“Summer 2010: Avoiding the Cup”… ABORT!!! ABORT!!!

Well that didn’t last long.  LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!!!!!!!!!!

This is as close as they’d let me get but O.  M.  G.

I lied!  I DID want to see it!  And it was everything I hoped it’d be.

And more.

I want one.


It’s like Where’s Waldo, only you NEVER FIND WALDO.

Let’s play a game.  Go to the person nearest you and stand directly behind him or her, as if you were forming a line, so that you are facing his or her back.  Now instruct that person not to move, and you take 2 steps forward (yep, straight into’em).  Now have someone encircle the two of you with space heaters and throw paper remains from the office shredding machine on you.

Congratulations, you’ve just re-created my Stanley Cup parade experience!

Yes, it was – possibly, hopefully not, but the odds are not with me – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.  But did you notice what was absent from our little Stanley Cup reenactment?

Did you say the Stanley Cup?  Ding ding ding!  Correct.  I did not see it.  I did not see anything but confetti and people’s heads.

I did not feel the thrill of victory.

I did feel strangers sweating on me.  Gross.

Don’t give me any of that “at least you can say you were there” garbage.  Two million other people were there too and I’ll bet most of them at least got a glimpse.

You know who else got a glimpse on parade weekend?  People who frequent The Pony on Belmont.  (Uh, seriously Blackhawks?)  Also people who hang out on Rush St. Same for people who went to the Cubs v. White Sox game (Sunday night) that was NOT the game I went to (Friday afternoon).  And also people on their way to the airport, and people who work at the Tribune with my roommate. (She texted me a picture.  Middle of a random workday.  Here it is.)

You're darn right I blacked out their eyes! I'm not getting sued over a silly blog post. (And no, it's not easy to black out 11 pairs of eyes using MS Paint.)

I am starting to feel like the Cup can be found where I am not.

The same ESPN article that tells about the airport sighting also says, and I quote,

“If you have not seen, drank from, kissed or at least cuddled the Stanley Cup yet, you’re really not trying.  In fact, so many people [in Chicago] have experienced one of the above, that it is becoming passé.”

WHAT?!  I have been TRYING!  I’m TRYING!

I swear I’ve been trying.

The Cup was at the Pride Parade this weekend, which I planned to go to…

…until I completely forgot.

So I now have one thought and one theory:

Thought:  Take this as a sign.  I am not meant to see the Stanley Cup until it is in the possession of my Buffalo Sabres.

Theory:  If the Stanley Cup is everywhere I am not, and if I fallaciously reason from a part to a whole (yep, I took Intro to Logic in college and I’m patently ignoring it)…well then I am also NOT living in Buffalo right now, nor will I during the coming season, soooo…(gettin’ my drift?)

(Yes it’s a stretch, and granted I am also not in 28 other cities home to NHL teams, but I’ll cling to what I can.)

Summer 2010:  AVOIDING THE CUP.

My inner demons wear Sabres jerseys.

I tried to blog about the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup.  I really did.  But my inner demons wouldn’t let me.

I wrote two blogs, one about heading over to the celebrations on Clark St. the night the Hawks won, and one about the celebration parade.  But as I read them over they sounded hollow and inadequate, and my inner demons (the ones in Sabres jerseys) just chanted things like “Your team CHOKED in ’99!!” and “Live it up now eh, because you’ll NEVER see one of THESE in Buffalo!”  (It would appear my inner demons are Canadian.)

So I didn’t post them.

Here’s the deal.  The Sabres lose when it counts.  They are currently in the midst of a 40-year Cup drought (READ: since their inception. Only 3 teams currently have a longer drought.)  Even when they’re a good team they ultimately finish where all the bad teams do (the golf course).

The Hawks, with their 49-year drought and merciless no-TV era, were also perennial losers.  I empathized.  We were comrades.

Then they won.

It’s like Alfalfa getting a girlfriend and expecting the He-Man-Woman-Hater’s Club not to change the password on him.  You’ve changed, Chicago hockey, you with your curvy platinum sidekick.

But secretly…I want in.

Hear me out:  I am not changing my allegiance – Egads man, I would never!  I’m merely adding one…like a step-team.  (Not that kind of step team.)

I  Just.  Love.  Hockey.

I do!  And I hate that my team is only on TV in Chicago once a month, and while I am totally game for internet radio, it’s a bandaid solution at best.  I want to WATCH hockey, and I want to CARE.

Mind you, this only works because the Sabres and Blackhawks are in different conferences and only face off once a year.  (B-t-dubs, I have attended every Sabres @ Blackhawks game since 2004.  There have been 3.  You see my point?)  And when they face off, there is ZERO question who I’m rooting for.  I am Buffalo through and through (Buffalo at heart, if you will), but I want a home team.  I want to follow the Blackhawks religiously enough that I love them too, though secondarily so.

So that in 2 years, when they when the Cup again, I can celebrate as if they were my own.

Which will be even sweeter after the Sabres win it next year.

The legend of Don “I never met a pattern I didn’t like” Cherry.

I have been asked by my friend Kristen to blog about the NBA Finals, but this is incredibly difficult because I don’t care about them.  Oops!  I mean because I don’t know tons about the NBA.  Yes, the second one.  So until I can come up with something, I’ll share another hockey tidbit.

I stumbled upon the most amazing blog the other day: Don Cherry Jacket Watch!!!  You can search by post date or…by genre of attire!  Kudos to a man whose atrocious wardrobe can single-handedly populate an entire blog.  Please love this as much as I do.

If you are not yet familiar with the man they call “Grapes,” a picture is worth a thousand words.  Here’s a teaser and before you mock, rest assured this man is a beloved hockey icon.

Eat your heart out Rainbow Bright.

(In case you need to rest your eyes between pictures, here’s where you can read more about the phenomenon that is Don Cherry.)

HAWKS IN 6!!!  (And Celtics rule?)

I loathe them with the white-hot intensity of a thousand burning suns.

My high school English teacher used to tell us that smart people don’t say “hate.”

So I guess I don’t “hate” the Flyers.

The J.P. Losman of hockey.

In fact, as a Buffalo Sabres fan I have always not-“hated” the Flyers.  Ever since the days of LeClair and Brind’Amour, Hextall and – worst of all – Eric “the Concussed” Lindros, I have intensely not-“hated” Philly hockey.

It’s so nice to finally have the whole city of Chicago join me.

My reasons for loathing the Flyers have changed over the years as players come and go but if you follow any sports at all you’ll know one thing has always remained the same and it’s this:  Philly fans are crazy.  Always have been, always will be.

Case in point – I was reading some articles on philly.com to get the city’s take on the 2-0 hole the Flyers have found themselves in when I found this: “Chicago is missing a snarky snarl.”

Yep, it’s an article about a Philly sportswriter who spent 4 days (FOUR) in Chicago for the start of the series and got homesick because people were too nice to him, so he goes to Ed Debevic’s hoping they’ll be rude to him.  Spoiler alert: he doesn’t find them rude enough.

Buddy, I can direct you to some neighborhoods where people will be not-so-nice to you if that’s really what you’re looking for, and they ain’t called Ed Debevic’s.

But I guess when your Broad Street Bullies are getting their you-know-whats handed to them you’ve got to find something negative about your opponents to write about.

So kill ’em with kindness, Chicago!  Well that and superior talent.