Archive for February, 2012


February 20th, 2012 4 comments

Two months.  Hard to believe.

It’s been exactly two months today since I finished my little adventure.  The game in Minnesota at the Xcel Center was, as I’ve mentioned before, fantastic.  So what’s happened since then? Well…

1. The Minnesota Wild video was released

The multimedia production guys did a fantastic job putting together a video about the trip and my final game.  I’m not sure how, but they managed to make me look kind of cool!

Frame grab from the video the Minnesota Wild put together about my trip (click to watch)

As an added bonus, I got to watch a Wild game when I came back to do the interview portion of the segment.  It was my first time being in the press box at the Xcel Center, and the view of the ice was fantastic.

2. The KSTP-TV segment aired

A couple of weeks ago, I got a bunch of phone calls from excited friends telling me that they’d seen me on the evening news.  They weren’t people I’d told about the pending broadcast; rather, they’d simply been watching on the right channel at the right time.  That gave me a big smile.

News segment about my trip from KSTP-TV. Great job telling the story! (click to watch)

Apparently, at least two and possibly three versions of the segment existed: one that aired in the evening on Channel 5, one that aired later that night on Channel 45, and one that was posted on the web site, which appeared to be similar if not identical to the one that aired on Channel 5 (all channels in the Twin Cities market).

3. I’ve been working on the book

As you know, I’m working on a book about the trip.  The total length will be about twice that of this blog, which will allow me to cover topic that I did not previously address as well as give better treatment to those I did mention.

That’s easier said than done.  I’ve already told many of the stories in the manner that I wished to tell them, and going back to them again for revision and expansion is no easy task.  I need to convince myself that what I once found satisfactory is no longer satisfactory in the new context.

In other words, writing a book is hard work.  It’ll probably take at least a year for me to crank it out.  This isn’t going to be an “On the Road”-style bender.

4. I got to say “Let’s play hockey!”

Long ago, back in the days when Minnesota’s NHL team was the North Stars instead of the Wild, there was an announcer named Bob Utecht.  Before every North Stars home game, Bob would fire up the crowd with a call of “Let’s play hockey!”  Today, that tradition continues.

Before every Wild game, a special guest leads the crowd at the Xcel Center with a chant of “Let’s play hockey!”  Sometimes the guest is a star from one of Minnesota’s other teams.  Sometimes it’s a prominent politician.  Still other times, it’s just somebody who has done something interesting.  Last Thursday, I was that guy.

Immediately following the singing of the National Anthem, I stepped up to the edge of the balcony, decked out in a new customized Wild jersey, courtesy of the team.  I took the microphone, and I led the crowd of over 19,000 people:

“All right Wild fans; it’s time to drop the puck. So everybody, say it with me: Let’s! Play! Hockey!”

Me leading the crowd at the Xcel Center in the chant of Let's Play Hockey! (click to watch)

What made it even cooler — as if that were possible — was that NBC filmed me leading the chant.  I got my three seconds of fame when NBC aired the clip during last Sunday’s “Hockey Day in America” national broadcast.  Thus, as a result of the trip, I have now been on national television in both Canada and America. Score!

5. My old skates went to the Hockey Hall of Fame archives in Toronto

I’m not sure if they’ll ever be put on display, but at least I know the goalie skates I used on every stop along the way will have a permanent home.

The package I sent to the HHoF: the goalie skates I used to play hockey in every state and every province

How did that come to pass? Well, back when I visited the Hall in October, the manager of the archives, Craig, told me that my trip to play hockey in every state and every province had likely never been done before. He invited me to donate something from the trip to document the event.

I thought about sending my favorite stick, but when I realized that I’d need to replace my skates anyway due to a lack of steel, I knew they were the better option.

6. I’ve been playing hockey

After so much travel and so much hockey, you’d think I’d settle down for a bit. You’d be wrong.

Granted, I’ve gone from playing three or more times per week to just once or twice a week, but I’m still playing.  I recognize that I won’t be able to play this most wonderful of sports forever, so I want to make the most of every opportunity I can get.  I have to use my new skates for something, right?

My new goalie skates: Bauer One100s

The future

So where does that leave us?  Am I living the dream in Colorado, pounding out a few pages of my book in the morning, hitting the slopes during mid-day, and writing code for my consulting client in the afternoon?

Me at Breckenridge

No. Don’t be crazy.  The best snow is first thing in the morning.



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