Editors Note: This is a series that will run throughout the Red Wings season as Andrew attempts the treacherous journey of teaching his significant other about hockey, the NHL, the Detroit Red Wings and why the shootout is stupid. Check back regularly for updates on the process and anecdotes about how no matter what happens, Patrick Roy was never as good as Chris Osgood.
That whole significant other thing can be tough, it is tougher when they root for the football team you despise and own paraphernalia of the college whose name you don’t speak. I’m lucky though, I get a shot at taking the largely white canvas that only has a little doodle of Alex Ovechkin on it and molding it into the red wings masterpiece we know it should be.
She is being a great sport in allowing this series to happen, well that and the fact she is allowing me to indoctrinate her.
Really, explaining the Red Wings isn’t like indoctrination, but more like a right of passage, or learning the Bible. Detroit is “Hockeytown” for a reason and that reason is because the Wings were, are and forever will be the top team in the D. Now, trying to explain that to an outsider is tough, especially when that person is a dirty bandwagon hopping Packers fan – please, please heckle her for this in the comments.
I started to explain to her the Wings even before this piece came to mind. I’ve done everything from explain why my Darren McCarty autographed jersey is epic to showing her every major brawl between the Wings and Colorado. Nothing has opened her eyes to hockey and its fans more than the last week though.
Now, I get excited about a lot of sports. I’ve beaten her in bets in the ALCS against her New York Yankees – this isn’t a bandwagon problem, but heckle her anyway – and lost many bets – most in one game – while rooting for the Lions. That said, she keeps describing my reaction to all things hockey like seeing a kid on Christmas, and nothing like anything she has seen before.
She is not wrong.
Hockey is back and as I type I am 15 minutes away from having her frantically attempt to get opening night tickets for the Washington Capitals – okay you can heckle me now.
Basic rooting interests aside though – unless she was a Penguins or Sharks fan, I couldn’t get over that – I don’t quite think the significant other understands the world she is about to step into. As it turns out, she came through beautifully with two tickets in an upper-deck corner of the Verizon Center for Thursday. While perplexed, she sort or understood why I wanted a high corner seat, but won’t be able to get the full understanding until she sits in the seats I frequented with my father at the Joe.
Here is a spoiler alert, real hockey fans want to see the play develop, the best place to see that is the high corner.
Even though the mysterious someone – who will remain unnamed throughout this series since she too is a sports journalist – has attended a hockey game, she admits she does not know much about the sport and is excited to go with an expert. While knowledgeable about the game, topics like icing, the two-line pass and of course that touchy subject of interference are ones I am almost certain she has not mastered. Well, my task is to flood her hockey mind with why inference can be called on every play and how the Red Wings are victims of East Coast Bias, every single night.
Sorry honey, warning you now, we’ll cover these topics in the first five games. Just wait until we get to no-touch icing and why the glow puck was awesome.
Right now, I am literally a kid sitting at the top of the stairs at 4:30 the morning of Christmas, but cannot decide if it is because I can’t for hockey or to explain it to her. With the season officially kicking off tomorrow with a trip to Bugsy’s restaurant, run by former Wings defenseman – or is it defenceman, I’ve been reading too much TSN – Bryan Watson, her education will begin. School starts then and while she was up late downing energy drinks in college, the drink of choice will be whatever pops the bar we are watching hockey in provides, lets hope it is Molson Canadien.
The league starts new tomorrow – say it with me because I can’t say it enough – and I can’t wait to mold an innocent hockey mind over the next 48 games. I will fail if by June she doesn’t know why Claude Lemieux is the scum of the earth and why hockey is always best taken in on the radio.
Its hockey night tomorrow, it’s the good old hockey game and remember, “there ain’t no party like a Detroit Party.”