Friday, March 26, 2010

What A Day

March 26, 2010. A date that will live in infamy. For any number of reasons. So many, in fact, that it's tough to figure out where to start, but I'll give it a shot...

  • St. Darren's Day:  On this day in 1997, Darren McCarty went from beloved Grind Line winger to Hockeytown's Hero when he took Claude "Turtle" Lemieux to the ice as retaliation for Lemieux's 1996 hit on teammate and best friend Kris Draper. It wasn't the first fight of the infamous Fight Night at the Joe Brawl in Hockeytown (that distinction goes to scuffles involving Brent Severyn and Jamie Pushor, then Kirk Maltby and Rene Corbet, as well as a scrap between Peter Forsberg and Igor Larianov that opened the door for McCarty's move) but the McCarty-Lemieux incident is the one we all remember. It was the reason, the motivation, and the culmination of a year's worth of suppressed rage on the part of the Wings and dirty play on the part of the Avs.

    We'll never forget it, and we'll never forget Mac for doing it. In fact, he's one of the reasons I became a Wings fan, so thanks, Mr. McCarty. I can't think of anyone I'd rather have guarding my back.

  • Jimmy Howard's Birthday:

    Image by Reuters/Rebecca Cook c/o Yahoo!Sports

    I'd like to wish James Tiberius a Very Happy Birthday, with many, many returns. May he live a long, healthy life in our net! (You know, as long as he continues to play like a top goalie and live up to the kind of "putting the team in teammate" spirit the Wings fans have come to expect. But all he needs to do at this point is hold steady, and I think he'll have it all sewn up.)

  • Herm 2 Hockeytown: This one stirs up a wellspring of mixed emotions in me, not least among which at the moment is envy. I'm envious of the rest of the 19 (all, what, 150 of them?) who have managed to make it to Detroit to celebrate this momentous occasion. I wish with all my heart that I could be there to join in the debauch--er, I mean, the festivities.

    But even stronger than my envy is the sense of pride I feel in having plaid even an infinitessimal role in this amazing phenomenon. I can't think of any other group of fans who would take it upon themselves to bring an isolated individual from a foreign country to Detroit for the simple reason that they all believe no Wings fan should ever have to endure not having seen the team playing live at their home arena. But the 19 didn't stop there. Oh, no. Not only did they indeed get Herm to Hockeytown, they also raised thousands of dollars in charitable contributions and turned a collection of hockey bloggers into a fund-raising machine.

    H2H has proven that no matter what others might say about us, no matter what slurs the Wild fans and the Pens fans and the Hawks fans and the whoever fans throw at us, the true fans of the Detroit Red Wings are just amazingly generous and giving and devoted and simply good human beings. And I'm proud to be part of that group. Hey, we might drink and curse and make lewd suggestions and give shit where shit is deserved, but H2H has proved we're good people. In fact, I think it's made us better people.

    So I say, raise a glass to Herm 2 Hockeytown, to Herm, to the 19, and to the Detroit Red Wings. Drink heartily in the knowledge that all the fun you're having doesn't just represent a good time, it represents a good bunch of people, a great bunch of fans, and better things for the kids at the Children's Hospital of Michigan. Hell, that's worth at least two glasses.

    And on behalf of those of us who can't be in Detroit this weekend, remember that we're with you in spirit, and have another glass for us. We wish we could join you.

    And we CAN'T WAIT for next year!!!

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