Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jersey Boy

Last night was the onset of the Stanley Cup playoffs, so naturally the topic of the Penguins’ Cup run came up in an email thread between Sitcom Kelly and me.  You’ll remember that Sitcom Kelly is my friend that wants to dig a Silence of the Lambs Pit in her basement for the purpose of capturing and keeping Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, as well as former Steelers kicker Matt Bahr.  We’ve been working on and off, on a document full of episode ideas to make into a sitcom about her life.

First, I sent her a link to a really great story.  A reporter wrote of taking her wheelchair-bound brother, who has cerebral palsy, to a Penguins game. By chance, Penguins star Sidney Crosby pulled in behind them when they parked at the rink.  Sid initiated the communication by asking about her brother, (who happened to be wearing a Crosby jersey), and got out of his car to give him an autographed picture and pose for a shot of the two of them. 

This comes on the heels of my Blog Sister Cassie’s story about how her 3-year old sent Sidney, who has been sidelined since January with a concussion, a hand-made get-well card for the “boo-boo on his brain.”  Sid sent her back an autographed picture, which she has been carrying around like a security blanket ever since.

It was yet another of a long line of little but important things the guy does off the ice, just to make people happy.  I’m sure he had no idea that it was going to wind up in a newspaper story.  It’s just the kind of things he does.

So, I emailed the link to Sitcom Kelly:

SK: Tears gushing from my eyes…

Bluz: Dude’s amazing.

SK: He is truly someone you want to be like, or your kids to be like.

Bluz: Practically stalk-worthy.

SK: I was going to say that he needs a Pit too, but he’s worthy of a glass case in the living room.

Bluz: Mmmmmmmmmph!  (Clamping hand over mouth to suppress the laugh…)  That’s totally an episode!  And your other “guests” in their Pits get jealous of him and argue about who gets to be in the glass case.  They fight for the honor…

Later in another thread…

SK: Now get the hell on the ice and win us a Stanley Cup!!

Bluz: I don’t think he’s going to get into this series.  A lot of people are debating whether he should even come back at all in the playoffs.

SK: I can see that point, but he’s awesome enough that he could come back and play like he’s never been gone.

Bluz: The concern isn’t that he won’t play well, it’s that one more head shot this season could put him out much longer, maybe even for good.

SK: Oh… right.  The head.  He won’t get his noggin hurt in The Case.

Bluz: LOVE The Case.  You could bring him up for parties… like your cat parties!  (This refers to a previous email thread/post about her throwing a party on the same day as a massive snowstorm (again) and no one would show, leaving her to continue the party with no one but her cats, and Kris who is down in the Pit.)

I can see it… You, the 3 cats wearing little party hats, are sitting in a circle on the floor with a pan of ziti, and Sid in the Case.  With a hat on top of the Case!  LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL… Oh god, I’m dying here…

Geez, the script practically writes itself… which is good, because I have posts to do and TV to watch.

This morning, I emailed her again:

Bluz: BTW, you know I’m using our thread on The Glass Case in tonight’s post.  Can’t possibly keep that to myself.

SK: There are going to be Secret Servicemen casing your Memorial Day BBQ event, waiting for Sitcom Kelly to show up.  Kris Letang is one thing, but if you mess with Sidney Crosby, they WILL come get you.

Bluz: I’m picturing a dozen women stepping forward one by one, saying, “I am Sitcom Kelly.”  “No, I am Sitcom Kelly.”

SK: A couple of guys too.

Bluz: That would totally work!  The name goes both ways.

Meanwhile, Spartacus rolls over in his cinematic grave.

Like I said earlier, the playoffs started last night.  For what it’s worth, the Pens won the first game, 3-0.  But I have no intention of going all Puck-head with game details… not when I can talk about jersey mojo, instead.

All year long, I tracked my jersey versus the game results.  It’s a bit different than football, in that there are so many more games.  I figured the tracking would give me some pretty good data on what to wear during the playoffs.  Here’s how the season played out:

5 wins, 0 losses, 1.00 winning percentage. 

Mario Lemieux jersey from the pre-lockout era, early 2000s.  Geez, I should have worn this one more often.  Didn’t realize it was undefeated.  And add one playoff win, because I wore it last night.

7-3, .700

Crosby jersey from the first Winter Classic in 2008.  I only wore this one when the Penguins wore it to play.  I didn’t always know ahead of time; sometimes I’d have to make a quick change after I saw them line up for the faceoff.  Had a good record wearing it… I may go to it as an alternate.  But I prefer not to clash with what’s being worn on-ice.

7-3, .700

OK, it’s not a jersey, but during one of the Pens early slumps, I tried it out because none of the jerseys were working.  Did pretty well.

2-1, .666

The old-school Snoop Dogg style Lemieux jersey from the mid to late 90s.  Didn’t wear it often… I do remember yanking this one off for the blue one a couple times, as mentioned earlier.  Another possible alternate.

14-9, .608

No jersey at all.  These are some various Tees I wore… Just about everything I wear has a sports logo on it… I used these during the mid-season doldrums, when I didn’t feel like digging out a jersey, and they won a good deal of the games, which kept me from going back to the jerseys again.

6-4, .600
Current “away” jersey for Jordan Staal.  This was my go-to jersey for Penguins “away” games.  Had a tough early run, especially when Staal was out.

3-2, .600

AKA, “The Corporate Pigeon” jersey, used during the mid to late 90s.  Used to be a #68 Jaromir Jagr jersey.  I had the 8 taken off and added a 6 to make it a Lemieux.  Also added the “O” for “owner.”  I am aware that it might be considered a “jersey foul,” if you follow the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s “Empty Netters” blog.  It’s my oldest Pens jersey… I actually used to play in it, when I played pickup hockey in the mid 90s.  Didn’t really get me many wins this season though.  But it is my only other “away” jersey.  When neither this nor the white Staal jersey produced wins, I didn’t wear a jersey for a bunch of the “away” games.

3-2, .600

Old “home” jersey from the early 90s Stanley Cup winning teams, another Mario.  Can’t go wrong with a legend.  You know a #66 will be good forever.

2-4, .333

The current “home” Crosby jersey.  Horrible record, and that was with Sid playing.  I haven’t worn it since he got hurt.  (I was wearing the Snoop jersey when he took his second shot to the head that put him out.)

1-2, .333

2011 Winter Classic jersey for goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.  Again, I only wore this one when the Pens did.  The results were not good.  Doubtful this will see the light of day during this playoff run.

0-1, .000

Blue jersey created by The  I bought it because I couldn’t get my hands on a regular blue Winter Classic jersey at the time, but I wanted something the same color.  I had this one personalized.  I only wore this once this season, as a desperation ploy to shake off a losing streak.  Didn’t work. 

So, as the playoffs unfold, I expect to be using the jerseys at the top of the list.  But I have to keep in mind… mojo is fickle.  Remember, during the Penguins Cup run in 2009, I abandoned the jerseys completely, in favor of Pens Tee Shirts, and was rewarded for my adaptation by the sight of my boys lifting The Cup in triumph.

Sitcom Kelly may even let Sid out of The Case, for that.


DG said...

I have to say, I'm not a fan of either WC style jersey. I don't know what it is about them. They just don't say "hockey" to me.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the pre-lockout Mario. I'm a Geno girl, myslef. Fairly new hockey fan ('08) so I don't feel right wearing jerseys from an era in which I was not a fan. When the winning streak ended and the injury bug bit, I went with the Fluerry T-shirt. Can't miss this season with the flower. (OK, at least since Nov. 12)

Also, thanks to Mr. DG, er, Santa, I now own a nice collectin of Pens socks, as well. They are good for mixing up the mojo, when needed.

bluzdude said...

When they were fishing for a new Winter Classic jersey, I was hoping they'd bust out the 92-era black jersey. I thought they looked really sharp. And if they were going to continue with the blue motif, I was hoping they'd use an authentic design. But they ended up cobbling together elements of a number of old styles, to come up with this Frankenstein of a jersey. Which I still bought. Go figure.

Out of all, I think my favorite is the same one in the first picture. I just like the look of it, with the Vegas-Gold accents.

bluzdude said...

In re-reading, I just noticed that you didn't like either WC jersey. I do like the first one, the powder blue. Just think it looks sharp, and is a fun alternative to the current ones, and a nod to the past.

Oilfield Trash said...

I am really jealous of your Pens jerseys.

bluzdude said...

Well, with no kids, I've had the opportunity to blow some money on occasion, or get really nice birthday gifts. Plus, almost 20 years to accumulate them.

Cassie said...

I love that story! It is so sweet and SO TRUE.

I have two Pens jersey's. One with NURSE PAIN on the back.

I'm that awesome.

red pen mama said...

Geez, Bluz, don't you know according to the Sports Douchebag Who Will Not be Named that jerseys are stupid? And wearing one in the wrong place can get you in big trouble (like, in a coma)? Use your head, man! (sorry.) Also, some commenters at a Certain Site We Love seem to think they make you less than a man.


Anyhoo, you go with your bad mojo self. I will be putting Michael in his Pens themed baby clothes for the whole run up to the Stanley Cup.

And your Sitcom Kelly story had me cracking up. Some Friday levity to go with my mac'n'cheese!

bluzdude said...

See? And that’s another reason why people should wear game jerseys. They might have a chance encounter with the player whose jersey they’re wearing. And when Hines Ward scores a touchdown, who does he give the ball to? Someone in the front row that’s wearing his jersey number.

(Note: I’m mentioning this because of all the fuss that one sportswriter kicked up this week, writing about how people shouldn’t wear game jerseys. Seriously! Our friend Ginny at That’s Church posted on it as well, drawing scads of comments, pro and con, including comments from both Cassie and me.)

You know, Cassie, you could do a whole blog called Nurse Pain, just about your hospital experiences. Because you’re totally that awesome.

Red Pen Mama
I commented there… I almost didn’t, because even aside from the column she referenced, some of the comments on her site had me so pissed off, I might have really went off and added more gasoline to the fire. But I ended up finding an angle I could use, but once again, falling back on Game Jersey Mojo.

As a veteran of wearing opposing game jerseys to football stadiums, I have some strong feelings on the subject. Of course, I’ve dealt with them long ago, here on this site. But suffice to say, if you wear a “visitors” game jersey to a game, you have to expect to hear some smack-talk tossed your way. And that’s fine. You should NOT have to worry about being assaulted or stolen from. Ever! We are grownups, and this is a GAME we’re talking about.

I say the guy talking about how it’s “inexcusable for a man to ever wear another man’s name on a jersey,” has some severe gender insecurity issues going on… More so than can be dealt with in blog comments.

As for Sitcom Kelly, her idea of a Glass Case for Sid, to go along with Letang’s Pit, had me crying in my cube yesterday. One of the funniest ideas she’s ever had. And then once an idea germinates, I’m happy to take it and run with it. I LOVE the idea of putting the party hat on top of the case. (Probably because I love sight-gags in general.) And because in previous posts, we explored the idea of her two captives (Letang and Matt Bahr) fighting over winning her favor, it wasn’t a hard stretch to imagine them fighting for the right to be in The Case.

It’s such an absurd world, it’s no wonder I love writing about it.

Judie said...

Where are your socks???Mmwahahahah!!!

bluzdude said...

Sorry... no Pens socks for me. But it looks like DG has that covered for me...

Cassie said...

Oh, and I totally have the Unleash Hell Orkpik tee. I love Orpik.

bluzdude said...

I KNOW you do! I remember when Ginny posted that shirt and commented that you bought one.

I was hoping you'd notice that I had one too. I usually bust it out for Caps games, even if it's usually underneath a jersey.

Mrs. Bachelor Girl said...

I think one thing is abundantly clear: I need a hockey jersey.