently works, and you are putting forth effort, which is more than I can say for some.
2. Jonathan Ericsson, I still think you suck. Sorry. I think people love you because they think you're hot. Men and women. You are mildly attractive, but I don't get all that mad love. I like you because you have a Wolverine healing factor. But this: is just meh. There are hotter Swedes in the league, on the team even. But I digress to a world I don't like to visit. You suck. I'm tired of "he's young," "he's suffering from high expectations," "he still has a lot to learn," and my personal favorite, "defensemen have a slow learning curve." Bullshit. Yes, he is young. Of course there are high expectations, he is a Detroit Red Wing, yes he has a lot to learn, but his teachers are quite amazing (TPH anyone?) and that last statement is wrong. Sorry Ellen, I adore you, but no. Defensemen have to learn faster. They have more TOI and they are facing top scorers. Their learning curve has to be fast. You want to tell me that Del Zotto and Tyler Myers are slow to learn? Nuh-uh. Ericsson: Nut up or shut up. You suck.
3. Lebda: see above, only I'm over you. Go away.
4. Meech: I do not feel the same hate as everyone else. Your game is improving. I'd rather see you on the ice than either of these guys. You may stay.
5. When everyone got all excited about Lilja returning when Mick went into fantasy land last night, I thought, "are you fucking with me?" Dude has not played professional ice hockey in a year. He wasn't the second coming to begin with. NO. He is also done peeps, with is tragic, I like him. But no, he wouldn't be better. But see above. Hotter Swede.
6. Opinions, people. Blogging offers opinions. I am not an analyst. Nor am I Ken Holland. Neither are you. I do understand sports though, and also psychology. RE: Datsyuk, I would like to offer you my opinion: There is something else going on. First of all, his defensive game is sick. He is awesome. His scoring touch, not so much. I think it is much harder for Russian players to play without another Russian. I think it is also harder to live without living amongst other Russians. The language barrier? Tired of everyone bitching about the fact that his English is not great. Have you looked at a Cyrillic alphabet? Jesus people. I think there is credence to the story of his wife's unhappiness. Do NOT be surprised when another Russian ends up on the team. I'm not saying THAT ONE though I'd love to see it. But there will be one. Soon.
7. Leino. I told Michael Petrella at the Production Line that I would trade you for a six pack and some Taco Bell. He countered that you are only worth the Taco Bell. I wanted to love you, but you are not doing anything. Another year in Grand Rapids would have helped, but I do understand with your age, you didn't want to do that. But is this better? I think I can answer that for you. This sucks.
8. A two goal lead in the first does not mean you have won. This game lasts sixty minutes, or in your case, sixty five plus the shootout.
9. Professional athletes do not belong in the Olympics. Not only does the schedule suck balls this year, I really think the elite players are focused on the gold. Fuck that, focus on making the playoffs.
10. This is a team sport. It does feel like the hockey gods are against this team this year. But the entire team has to want to play and want to win and not fuck up. This is not the case at all. Bad luck, bad breaks, injuries, whatever. This team is equally responsible for their losses.
Everyone who has a heart is concerned about the situation in Haiti, and it's easy to feel pretty helpless about it if you've seen the pictures and heard the news reports. So often one thinks, "Well, how can I help? I don't have enough money, I can't go there." Very easy to feel this way.
If you're a hockey fan, you can help through the NHL/UNICEF.
Now, let's get to the NHL fans are cool part.
You already know the cool stuff we're doing over at A2Y to help Children's Hospital of Michigan and their Child Life Program Fund. For more information, read the most updated thread. There is big news coming, but you can still make a donation by clicking the graphic at the end of that thread.
The other night, during the Leafs/Predators game, Pension Plan Puppets, a Leafs blog I love (and lurk on) did a super cool commentathon to raise money. A simple thing like that raised over $2000. They were inspired by Silver Seven Sens and now many other fanbases are following suit. Hell, even The Pensblog donated to the PPP cause.
Now Down Goes Brown (if you are not reading that blog, you are high) who assisted PPP with their fundraiser has a challenge for all of you: Go do something. Be inspired by this - get together with your friends/fans/families and help. Be creative. If you can't do something like that, give blood. Do something. There is always something that anyone can do.
I live in a weird neighborhood. Also, I am constantly dreaming up scenarios of what my neighbors might be doing. I have touched on this before in this post. Things are getting strange again. Maybe it's winter, I don't know. Long winters and big snows tend to do fucked up things to people. I mean, I have seen some epically weird things in Madison. I have seen the blind leading the blind (literally). I saw a man who looked like the Gorton's fisherman crawl out of Lake Monona (or so it appeared) and ask if he could play darts with us. Some dude showed me his Prince Albert. I saw someone kick the shit out of his bicycle at a bus stop. A man who looked exactly like Charles Manson explained to me that he was from the planet Pilades and sadly informed me he would soon have to return. It was fascinating, I talked to him for quite awhile. Shit, I shouldn't be telling you this, I should write a book 'Crazy People of Madison'.
This winter has been bizarre. I recently witnessed a man having a heated argument with a snowbank. On Christmas day, a guy was walking up the street rapping about his sucky life. Here is a snippet: "If you think that I'm insane, I'm a punch you in the brain." (It was actually pretty good, better than a lot of rap on the radio - and I like rap. If I was a record producer, I would have signed him on the spot).
This is the most disturbing thing this week though - Swinger orgy sex club people have indeed moved and now the Klopeks have moved in.
It started out with just weird flashes and a few noises, but now they are full on experimenting on humans and getting rid of the evidence. This is much more apparent now that we have snow and the plows can disguise the noise. Also, I have never actually seen them so for all I know, their son is some freakish red head a la Hans. Who knows?
Last night, all we heard was weird loud metallic banging noises, like some sort of Industrial Revolution era machinery. Nobody even cares in this 'hood, so it's not like the cops would be called. Well, maybe now, with the new McNeighborhood. But about 7 years ago someone a few blocks away was using their house as a meth lab and it exploded. For real. I'm sure everyone knew what was going on, but people tend to mind their own business. This is a perfect example as to why I am clearly NOT delusional about such things.
As a result of recent developments, Zac and I are thinking about making some new friends. Maybe staging a covert stakeout first. Perhaps bringing them some brownies as an ice breaker.