Seriously. Where Are You Keeping Your Catfish?

Hockey is sport full of very strange traditions. There’s the whole drinking champagne out of a giant shiny cup, using the same jockstrap since juniors (I’m talking about you Sidney Crosby. You’re disgusting) and not using a razor once the playoffs begin. And then we have the incredibly strange playoff tradition of throwing sea-life onto the ice rink after your particular team scores.

Visit Joe Louis Arena in Detroit Michigan around the beginning of April. Wait until the Red Wings score a goal and the strangest thing will happen. An octopus will fly out of the crowd onto the ice. Then take a trip south to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee. When the Predators score, a big fat catfish will just miraculous fall on the ice. And in both places a poor ice girl will be given the task of picking up the slimy creature with her bare hands and retrieving it. The crowd gets really pumped up when these sea creatures grace us with their presence. I have nothing against throwing ocean dwelling creatures on ice. In fact, I get pretty pumped up about it myself, mostly because it means my Preds have scored, but it does lead me to beg the question:

Sea Creature Throwers, how in the heck are you storing these things?

A hockey game is at least an hour and forty minutes in length. You’ve got 3 twenty minute periods with the two twenty minute intermissions in between. But then you’ve got fights that happen. Then they have to stop the clock. And then people score and the clock stops. Pucks go into the crowd. Stop the clock. Basically a game is always going to be much longer than an hour and forty minutes. Meaning you people who wait until the 3rd period to throw your catfish are storing raw meat somewhere on your person for approximately an hour and half. And we’re not talking small catfish. We’re talking real big catfish. the kind you would mount on a wall. There’s no hiding these things.

Now see, I’m a girl. I have a purse. When I go to games the people at the door want to look in my purse to make sure I have no illegal paraphernalia. I’m 110% positive that if there was a catfish or an octopus in my purse, they would notice it. And I’m more than 110% positive that if I had an ice chest preserving my seafood, they would really notice.

Are you just carryng these things in, in plain sight? Because I’m pretty sure the PA Announcer always tells me to refrain from throwing things onto the ice. Do you just explain yourself to the security at the front door. “Oh this catifsh? No. I’m not going to throw it. I only eat seafood. This is my dinner.” They’re not falling for this. They know what you’re doing with that thing.

Obviously the most logical theory is that you have this thing strapped to you in some fashion. You saran wrap that sucker to your calf don’t you? If you wear baggy enough clothing you’re golden. No one’s going to know you’ve got a fish in your pants. But that leads me to another question.

Is it not uncomfortable having a 10 pound catfish strapped to your leg for 2 periods of hockey?

It has to be getting a little stinky at that point in the game. Do the people sitting next to you not object to your odor? I know the Predators and even the Red Wings score in the first period a lot. Why don’t you just throw it then? Why do you wait until the 3rd period? That’s a strange thing. Unless….is there only one person throwing all the catfish and octopi? Are you storing more than one fish on your body and throwing one for every goal? That is some serious dedication.

So I guess, in retrospect, I don’t think you’re crazy anymore. I admire your loyalty in supporting your teams goals with sea life. Obviously it’s not easy to keep those catfish and octopuses hidden from security. And alienating those around you with your smell, well that’s just a big commitment. I applaud you, you seafood thrower. As it turns out you are a better fan than me.

This Time I Suck and It’s All My Fault

To the Nashville Predators:

Hi guys. As you know, you just lost your hockey match against the Los Angeles Kings. It seemed to me that all of you have forgotten how to play hockey. Which is questionable being that it’s your job and all.  You get paid to play hockey but you weren’t playing hockey tonight. But what do I know, I’m no color commentator. Well I am, but only to the people sitting near me. (BTW: Do you guys get paid for the games in which you play terribly? Because that doesn’t seem right) Don’t feel bad though. It wasn’t your guys’ fault you lost. It was mine. All mine.

You see, I have this lucky pair of socks I wear to every game. They’re navy blue and have little embroidered turkeys in them. I don’t know how they became lucky, they just are. I don’t question it. I just accept their powers.

I also have a lucky pair of jeans I wear to every game. They’re worn out in all the right places to make them perfect for jumping up to celebrate goals. They also coordinate perfectly with the navy and gold of your jerseys. I’ve never not worn them to a game. You guys win, when these jeans are worn. They are tried and true. And I always wear a tan pair of converse all-stars with the turkey socks and jeans. They’ve been worn so often to Bridgestone Arena that I’m almost positive the smell of beer and nacho cheese is embedded into the fabric of them.

And the final part of my game day ensemble is my Craig Smith jersey. I put that on with my jeans, socks, and shoes and you guys never lose. Never. As long as that exact clothing combination is worn. It’s my lucky game day outfit and I wear it to every single game. (I’m not crazy you guys. You’re hockey players, you should understand superstitions better than anyone)

But tonight I didn’t wear my lucky ensemble. Any of it. I went to the game straight from work. I was wearing black ballet flats and didn’t remember to bring my lucky shoes to change into because I am an idiot. And because I would have looked like a crazy person if I had worn the turkey socks with the flats I opted out of the turkey socks. I had a very small time frame for getting to the game so I had to change my shirt in the car. For the sake of easiness I opted to go with my Jordin Tootoo tee rather than my Craig Smith jersey. I reasoned this out to myself saying “I’m going to the game Thursday. If I wear the jersey dirty it throws everything off and the Preds lose. I don’t have time for laundry between now and Thursday so I’ll save Smith and go with Toots. It’ll be okay.” I was very wrong.

My jeans weren’t right. My shoes were all wrong and I didn’t wear the socks. And just to top off my bad luck ridden outfit, I also wore my cap. I never wear my cap to the games for fear someone will score a hat trick. I didn’t spend $20 on a hat just so i could throw it to you guys for doing your job. But I wore it tonight like some sort of buffoon.

Suffice it to say, I’ll take the blame for this loss boys. The universe was all a-kilter because of me. I threw off your game because I wore the wrong clothes. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m such a jerk for making you guys lose! I’m really sorry and if the Kostitsyn’s wish to strip me of my “Kostitsyn’s #1 Fan” title I fully understand.

Trust me though. I have learned my lesson and Thursday evening I will be there with my worn in jeans. turkey socks, converse tennies and Craig Smith jersey. I might even have some bells and whistles on just for fun.*

So anyway fellas, this time I suck and it’s all my fault. I’m real sorry about that. Won’t happen again.

*Nope. That would ruin the whole ‘universe balance’ thing again

Sorry Toots. My bad for getting you kicked out of the game. But really you shouldn't have pushed that ref. You know better.

You Don’t Suck and it’s Not Really all Your Fault

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo du...

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To Ryan Miller, Roberto Luongo, Annti Niemi, Jaroslav Halak and every other NHL goaltender that I have taunted,

Hey there fellas!

As I’m sure you are aware, coming into the Bridgestone Arena to play the Nashville Predators can be a frightening experience for your visiting teams. Apparently Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues even said, “You’re not going to beat Nashville in Nashville on Saturday night. This is like the Coliseum in Rome, coming into this place on a Saturday night.” I’m not going to lie to you, he’s right. The crowd is not welcoming in the least and you are told many, many times, that you suck.

I know you’ve heard the friendly little chant that happens when your team lineups are announced. You know, the one where after every name the entire arena shouts, “SUCKS!” Obviously this is a lot on the rude side as you don’t really suck. You’ve made it all the way to the NHL. That’s a pretty big thing and you don’t get there by sucking. This is clearly an irrational thing for a large crowd to shout at you.

And to top it all off, you are all goalies so you get the blame for everything. Every time the Predators score on one of you, the crowd makes sure to tell you how much you suck. It goes a lot like this, “Nah na na na nah HEY YOU SUCK!!” I don’t really know why they do this. Sure, you let a goal in, but you’re supposed to have defenders helping you. Obviously if they let a puck get by them, they also suck. And no one yells at the defenders about how bad they are. It’s not fair guys, not fair at all.

After that happy little song, the crowd makes sure to chant your last names long and slow like this, “LUUUOOONGOOO, LUUUOOONNGOOO” followed by, “YOU SUCK. IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT, IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT, IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!!” That doesn’t seem right. It’s not really all your fault. It’s a team game. Your team apparently didn’t help you much if the Predators were able to score. If I were you guys, I’d be pretty upset about how this plays out for you.

Now I’m not proud to admit this, but I have shouted “Hey, You SUCK!!” many, many times along with the crowd. I even chanted about it being all your fault last night, Neimi. I’m sorry about that. I got swept up in the crowd and atmosphere and it just sort of slipped out. Ok, it didn’t slip out, I yelled, that’s not a slip. But again, I’m not proud of myself.

I’d like to try to make up for this. So I have several options that I’ll let you choose from as retribution for me telling you that you suck.

Option #1: When the Predators score I’ll slowly chant the name of every player, of the opposing team, then proceed to “It’s all your fault”. That way the blame is not just placed on you. You and your team have solidarity in your suckiness.

Option #2: When your teams score on Pekka Rinne I can shout, “Hey, You Suck!” at him as well. That way I’m acknowledging the fact that the Predators also make mistakes and allow goals to be scored. (I’m not a fan of this idea and I’m not sure those words can physically come out of my mouth in reference to Pekka. I sort of love him too much to allow that to happen. So don’t choose this option, ok?)

Option #3: I don’t shout “You suck!” at anyone. I only shout happy uplifting things, like “THAT WAS A SPECTACULAR TRY THERE, RYAN MILLER!! YOU DID YOUR BEST! MAYBE NEXT TIME!!!” In this option, everyone is a winner. I make everyone feel good about themselves, even when the other team scores.

I’ll let you discuss amongst yourselves which is the best option. Let me know what you decide and at the next home game I attend I will put it into practice. If I shout loud enough I’m sure I can change the attitudes of everyone around me.

We’ll stop giving you guys all the blame soon. We will. Because you don’t really suck and it’s not really all your fault.


PS: Again, real sorry about shouting of “YOU SUCK!” It’s just not nice. Please don’t hate me. I don’t like to be hated. Plus if Shea Weber hears about my shouting problem he’ll never marry me. I don’t want that to happen. So let’s keep this between us, ok?

Apparently I Wear a Weirdie Magnet

I’m not sure if it’s something in my genetics or the fact that I tend to look super uncomfortable in most social settings, but I have this tendency to attract the weirdies. Somehow I always find myself forced to hold conversations with strange/smelly/mustached people. These conversations mostly entail me awkward courtesy laughing and checking the time on my phone every 30 seconds. Somehow I draw the weirdies out of the woodwork and into my immediate locale.

For instance I’m standing at the battery kiosk at the local Walmart (I like to keep it classy, so I frequent Walmart a lot). I’ve been playing Mario Kart so I’m currently going through batteries like they are candy. I’m scouting out the best priced rechargeable batteries for my Wii remote. I’ve made a decision on the Energizer brand that comes with a wall outlet charger. I felt this was a good choice. Then it happens. A portly old man on a motor scooter drives by. We’ll call him Gerald, he sort of resembled a Gerald. Gerald stops his little scooter right next to that battery kiosk. Takes a look at me, the batteries I’m holding, then back at me. Gerald mumbles something like, “Mrfjgisnd $2 marggakmends ieolesm…maeoom.” I look at Gerald, smile kindly and give my courtesy giggle. Apparently Gerald didn’t like my battery choice or my response, he sort of glares at me, then scooters on his way. I spent the next 15 minutes trying to decipher Gerald-language to figure out what he was telling me. I still have no idea. Weirdie Magnet.

Rewind back to age 13. I decide it’s a great idea to go grocery shopping with my grandmother. (which, by the way, if you don’t want to spend 15 hours grocery shopping, this is bad idea) We go to Walmart, and probably 5 other stores, and then before you know it, it’s 3:00 p.m. and we have yet to eat lunch. So the logical choice is to stop at Braums to get a delicious hamburger. Next thing you know some locals come into the Braums as well. (By locals, I mean the place is real small and everyone knows everyone, except for the granddaughter who is visiting from the big city of Olathe, Kansas and foolishly went on a grocery shopping trip not knowing what the day held in store for her) These locals consist of a mother and her son. They’ve come in to get a bag o’ burgers to take back to what I can only imagine, is a pig farm. My kind grandmother offers to let them sit in our booth as they wait on their bag o’ burgers. I do my best to pretend the boy is not staring at me as I focus as hard as I can on looking out the window, eating my fries. Some awkward conversation was attempted by the boy. I did my best to avoid it. Then the bag o’ burgers was ready and I thought that I was free and I would never encounter these people again. Now fast forward 3 hours. The phone rings at my grandmother’s house, not an unusual event. The phone is for me, incredibly unusual event seeing as how I don’t live there. I uncomfortably take the phone and say, “Hello?”
“Hi Amanda, it’s Hank*, from Braums.”
“…..oh. Hi.”
“So you’re 15 right?”
“Ya….NO! No I’m only 13.”
“Ha, you don’t know how old you are? So do you want to go see a movie?” “…..No…..I can’t.”
“Oh…..When are you leaving?”
“…..tomorrow.” (this was a lie)
“Oh ok. Bye”
I hung up the phone faster than I’ve ever done anything in my life and cursed myself for going grocery shopping that morning. And as an aside, it turns out, Hank was not 15, he was 17, close to an illegal experience. So anyway, had I gone and seen Scooby Doo with Hank I might be living on a pig farm right now. Weirdie magnet.

*I’m positive that’s not his name, but I’ve tried to remove this memory from my mind so I don’t remember his real name.

And now let’s go back just a few days to Saturday evening. I attended a Nashville Predators / St. Louis Blues hockey game at Bridgestone Arena. The evening started off normally. I was getting a little loud and obnoxious during the game, which apparently is my new thing. Throwing my arms up in victory when the Predators scored, singing the catchy little tune “Bah na na na na HEY, YOU SUCK!”, you know, normal hockey things. (it also could have had something to do with the St. Louis fans right next to me, who were sad they were losing) It was a great game. We beat the Blues which is always a welcome thing. (I really don’t like St. Louis teams) Now this is when the  most recent weirdie magnet kicked in. I was leaving the arena and in order to exit you have to go down an escalator. For smooth exiting the arena has placed two escalators side by side both going down. I’m minding my own business, escalating down when someone on the adjacent escalator shouts, “We’re going to beat you down! Ours is totally going faster!”
I look over, assuming this is not being shouted at me. Surprise, surprise. I am the target of this young man’s race challenge.
“Um…OK…Sure!”, is all I can really think to say.
“We’re gonna win!!”
I can only muster up a courtesy chuckle in response to this. Then we get to the end of the escalator. Obviously I won, so weird-escalator-race-challenger accuses me of cheating.
“Ok. Well what can ya do?”, I say
Then I disappear into the crowd as quickly as I can to get away from escalator-race-challenger. Weirdie Magnet

But the weirdie magnet part of me wonders if I’m destined to be stuck with the weirdies forever. Why do all these weirdies talk to me? Was that escalator weirdie my only chance at love? Should I have waited for escalator-weirdie and formed a strange escalator race bond and then gotten married on the escalator? Should I go down there tonight to ride the escalators up and down until someone challenges me to a race, then marry them? Why do I ask so many questions? Maybe it’s not actually about me being a weirdie magnet…maybe I’m just a weirdie too….