Earlier last week, I was faced with quite a dilemma.
As many readers can obviously tell, I’m a homer. I eat Detroit sports for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time writing about the Stanley Cup Playoffs, especially during the Finals.
So obviously, watching the games are important. But what I’ve realized is that having a cozy seat, a nice TV and a cold beer are not even close to being key factors when watching the game.
It’s all about where to watch, and who to watch with.
I thought I had learned this lesson last year. I watched the Game Six clincher of the 2008 Finals at a bar where my friend was working. He couldn’t care less about sports, so when I jumped for joy and screamed as the clock ran out, he looked at me like I was insane. It was great to see my team win, but it was borderline depressing to do it in that fashion.
So as this year’s Finals began, I weighed options on whether or not to stay home, watch the game with my father, or go to a friend’s apartment, where most of the people I knew in town were gathering. At home, I could watch the game on our big screen, enjoy the company of the man who first turned me on to hockey, while relaxing in leisure. I chose the friend’s house instead.
While spending time with buddies and receiving free beer was great, the atmosphere was less than thrilling. It was tough to concentrate on the game, because the less-than-enthusiastic crowd contained people who were more concerned with parties they went to, hookups they had and how drunk they got last weekend.
So now, I’ve reached my breaking point. I’ve spent most of my summer in Kalamazoo, Mich., about two hours away from home in metro Detroit. For Game Six, I traveled across the state, went downtown, and watched the game from Hockeytown Café, a Red Wing owned bar. In hopes of being within city limits for a Stanley Cup victory, I’ll be back down there Friday night.
The people I’ll be with aren’t huge fans. But they appreciate the game, and know that Friday, it’s all about hockey. Plus, I’ll be surrounded by thousands of people that share my passion for the winged wheel.
The only issue now is that I’m heading down about five hours before faceoff in hopes of landing a seat. Let’s hope I’ll survive to see the sun on Saturday morning.
Here’s my fumblers and stumblers of the week:
The Recruiting Triad—This is the best way I can describe this rowdy pack. Tennessee football head coach Lane Kiffin uses ESPN for his newest recruiting violation, former USC basketball head man Tim Floyd decides not to take the Arizona gig and is now unemployed after the O.J. Mayo scandal, and Alabama is about to give back 21 wins for giving football players free books (if you watched Alabama football during the Mike Shula era, you know they weren’t easy wins to come by).
Brett Favre—Dude, just come out of retirement. We all know you’re going to do it, so stop dominating my TV, papers, Internet blogs and search engine suggestions. This story will be relevant when you’re proving you might be a top 20 starting quarterback with a mediocre team that’s only in second place in late November because you’re back in the worst division in football.
Dallas Stars—Well, since I’ve covered more hockey in this tidbit than ESPN has in two years, I’ll keep it going. Dallas hires Joe Nieuwendyk as their new GM based on the credential that he’s…well, JOE FREAKIN’ NIEUWENDYK. He played the sport, so that must mean something right? For the answer to that, please tune your search engine dials to “Matt Millen.”
Well, Nieuwendyk proved his value to that organization on Thursday. He fired head coach Dave Tippett and replaced him with powerhouse coach Marc Crawford. The guy has experience; he won a Stanley Cup in 1996 with the Colorado Avalanche, and then proceeded to do whatever he was absolutely insane with the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings. Hope y’all enjoyed that hockey thing while you had it, Dallas fans.
Twitter—Not only does it still exist, it’s on the cover of Time magazine.
Keep fighting the good fight, folks.