Monday, August 30, 2010

Red Wings Blogger Roundtable Part Four...

Hey look, I haven't forgotten how to do this "blogging" thing after all.  We're lucky I remembered my password after all this time.

Anyway, the latest edition of the Wings Blogger Roundtable has made an appearance over at The Triple Deke.  Head on over there for a discussion of who belongs on the back of the Wings' Mount Puckmore, players who may surprise us this season, and whether or not the Wings are the team to beat in the NHL.  The Roundtable will be making its way over to this oft-neglected corner of the internet later this week when I host the next installment.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Red Wings Blogger Roundtable Day Two...

Malik hosted yesterday's roundtable session over at Snapshots.  Head on over there for a discussion that centers around the Wings' newcomers and goaltending for the upcoming season.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Red Wings Blogger Roundtable Day One...

Last summer, we held a roundtable to keep ourselves from being bored during the long off-season.  Casey decided to set up a sequel this summer and kindly hosted the first set of questions at Winging it in Motown today.  Head on over to see a fantastic discussion that focuses on the Central Division.  Malik will be hosting tomorrow's edition over at Snapshots.  We'll be stopping at various places around the Wings blogosphere to chat about the upcoming season.  I like to think of it as a little bit of pre-season conditioning for us bloggers.  We have to work on getting our typing skills and snark geared up for the season.

I would write more, but I'm currently under attack from a ninja silverfish.  I'm not even kidding. It touched my keyboard.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Shanahanigans from the Wings Alumni Charity Softball Game...

On Saturday, Liz and I went to the Wings Charity Alumni Softball game. We were both pretty excited, but I don’t think either one of us were fully prepared for the events of the day. I don’t know how I haven’t made it to one of these things before. That truly is a shame.

The Wings/Tigers alumni roster featured Darren McCarty, Dino Ciccarelli, Joey Kocur, Dave Rozema, Jeff Daniels, Jason Wolley, Manny Legace, Steve Avery, Eddie Mio, Kevin Miller, Wayne Presley, George Bowman, Gary Taylor, Mike Krushelnyski, and Pat Peake. I think it goes without saying that D-Mac stole the show. He was pretty obviously the fan-favorite. I loved the fact that a grinder upstaged a recently-elected Hall of Famer. I also loved the fact that while most of the guys wore cargo shorts and sneakers, Mac came decked out in cleats, baseball socks, knee pads, and sliding shorts. He looked like he was having a pretty good time out there.

McCarty played third base, which made me happy because that was my primary position in my youthful days of fastpitch. It turns out that he’s a pretty good player. He turned some nice plays over there. He also entertained the crowd:

Another fun Mac moment came after the first game when he was eating a blue sno-cone. He was stopped for some autographs and had nowhere to put the cone cup, so he just held the edge in his mouth. When we walked by, he was standing there with blue sno-cone lips dangling the cup from his mouth. We laughed. A lot. Sadly, we didn’t manage to snag a picture of this.  Instead, I took one of him making some totally RAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHH party horns aka the two out sign:

Joey Kocur pitched all three games in between having seemingly endless cell phone conversations. He got lit up for a couple of home runs by a strapping young policeman in the third game, but it ended up not mattering as the Alumni team went on to sweep the tourney.

We also learned that Dino Ciccarelli can throw a mean fastpitch fastball. He was whipping pitches in pretty quickly when he was goofing around in warm-ups. We were impressed. He’s clearly done that somewhere before. It’s not the kind of thing you just pick up and do well.  Unfortunately, he didn't do so well at the plate.  I maintain that he would've gotten a hit if he'd taken our advice about which bat to choose, but he didn't listen.  By the third game, he was sitting in the dugout icing his shoulder with an entire party store bag of ice.  We were amused.

Speaking of pitching, during the second game, Liz and I decided to head over to the radar they had set up (They brought a radar speed rig that would normally be found on the side of the street and set it up behind the backstop on one of the diamonds.) to have our pitching timed. I was a mediocre pitcher back in the day and had never had my speed clocked, so this was mildly exciting. I think both of us regretted this decision the next day.

The highlight of the day came between the second and third games. Darren McCarty gave an impromptu concert in one of the tents. Liz and I sat in the front row. I know you’re jealous. Thanks to Mac, I’ve had ‘Ain’t that America’ (which I've just been informed is actually called "Pink Houses" for reasons that I don't quite understand [UPDATED: 8-11-10 15:25]) stuck in my head since Saturday. And yes, I did get his performance on video. You’re welcome.

After the mini-concert, we got a chance to meet him and take some pictures.

Other things:
  • When we stopped to have pictures taken with Rozema, Liz was kind enough to bring up the time he got my dad kicked out of a Hooters at Tigers Fantasy Camp by throwing ice cubes at the waitress.  His response?  "It's Fantasy Camp. You have to do stuff like that."  Oh fun times.
  • Rozema was also entertaining people when he ran the bases.  He was making safe calls and waving his arms around.  I'm not entirely sure what he was doing, but he seemed like he was having fun.
  • We enjoyed the fact that the base coaches took their beers out onto the field with them.  It was literally beer league softball.
  • There was a drunk guy claiming to be Taylor's son who came and stood by us when we were taking pictures up against the fence.  He decided to lean into the field through the open gate to inspect the bats.  He spilled his beer on them.  I was amused.
  • People are obnoxious.  I knew that already, but Saturday reinforced it.
  • Jeff Daniels does a mean Mr. Peanut pose.
The rest of my pictures are over at Photobucket.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Adventures of A Red Wings Packrat: Jersey Foul Edition...

I just so happen to be the proud-ish owner of a Red Wings jersey foul. I say “proud-ish” because after all these years, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. I’ve had it for at least eight years (it was an integral part of my ’02 Cup celebration), but I’m not exactly sure when it came into my possession. I have no idea where my mom found it. It’s a baseball-style jersey that says “Red Wings” on the front and has Shanny’s name on the back. It’s officially licensed stuff, so I’m not 100% sure it qualifies as a foul. Either way, it’s awesomely bad.

Back in ’02, I was but a high school sophomore. The Wings were kind enough to win the Cup the night before the last day of school/final exams. The next day, I wore the jersey foul since wearing a real hockey jersey to school in June would’ve been a poor life decision. One of my best friends happened to show up in an Yzerman semi-jersey that day, too. Somehow, in our excitement, we ended up nicknaming each other after the players on our backs. I became Shanny and she became Stevie. This was ironic because my favorite player was Stevie and hers was Shanny.

That day was also the end of the year pool party for a school club. At the party, we assigned Wings player names to all of our friends. An extremely studious friend became Igor Larionov. A talkative one became Brett Hull. Someone else became Sergei Fedorov because we felt like he had to be represented at the party and nobody else fit. I think there was also a Luc Robitaille. Nobody else there had the slightest idea what we were talking about. I’m fairly certain that most of them wouldn’t have known the Wings had won the Cup if we hadn’t shouted it at them multiple times. That didn’t stop us from finding a silver-ish bucket and making them pose for celebration shots like the team did on the ice. We also discovered that the people who were hosting the party owned an autographed Gordie Howe stick which they let us take pictures with, but that’s not really the point. In more on-topic news, a red and white jersey foul paired with a turquoise beach wrap with killer whales on it makes a fantastic outfit.

Those same jerseys were worn down to the city a few days afterward when my dad took us to the celebration parade. It was the first we’d been able to attend. It was sweltering. Once again, the Shanny jersey foul saved me with its short sleeves and breathable fabric. I’m fairly certain it was almost seven years before the jersey foul made it out of my closet again to see the light of day.

Last spring, when the Wings were in the Finals, that same friend from high school and I decided to watch one of the road games down at Hockeytown CafĂ©. I’d worn most of my Wings shirts already, so I decided to throw on the Shanny foul for nostalgia’s sake. Imagine my surprise when my friend showed up at my front door wearing the very same Steve Yzerman semi-jersey she’d worn for our fake celebration all those years earlier. It was an awesome moment in our friendship. Of course, the Wings went on to lose the game, further cementing my refusal to watch another Finals game at Hockeytown ever again. (I was also there for the 3OT disaster in ’08.)

When I decided to stop being lazy and write something, I chose this jersey foul because I’ll be wearing it when Liz and I go to the Wings Alumni Softball Game tomorrow. She’ll also be rocking a jersey foul. I figure mine won’t be terribly out of place there since it’s a Wings softball game.