“Hey, Mean Joe”
I hope you all have had a great summer, and are as excited as I am for the upcoming season. All I know is that even the Little Rangers would be good enough for me right now. It has gotten so bad, that I have even been watching memorable games from last season that the MSG Network has been airing of the Devils and Islanders. Yup, it’s that bad. Anyway, I have to say I am excited for the opportunity to be a guest blogger and help out Carp and the blog in any way that I can.
I must say though, that sitting here and trying to think about something to write has not been easy. I was laughing to my wife earlier because I usually think nothing of making a post during the season, and many times they end up going on and on, but now that I have the opportunity to sit here and and start off the Monday blog, I have a severe case of writers block. I was playing hockey with my daughter Sunday morning in the driveway, and she asked me if I was going to take her to another Ranger game this year, and it got me to thinking, so here it goes.
When I was in 5th grade I went to Ranger games all the time with a guy who was my stepfather, though he only was my stepfather for a few years. I will also add, that the only good memories, or good that came from his relationship with my family, was his love of Rangers hockey. Other than that, the only other memories I have of the time period of when he was a part of my family, would be filled with words that Carp would not appreciate, so I will just stop right there. Anyway, he asked me early one morning before school, to ask one of my best friends if they would like to go to a Ranger game with me that night. I was so excited, and for one of the few times of my elementary school years, I could not wait to go to school. I asked my friend Joe, who of course said yes, and the two of us just watched the clock for the rest of the day.
We came home, played a few games of running bases in the back yard, a few games of “Blades of Steel” on the old Nintendo, had a snack, and got in the car. Now, it is my brother, my buddy Joe, Stepdork, and me driving to to the city to see my favorite hockey team. I was a bit disappointed though, because my favorite player at the time, who’s jersey I was wearing, would not be in the lineup. That player, Pierre “Lucky” Larouche. Still excited to be going to the game, we arrived at the parking garage, parked the car, remembered where were parked after the game, (Seinfeld reference), put our jerseys on, and walked to MSG.
When I was a kid, and we would go to the games, we would ALWAYS go to warm ups. Something about being a kid at warm ups, and having the chance to catch a puck, was one of the coolest things in the world. Back then, you could even go right up to the glass, and stick your hand in the camera hole, to be handed a puck by a player. We got on the escalator to head up to warm ups, and I started to get that excited feeling to watch all of the players skate, with their helmets off, so I could get a really good look and they would seem more human. We were on the second escalator on our way to ice level, when I heard a voice yell to me, “Hey kid, hey little Larouche.” At this point I was half way up the escalator, and I looked to an open door, and standing there in a suit, and on crutches, was none other than Pierre Larouche. I could not even believe it. I immediately jumped from half way up the escalator, down to the bottom and right over to him. He was the nicest guy in the world. We stood there and talked with him for the whole warm up. He took pictures with us, signed my jersey, and completely made my year. It was my, “Hey, Mean Joe” moment of my life. The Rangers won that night, but it wouldn’t have mattered if they had been blown out of the building. Come to think of it, I probably could have left right after that, and been perfectly fine with it.
Nasty 1, why did you tell us this story? Well, I guess because I can already tell that my daughter is going to be a HUGE Ranger fan, and I wonder when she will have her, “Hey kid, hey little Lundqvist” moment. Hank is her favorite player. So, to all of you, or maybe even your kids, what is your, “Hey, Mean Joe” moment? I guess it doesn’t even have to be Ranger related. It could be any sport, or any hero, but I am sure that many, if not all of you have one.
Thank you to Carp for this opportunity, and I hope you all enjoyed this, and that I started off the Guest Blogger Week on the right foot.