Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Appy polly loggies!

I know I said that after H2H I would really start updating more frequently again. Unfortunately, that was the last thing I wrote so basically I completely lied about that. But maybe you're giving me the benefit of the doubt and thinking, "Well, Leslie, surely you were doing something important. Perhaps you were splitting atoms or curing cancer or cleaning up oil spills. You could've been saving humanity and that's a legit excuse. Thanks for that, by the way."

Nah, I was working.


Without going into too much detail and to make a long story as short as possible, I started working at this company last May. I worked at my job and I was good at it; not to be cocky but I was damn good at it. I was so good that in January, right after the Washington DC road trip, I was promoted and started a new job that, honestly, was nothing like my old job. I really tried to like it and I tried to adapt to it but it just wasn't a good fit for me AT ALL. At the end of April, I quit. They made me a deal that if I stayed through the end of May in the shitty position, I could just go back to my old position and work whatever hours I wanted and basically have complete freedom. I mean, yeah, it was a 50% pay cut but I was so stressed with this other job that I took them up on this offer. That means that today, June 1, was my first day back in my old position and OH MY GOD WAS IT AWESOME. Today I felt really confident that I knew what I was doing, no one was freaking out over anything and I really never thought I would miss this job as much as I did.

Anyway, the ridiculous anxiety, terror, pressure and insane work hours of my previous position kept me from doing the day to day things that I wanted to do: run and write. My 5k, 10k, half, and eventual marathon training has been on hold since I had pneumonia in February/March. Once I recovered physically, I just didn't have the strength mentally to go to the gym/outside while working 70+ hours a week (and not receiving overtime pay, mind you). There were a lot things I wanted to write about on here but it came down to actually having time to watch/attend games for the Wings and the Walleye or being able to write about them. I chose watching the games, for obvious reasons, and basically gave up writing anything. For the last half of the hockey season, I was really a miserable bitch.

I've been really upset about how things have gone these last few months. I took this promotion because I thought it was a step forward in my eventual career but it turns out I was chasing a large paycheck and I took four steps backward. I missed out on a lot of hockey-related things in the last few months and I actually kinda almost regret that (and I'm not big on regrets). The important thing here is that 1) I learned my lesson 2) I feel 1,000,000x better now and 3) there's always next season :)

I'm back, bitches.

PS-Bonus cool points if you know what the title is from. It's only my favorite movie ever so you better know it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I really wish there were more hours in the day.

I've been totally slacking on here and I apologize. After H2H this weekend, I promise I will be better and write more fun words. I need to finish Mascot Mania! I need to vent about playoff math! I need to talk about the Toledo freakin' Walleye!


All of those things will happen soon, I promise! (I'm such a slacker...)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Scary math!

This is the first year that I've really had a long term steady full time job. At the same time, I've moved back in with my parents, I've paid off my car, and I don't have student loans. (Yes, now I'm just bragging.) Basically, I have more money than I know what to do with and it's wonderful! I've been working on saving but I've also been spending a lot of money on hockey-related expenses.

Earlier today I was wondering how much I've actually spent this season on hockey. I'm a little scared to total this up but I've made a lot of notes on a piece of paper right now and I will be chronicling my reaction as it happens...

Okay, first we'll start with the merchandise section. This season I have purchased the following:

Toledo Walleye Tshirt - $18
Toledo Walleye Sweatshirt - $40
Toledo Walleye Jersey - $105
Phil Kessel Tshirt - $20
Toronto Maple Leafs Jersey - $200 (To be fair, I way overpaid because it was at a charity auction. Obviously, it doesn't cost that much normally but it's still what I paid.)
Capitals Hat - $24 (You can't buy my hat online? Awesome.)
Ovechkin Tshirt - $40
H2H Tshirt - $18

For a grand total of.......... $465! The scary thing is that I was considering getting a new jersey (haha, New Jersey) before H2H. I may be rethinking that considering that it would put me over the $500 just on hockey apparel this season.

OH NO! I bought a tshirt at the Hockey Hall of Fame for $15. Adding that to the total, I'm now at $480 for hockey merchandise.

Okay, next are the miscellaneous costs...

H2H Preparty Ticket - $20
H2H Donation - $27 (40-13=$27. Hank and Pavel.)
Hockey Hall of Fame ticket - $15
My share of the hotel in Toronto - $90
My share of the hotel in DC - $70
Gas and tolls to Toronto - $60 (estimated since we stopped by Rochester on the way...)
Gas and tolls to DC - $70

I am positive that there are more but these are the big ones that I can think of right now. They add up to a grand total of......... $352!

Next up is a very scary category. I am going to attempt to add up how much money I've spent on beer... I really shouldn't try this but I'm going to anyway.

I know that in Toronto, I spent approximately $16 on beer.
I know that in DC, I spent $24 on beer at the game, another $10 on beer at the bar and then $9 in shots at the bar for a DC total of $43.
At Red Wings games (so far) I've just had $8.
I have attempted to count up how many beers I've had at Walleye games and I believe the number is $136 worth but that could be a low estimate. Dear Lord.

This bring my current beer total up to........ $203. God, stadium beer is expensive.

And now, the part that I fear will be the worst. How much money have I spent on hockey tickets total?

My Toronto ticket was $70.
My Caps ticket was $80.
My Red Wings preseason ticket was $25 but I had to buy both because my bro doesn't have a job (because he's still just a kid) so I spent $50.
My H2H ticket is like $35.
My Red Wings/Ottawa ticket was $90.
My Red Wings/Nashville ticket is $150. (Although, to be fair, I'm not paying for it because SB is awesome.)
The amount that I have spent on Walleye tickets is $390 (including the upcoming regular season games that haven't happened yet but we have tickets to.)
The total that I have spent on hockey tickets this season is......... $865!!!!!!!! (Including the RW/Nash game)

So the grand total of this hockey season, so far, is..... drumroll please.....

1900 fucking dollars.

Dude. That. Is. Awesome.
You know what's scary about that?
It's not even the playoffs yet!

I have playoff Walleye tickets to buy, maybe some Red Wings playoff tickets to buy. I want a Franzen jersey. I want this other Walleye tshirt. And I want to go to the Nashville/Blues game on April 10th.

Oh my God, I have an addiction.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Whoa, double feature!

Sooooo the excuse I'm using for my lack of writing is that my laptop was out of commission for about 3 weeks. I hadn't even touched it really because one day it shut off and wouldn't turn back on. I figured I would wait until I got my next paycheck, take it to the Geek Squad and say "Hey! Boy! Make this work again!"

So on Sunday morning I actually took it over there and, of course, it instantly turned on. The Geek looked at me like I was a moron. I sheepishly took my laptop home and it has worked ever since. Then I found $5.

So I'm far too tired to research and write something real right now. Plus there's no NHL so I have nothing new to say so I decided to talk about Herm 2 Hockeytown. Now, with the money that I saved by not having to fix or replace my laptop, I took that money and purchased tickets to H2H for myself, Schmegan and SB. (I also bought a fancy H2H shirt that I'm ecstatic about!)

The majority of people reading this are probably going to know what I'm talking about but for the 5% of you that don't. Here's the deal: Herm is a Red Wings fan and hockey blogger who has never seen a live hockey game. I know, what? Really. That's because he lives in Brazil. Freakin' South America! Do you know how far away that is from here? Really effing far. Oh yeah, and apparently he's never even met another hockey fan. So the plan is to bring Herm to Hockeytown to meet many hockey fans all at once! It's genius, I tell you!

So money is being collected to bring him to the game on March 26th. Since we already have enough money for Herm, all proceeds above and beyond his expenses are donated to the Children's Hospital of Michigan. So seriously, even if you don't support Red Wings fandom, you should at least support helping sick kids.

If you're interested, everything you need to know is found here: Herm 2 Hockeytown. I'm pretty much overwhelmed at how much fun we're going to have that night. I have been to hundreds of NHL games. I was a season ticket holder through the 2008 Stanley Cup season and I can honestly say this is second most excited I've ever been for a hockey game in my life. (Second most? Yes. I was unbelievably and uncontrollably excited for the Stanley Cup Finals Game 5 in 2008. Hmmmmmmm, I'm thinking I should tell this story...)

So this is the story of how I almost quit loving hockey. Lower bowl season tickets. My family put in for 4 season tickets in 1996 and forgot about it. The waiting list was so long and it was just never a thought. One day, in 2004, I checked the mail and received a letter from the Red Wings. It was stating that we were to attend magical seat choosing day. I FLIPPED OUT. Long story short, we somehow got lower bowl season tickets in our first year as ticket holders. (Thank you, lockout!) So I've seen my fair share of Wings games and I'm always excited but that 2008 team made me so nervous and excited at the same time that I couldn't stand it.

So it's Game 5. I know that the Cup is in the building. I know it's somewhere downstairs in a room being shined up. It's the third period and I'm terrified but confident at the same time. I'm thinking, "This is it. I'm here. I'm about to see the Stanley Cup presented to Mr. Nick in person. OH MY GOD." Suddenly I hear the call that it's the last minute of play. We're all standing up and just dying of anticipation. I look up above me and I see tons of people on the catwalks by the ceiling. They have garbage bags full of confetti! A real celebration is about to begin and I'm going to be a part of it! A brown-haired man situates himself right over me on the catwalk and as I'm preparing for my glitter confetti bath... FUCKING MAX TALBOT.

I sat down and I cried a little. Just a little. So the game continues... and continues... and continues. Marc-Andre Fleury did have a phenomenal game and I will never forgive him for that. I teared up during each intermission. My stomach was in knots. People were pacing around and no one knew what to do. Triple overtime. Jiri Hudler gets called on a DOUBLE MINOR penalty. Then I knew it was over. Sykora scores. BAM.

It takes about an hour and 15 minutes to get from Joe Louis Arena to my driveway so it was damn near 3am when I got home. I just sulked and moped around. The next morning I woke up and hoped that it wasn't real, that it was all a bad dream. That's when I got some snacks and I holed up in the basement, the only place in the house with a VCR. First, I watched the 1997 Game 4 tape against the Flyers. I smiled at Shanny and Stevie and I cried when they won. I even found my box of old newspaper clippings and old hockey posters and looked through them. But I wasn't any happier because I had convinced myself that this 2008 team WAS NOT and COULD NOT BE that special 1997 team.

So then I popped in the Return to Hockeytown: 1997-1998 Championship video. I cried about Vladdy. I laughed at Ron Wilson talking about "Hombla-chay-a-pee" or whatever the hell he was talking about. ("It's a good day to die." No, Ron, it was a good day to lose. Is it sad that I've watched that tape so many times that I almost have his entire speech memorized?) But then I got sad again because I was thinking about how the 1998 team was also very special and had a real reason to prove something.

By this time, my best friend Zeus had come over to try to drag me out into the sunshine. Instead, I enticed him to join me in the basement and mope because not only did I have hockey tapes, but I also had snack mix. No one can resist snack mix. So next I put in the tape of Wayne Gretzky's last game. What does that have to do with the Red Wings? Absolutely nothing except I was already being all emotional and dramatic and that's always the best time to watch a little 99 montage accompanied by Sarah McLachlan music, right? I sat and tried to explain to Zeus why this was a big deal but he was still learning about hockey at the time so he didn't fully appreciate it.

The next video was the Red Alert : Hockeytown 3 : 2002 Stanley Cup tape. I just love this one because it's literally a collection of the greatest players of the modern era all on one team. I don't think they were appreciated enough at the time but that team is the most stacked team in history and will continue to be because we are now in the salary cap era. My point being that by this time, I had been locked in the basement for over 7 hours and was still dreading my next decision: Do I attend JoeVision to watch Game 6 or was I just done? Could I handle it? Honestly, I realize that my 2 day depression might sound a little crazy but I just didn't think I could handle them losing that series.

I looked at 1997 and saw a team with a 42 year old monkey on their back. I looked at 1998 and saw a team playing for a fallen teammate. I looked at 2002 and saw so many players going for one last hurrah toward the end of their monumental careers. I could no longer see the great things about 2008. I couldn't see the story of Dallas Drake. I couldn't see the resurgence of "Playoff Ozzie". I couldn't see the return of DMac.

All I saw was a man on a catwalk with a bag of glitter, his disappointed face, and him walking away. That's it.

Eventually, Zeus did talk me into driving up to JLA for Game 6. We went. We had a fantastic time. Everyone knows how the story ends. But that, my friends, is the story of how I almost quit loving hockey. They broke my heart and won me back all in under 48 hours and I'll never ever forget that.

1- What's the closest you've come to quitting? How frustrated have you been? What'd you do?
2- Every season has a story. What's the story of 2009-10? (And don't say injuries. I hate the injuries. I'm saying if the Wings make the Finals, why? How? What makes them special this year?)
3- Didja donate to H2H yet? See, I distracted you with that story but don't think I forgot!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dear DC, You Win.

Today while commenting on one of my favorite Red Wings blogs, The Production Line, I was reminded that maybe one day, I will have a 300th post. And I realized that that could never happen if I didn't get off my ass and write about my trip to Washington DC.

So, first of all, let me provide a list of reasons why I haven't written anything in over 2 weeks:

1 - I started a new job and I've been tired from adapting to a new sleep schedule.
2 - My laptop is broken.
3 - I'm still hungover from the DC trip.

Pick any reason and it's partially to blame. Yes, I have a new job. Yes, I'm sleepy. Yes, my laptop is DEAD. Yes, I think I'm still dehydrated. I have the dreaded 2 week hangover.

How did I get so hungover, you ask? Well kids, this will be a tale of what not to do when traveling and drinking. There's a reason that SB's photo album on Facebook is called, "Nobody roadtrips like we roadtrip." Because nobody roadtrips like we roadtrip.

I left Ohio around noon on Friday to end up in DC around 8pm. I was heckled for driving slow the entire damn time but I wasn't in a rush because SB's bus wouldn't even be getting to town until like 10pm. So I made it, SB then made it in town and we ordered a ton of room service. We got in a fight with the room service lady over a cup of bleu cheese dressing. We take our bleu cheese very seriously. It was a staple in our apartment last year and it's almost like a food group for us. After our cheese fix, we called it a night with a small glass of Jameson and some crappy reality tv.

The next morning, we decided to walk the National Mall. Our hotel was right by the Capitol Building so we started there, walked past the Washington Monument and all the way down to the Lincoln Memorial. Then we walked over to the White House, past the Verizon Center and back to the hotel. On the way, we stopped at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. It is rumored that I cried a little bit. I can neither confirm or deny this but I will say that space is the most terrifying thing EVER and it makes me incredibly uncomfortable to think about. Maybe even so uncomfortable that I would cry. (Think about it: it's so freaking big and we don't even understand so much about it. It's like mind-boggling huge and there are people that routinely go up in space, say goodbye to their families and not know if they're ever going to return. On top of that, I started thinking about the Cold War and how the astronauts of the 60s were really American heroes and OHMYGOD SPACE IS OVERWHELMING!!!!)


Some shuttle-y thingy. It was TINY and SCARY.

After a small lunch at 11:30am (trust me, this is important) consisting of McDonald's small fries and a few chicken nuggets, we continued on our journey. After a stop at a Starbucks and a stop at H&M, we headed back to the hotel for drinking. It was 4pm. The plan was to leave for the game at 5:15 so that left 75 minutes to begin drinking our faces off.

Now, I'm not new to heavy drinking (heyyyyyyy, that sounds bad) so I should know that Jameson should not be a "pre-gaming" drink but when you're on vacation in another town, who cares about smart decisions, right? So we drank and drank and drank...


Canada Dry is the best chaser. Trust me.


This picture should be hint #1 that we're drunk.


Yes, that's a pillow fort. Why do you ask?

...for 75 minutes. In that time, we consumed a total of a half liter of Jameson. Keep in mind, we had only eaten a few chicken nuggets and small fries. We did some shots and walked over to the Verizon Center. On the way, SB suggested that we have a Leslie Hat Trick at the game. For those of you that don't know, which is 95% of you, a Leslie Hat Trick is something terrible that I invented. At some point in time when I was drunk, I thought, "Hey, there are 3 periods in a hockey game. If I drink 3 large beers during this time, it'll be a hat trick of beer. A Leslie Hat Trick." I tried and tried to convince SB that this was a bad plan. I was still saying no even as I was purchasing the beer.

The beer vendor at the VC asked if I wanted lids for the beer. I found this hilarious (hint #2 that I was already wasted) so of course I said yes. I then spent the next 10 minutes running around trying to find a straw because that would make it even better, right? Apparently drinking alcohol out of a straw makes your body absorb it faster? This is what I've heard. With the amount of alcohol I drank, it's hard to tell.


In the first, we each drank a large beer. In the second, we each drank a large beer. Halfway through the third, SB said, "Dude, I need the assist!" and hit my leg. At this time she handed me her beer and I apparently drank it. Drink count at the end of the game: SB had 2 glasses of Jameson, 1 shot of Jameson and 90 oz of beer. I had 2 glasses of Jameson, 2 shots of Jameson and 126 oz. of beer.

The game ended. Caps won. A good time was had by all. We got up and stopped at the bathroom on our way out of the arena. When I emerged from the bathroom, I found SB really confused standing on the concourse. She then tells me that she has lost her jacket and just asked a random stranger with brown hair where her coat was. We went back to the seats to look for it; we went back in the bathroom to look for it. We ended up at Guest Services who told us to go back upstairs because they had it there. Then we ended up fighting with a guy who wouldn't let us up the escalator and we FREAKED out. Eventually, we got the coat back and headed to the bar.

We were beyond wasted and, once outside, SB asked the cops where to find the bar. They were very nice and told us and then warned us not to jaywalk because they would write us tickets. In retrospect, they probably should have arrested us for public intoxication rather than warning us about jaywalking but whatevs.

We went to Rocket Bar because it was recommended to us. What I remember of it was good, although I really only remember doing horrible at skee-ball. When we went in, I immediately bought us more beer for some reason. Then, before we left, I thought it would be BRILLIANT to do a shot of my absolute favorite, Liquid Cocaine.

Luckily, we ended up at a Ruby Tuesday's 5 minutes later and ended up ordering half of the appetizer menu. This helped us not completely die. The rest of the night is pretty hazy. I do know that we took most of the appetizers back to the hotel in boxes. Once back in the hotel, SB laid down on the floor in the bathroom while I removed my shirt and began "cleaning" the hotel room. (I use the word "cleaning" loosely because the room was a complete mess in the morning.) This is also when I left many drunk voicemails for my friends, including screaming for 2 minutes and using a "Canadian accent" and referring to myself as Mike Babcock. (When I drink, I turn Canadian!)


The next morning was ROUGH. Honestly, I hadn't been that hungover since freshman year of college. We were able to get an extended checkout from the front desk and if we hadn't, I think I would've died.


We spent most of the morning putting together the pieces of the previous night via tweets, texts, phone calls, receipts and random items we found in our hotel room. I guess I should have prefaced this story by saying that this is just what I believe happened but who really knows?

And you're probably wondering where all of the really important hockey pictures are. They're right here!









If you click on the pictures, it'll take you to the album on photobucket. It's not organized and it's not pretty but there are more pictures there. So my goal for this week is to actually write more and maybe even have a HBOTW sometime this weekend. See, I slacked so much that now it's time for another hockey game already. SB is flying here on Saturday and we're taking in a Red Wings game on Saturday night. It will be the first time she's ever been to Joe Louis Arena.

I will repeat that because it's such a strange fact: This Saturday will be the first time little SB has ever been to Joe Louis Arena. I just can't fathom that. I'm honored to accompany her to her first game in Detroit and I'm even more excited that I got lower bowl seats for under face value! Seriously, I promise to update about it and it won't take 2 weeks!

PS- The title refers to a short hungover verbal letter that I wrote to Washington DC that Sunday morning. "Dear DC, You kicked my ass but you were fun and totally worth it. I promise I'll be back but for now, you win. Love, ME!"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

At the risk of sounding like a girl...

So this was a lovely surprise. Earlier in the week, my best friend and former roommate emailed me and requested to choose the HBOTW. Before I could even answer, she said she'd do half of the work for me and emailed me a bunch of pictures. After the power that the HBOTW selection had for Patrick Eaves last week, I kinda had planned to either pick a Red Wing or pick someone who was playing against a team that is also fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. This guy does not fit either category but she already found all of these pictures and did all of the work for me during a busy week (that I will discuss later). How can I turn that down?

So SB lives in New York City and doesn't have cable so she rarely gets to watch hockey on television. Apparently the other day, she caught a Rangers game on television and was really struck with the beauty that is Henrik Lundqvist. She immediately worried that she was a traitor to another Swede named Henrik that she loves, Mr. Zetterberg. I assured her there was nothing wrong with loving them both.


See? There's absolutely nothing wrong with admiring that smile. Teeth really freak me out so I try not to focus on them usually but he has really pretty teeth. I don't know if they're fake or what the deal is with them. I just know that they're perfect.


Henrik Lundqvist is the "sexiest ice man" and Sean Avery is not, according to this headline. I don't think there's any reason to apologize to Sean Avery for this.


SB is a huge fan of the Team Sweden so I'm going to guess that she sent me this one because it's one of her favorites.


Again, King Henrik definitely has that same 'look' that I apparently love. Longer, dark hair. Lots o' stubble. Good at hockey. That's the perfect man right there.


Ahhhhh, the required suit photo. To be a HBOTW, you must have a nice suit photo. (There are few exceptions.) Oh, and a shot you laying in bed, laughing and joking around? Yes, please.


So 2 things:

1) Tonight, I went down to Sticks & Mitts Fandemonium at the Lucas County Arena to meet some Walleye and Mud Hens players. It was great and fun but the worst part was IMMEDIATELY after walking in the door. My greatest fear was realized when I was accosted by Spike, one of the mascots. This will be discussed at length in the third installment of Mascot Mania, which I will write sometime next week since I'll be out of town this weekend.

2) Out of town, you say? On Friday, I'm driving to Washington DC. SB is taking a bus down from NYC and meeting me there. I'm really excited because I've never been there before. I have a freakin degree in History and I've never been to DC. Totally weird, I know. Saturday night, we're going to the Coyotes/Capitals game so I'm very happy about this. It'll be a great weekend and I know there will be lots of pictures and stories next week. Yay.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mascot Mania: WTF? Part 2

Part 2 of the 6 part series
Check out Part 1: The Central Division

So I have tried to find the exact name for 'fear of mascots' but my search hasn't been too successful. My theory, and I say it about a million times a day, is that everything can be found on the internet. I can only think of one recent instance where the internet has failed me. (At work a few months ago, I bet a co-worker that I could find anything on the internet because I'm known as the person who can find a picture of any random thing. She asked me to find a picture of a random scene of an episode of Scrubs where Zach Braff and Mandy Moore are dating, then JD has a vision of them being old, then they rip off their old person masks. I searched all day and could not find it. I had failed, or the internet had failed me.) The point is that I did find a word for 'fear of mascots', that being masklophobia. I'm skeptical about this word though because a quick google search only showed up with 628 results. In contrast to that, 'fear of mascots' returns over a million results. I'm thinking that masklophobia is something someone made up once and it kinda spread. I suppose after today, there will be 629 results since I just keep writing about it.

Today, I had Jen randomly select which division I would be writing about. I named the divisions and she chose the Atlantic. Her reasoning is that she once flew over the Atlantic on her way to Europe. I suppose that is true. Excellent choice.

New Jersey Devils:


Now I believe, and SB please correct me if I'm wrong, that this is the New Jersey Devil standing in front of a PATH train. PATH trains are how one gets from NYC to Jersey. I have a hard time remembering from my time living in NYC last year because I do not believe that I've ever been sober on said PATH trains. You have to be drunk to enjoy New Jersey.

Now, on to the Devil itself. I actually like this mascot more than most others. Again, he's got the same problem as our good friend, Tommyhawk, who got all dressed up for hockey and then put on shoes. That just looks goofy. I do enjoy that he taped his socks though.

Question: Did he steal Brodeur's equipment? That bag clearly says 30 on it.

What is the New Jersey Devil though? It is a mythical creature that supposedly lives in southern NJ. According to wikipedia, it is a "flying biped with hooves". Ummmmmm, what? I apologize for the next picture because it is actually scarier than the mascot.


Ummmmm, again, what? In some strange way, I kinda wish this is what they had running around the Prudential Center. I could care less if it had a jersey on and anything affiliated with the team. I would want to see children's faces when having this come mess with them. I know, I'm going to hell. It's cool.

New York Islanders:


This is Sparky, the NY Islanders dragon. At first, I just didn't get it. Hockey. Dragons. Long Island. What's the connection? After further research, I learned that there is an arena football team called the New York Dragons that happens to be owned by Charles Wang. This is the same Charles Wang that owns the Isles. And we can now say a collective, "Ahhhhhhhh, I get it."

I give him credit that his shoes are, I think, supposed to look like skates. Apparently, his tail also looks like a hockey stick but I've seen no photographic evidence of that. Wait, does arena football even exist anymore? I thought it was going to be split into two leagues and then something happened and now it doesn't exist? I have no idea.

Sparky the Dragon is a new mascot for the Islanders, only existing since Charles Wang purchased the team obviously. Previous to that, it was something called Nyisles, which is an abomination of a name if you ask me. Also, an abomination of a mascot too.


I do not like him. He looks mean. He doesn't look like he would pump me up for an Islanders game in the 90s, while listening to Ace of Base (that would be a shout out to The Production Line) and wearing a scrunchie. He looks like he would murder me and put me in the trunk of his car. Also, does he have braces?

New York Rangers:

The New York Rangers are one of only four teams that do not have a mascot. In lieu of a mascot, I will simply provide this picture.


Ugh. And I remember when you were a Red Wing and I didn't hate you. I never said I liked you either. Just that I didn't hate you.

Philadelphia Flyers:

Philadelphia is another one of the few teams that lack a mascot. I guess they had one called "Slapshot" back in the late 70s. I have tried and tried to find pictures for the last few days but the internet, or late 70s Philadelphia hockey fans, have failed me. Again, lacking a real mascot, I shall have to choose one myself. This'll do:


Cool hair, bro. Nah, I'm just kidding.

Pittsburgh Penguins:


I guess it's fair to say that I like this mascot, Iceburgh, exponentially more than the actual team. He is one of a fairly large percentage of bird mascots and I don't really understand most of them, but a penguin, I can understand. He's all about cold weather and ice, unlike say, Brown Thrashers that fly south for the winter (but trust me, I'll rip on that once I get to the Southeast division).

Iceburgh is fairly new to the team though. In 1968, those marketing geniuses in Pittsburgh thought, "Hmmmm, we should get a real penguin and let him live in the arena. That sounds like a great idea. Nothing could go wrong here."


So the Pittsburgh Zoo loaned Penguin Pete to the team during the season. He came out on the ice during intermission and played. Sounds like a grand time. Yeah, well, Penguin Pete died a month into the season because the asshats on the ice crew kept his little area too warm. A penguin died of pneumonia. I don't know, that just strikes me as kinda hard to pull off. Think about it: They are a crew of people in charge of keeping ice frozen and at an even temperature. How hard would it be to create a cold area for a penguin? Also, this thing is used to living in effing Antarctica. If you were to go a little overboard on the ice factor, I'm pretty sure it would survive. The lesson here is that that when dealing with penguin climates, err on the side of caution, colder = better. And also, why did the zoo so willingly give away an animal to live at an ice rink with a bunch of people who, apparently, don't know how to take care of a penguin? But I suppose if anyone was going to find a way to screw that up, it would be a bunch of Pittsburgh people. So good job.

THEN, in 1971, someone else loaned the Pittsburgh Penguins ANOTHER PENGUIN! (I have not found anything that says if it was from the Pittsburgh Zoo again but where else does one apprehend a penguin in Pittsburgh? I would assume, from the zoo.) "Well, we know you killed that last one in less than 30 days so this time, try to be a little more careful." For real? Yeah, at least this penguin survived the 1971-72 season. After that, the Penguins decided to stop having a real penguin, more than likely because that seems like a lot of unnecessary work just for intermission entertainment when everyone is getting food and standing in line for the bathroom anyway. Just sayin.

In conclusion...
-Does anyone feel like they're going to see the non-mascot New Jersey devil haunting their dreams tonight?
-Does anyone know what's the deal with Nyisles' nose? It's like there's a softball in there, my God.
-Does anyone want to make fun of Avery in the comments? Because that's definitely welcome.
-Does anyone have any pictures and can locate any pictures of Slapshot, the Philadelphia Flyers short-lived mascot?
-Does anyone want to try to rationalize the Penguin Pete situation?

And just as a sidenote...




Found it. Oh hells yeah.