Well, that was one of the toughest weeks I've had at work in a long time. But I am very happy to say that it at least ended well. Nothing seemed to work Monday through Thursday and suddenly things started coming together again on Friday. I think the kids were as relieved as I was. Four weeks of summer school down, two to go! And most importantly, we're officially one month closer to hockey season!
Here are some odds and ends:
- Speaking of hockey season, one of the bright spots of this week was getting our mini-pack order form in the mail. Woo-hoo! It never fails to make me laugh to read that we can order up to 40 games. That's the least mini mini-pack I've ever seen. After much discussion - if by discussion you mean, "Heather went through, picked some really expensive games and insisted we were attending them and then Mark rolled his eyes, muttered something about bankruptcy and then picked a bunch of cheap games" - here's what we came up with:
Friday 10/10 vs. Montreal - For a couple of years now I've said we should go to opening night but this year we finally are. I think it's the ideal situation. Fans will be excited, no player can be considered disappointing, and no one can complain that the team is underachieving. Yet. Once this game is over, everyone's fair game.
Wednesday 11/12 vs. St. Louis - Value game plus Jay McKee.
Monday 12/1 vs. Nashville - Value game plus JP Dumont. Also, as much as I hate Nashville - I don't think we've escaped a game against them without injury yet - our games usually are pretty fun to watch.
February 2/13 vs. San Jose - I was really disappointed that we played the Sharks in San Jose last season so I'm all over this one. Now that San Jose is once again a Brian Campbell-free zone, I can go back to rooting for Joe Thornton.
Saturday 3/14 vs. Atlanta - Atlanta is a silver game? Really? Still, Mark really wanted to hit up a Saturday game and this one worked out the best.
Monday 4/6 vs. Detroit - I don't particularly care about seeing Anaheim but I'm all over Detroit. I was really disappointed I didn't get to see them last season (although I think Nicklas Lidstrom ended up missing that game anyway which is why I really wanted to go) so I'm glad they're back here this season.
So if you're in the building for any of those games and you see a guy in a Stafford jersey and a girl in a Tallinder jersey, both wearing glasses, feel free to say hello.
I just have to say again, how amazing it is to me to look at that list of professional sporting events and know I'm going to be attending them. For a girl who grew up with AA baseball, it's still all very exciting. Every season or two we'd take a road trip to catch a Braves game, usually when the Pirates were in town, and it was such a huge deal. I'd be excited for weeks in anticipation and I still remember walking from wherever we parked - which felt MILES away - to Fulton County Stadium. The novelty of having a pro sports team I love right in my backyard hasn't worn off yet and I hope it never does. And this list doesn't even include the four or so games I'll go to with my group of girls and the couple of games Kate and I are hoping to attend together. October is soon, right?
- Margee, proprietor of SportSquee, took all the top ten lists she received (mine's here if you missed it) and tallied the total votes to create an authoritative Hockey SportSquee list. I feel like the whole list is invalidated by the presence of Alexander Ovechkin. The kid is super talented and I can understand how liking (or not liking) a guy's game can make him more or less attractive but I'm not sure anyone is that talented. Far be it from me to call someone funny-looking but... yeah. Also joining Ovechkin on the "What the Hell?" portion of the list are Jason Spezza, Eric "I Look Like a Serial Killer" Staal, Jordan "I'm Really Good-Looking If You Compare Me to My Serial Killer Brother" Stall, and Ryan Getzlaf. On the "Attractive But Not Top Ten" list are Sidney Crosby, Zach Parise, Mike Richards, and Rick Nash. And finally, the "O-VER-RATE-D :::clap, clap, clapclapclap:::" group, Rick DiPietro, Carey Price, and Vincent Lecavalier. And please don't comment or email that I just haven't been lucky enough to see this picture of Vinny because guys, that picture is creepy as heck. The only guy on the final SportSquee list who I can fully endorse is Mike Komisarek.
- I feel like everywhere I turn I'm being told I should like the Chicago Blackhawks. Well, guess what. I REFUSE the Chicago Blackhawks. Would I like Patrick Kane to play well? Sure, why not? Who doesn't want the local boy to look good? Do I feel an overwhelming desire to cheer for his team to win? No, not really. Do I think all the little connections the team has to WNY are interesting? I guess so. Does that make them my second favorite team? No, it doesn't. I certainly have no intention of claiming Brian Campbell as a WNYer. I'm sorry Chicago isn't playing here this year because I really want to see him booed to tears which judging by his willingness to cry over everything else, probably wouldn't take long. I don't care if the Hawks win, I don't care if the Hawks lose. I wish the NHL and everyone else would quit trying to tell
me what to do.
- I'm super annoyed that the Yankees got some pieces they needed, shocked that the Red Sox actually traded Manny Ramirez, bummed to see Jason Bay out of Pittsburgh (but not surprised), and optimistic that the Pirates got some decent prospects/players in exchange for players they clearly weren't going to keep past their current contracts.
- What happened to Teppo? I thought his re-signing was imminent! My official Teppo stance: Bring him back and put him wherever he'll have the most contact with Mike Weber and Andrej Sekera. Especially Sekera.
- I just want to say thanks again to all of you who commented on or emailed me about the 100 Things posts. I know they were a little outside the typical boundaries of a hockey blog and I'm glad so many of you enjoyed them. I had a lot of fun writing them. I'm also glad that some other people have taken the idea and run with it. If you want to know 100 Things about some other bloggers check out recent posts at Muckers and Grinders, My Safety is Harvard, I Should Have Moved to Canada, and the Humming Giraffe. If anyone else out there has a list I missed, please let me know! I love reading these.
- Earlier today Mark read me the following comment he found on a Bills message board, posted by someone named GoBillsDB:
Actually, for me watching the Bills play is the farthest thing from pure heaven. I have come to accept this Bills fandom of mine as a burden. It is my lot in life to suffer through season after season of getting my hopes up only to have them crushed in new and unexpected ways every year.
Preaseason. I watch every last snap. The entire time, I like to watch the backups and envision how, like all those who came before them, they will shatter my hopes and dreams in future NFL contests. I could care less if they win. I just spend the entire game holding my breath and hoping for no injuries.
Have I ever mentioned that I really love Buffalo?