Thursday, June 10, 2010

Notes from The Husband

This is something Brian wrote, I thought I would share.

Well my Blackhawks finally did it last night. Their first Stanley Cup in 49 years. I didn't sleep well because I am so excited and still can't believe it. There are so many thoughts running through my mind. I need to share some of my emotions in the last 13 hours.

In reality, sports are a great escape in life to the many things that cause us stress. Worries about our kids, health, the economy, wars, etc.., are some of the things we can put to rest while we root for our team. Most of you know I am a huge Yankee fan and baseball is my favorite sport. But hockey is a close second and it has quickly become obvious to me that the Blackhawks victory last night was more than just a win. The memories I have due to this one sports moment are crashing through my mind.

It all started in the early 1970's when my Dad would pick me up and take me to see the Waterloo Blackhawks minor league team in Waterloo, Iowa. It was the first sporting event my Dad took me to. I remember the seats were close to the ice and in between periods he would leave to go to the "smoking and beer room" with other adults. There was an elderly couple who had seats behind ours and they would talk to me while Dad was gone. The games were exciting, "old time hockey" and a few times, Dad took me on the ice after the games to meet some of the players. The pictures we have from these encounters prove that I was in total awe of the players and, for a 6 year old, these are moments I will never forget. My love for hockey had begun.

As I grew up, it was a natural transition for me to be a fan of "the real Blackhawks" from Chicago. I remember Dad and I watching games at his apartment and it was special when the Blackhawks were on TV. Although I didn't play in a league, I played on ponds whenever I could and have the only real scar on my body, courtesy of a wayward skate during a pick up game when I was 10. Still, it was the Blackhawks that kept my interest. I wanted to be Tony Esposito and then Murray Bannerman and then Eddie Belfour.

About this time, a special bond was formed between me and my Uncle Rick. As a kid, I always thought he was cool and, man, he really liked hockey! Although he was a Northstar fan, we had something we could talk about for hours. He liked to "jack my jaw" about the Blackhawks. When I was 14, he took me to a Blues - Blackhawks game in St. Louis, just the two of us. Dad got us a hotel room at the Breckenridge Hotel and we talked hockey all the way to and from St. Louis. As we were leaving the game ( Blackhawks lost the game 4 - 2 ) we stoped at a souvenir stand and I bought a Blackhawks pennant. Now 31 years later, I looked at that pennant this morning as it has been hanging on the wall of Luke's room since the day he was born.

Over the years, Dad liked to call me and talk about sports. In the summer, he would call to harass me about the Yankees and in the winter, he would call to talk about the Blackhawks. No matter how busy I was, he expected me to stop what I was doing and "talk sports". Then I hit the location jackpot!

In 1989 I was working for Encyclopaedia Britannica and living in Washington, DC. An opening in our Chicago Region became available. Although it was advantagous from a career standpoint to head to Chi-town the idea of living in the home of the Blackhawks sealed the deal for me. I couldn't wait to go to my first game and literally got goosebumps when I heard the special way the National Anthem is sung and the way the "the pipe organ" sounded after the Hawks scored. It was unbelievable! I still get the goosebumps every time I see it on TV.

At our wedding, one of the first things I talk about AT THE CHURCH is the Blackhawks and we have it on video tape to prove it. My best man and groomsmen received Blackhawk sweatshirts as gifts for being in our wedding. Shortly after that, I got to know a ticket broker based in the Sears Tower. He would get us good seats, but we had to sit in the first balcony as that was the only area of old Chicago Stadium that sold nachos. That is what Susan had to have in order for me to get her to drive downtown in rush hour traffic and go to games. These were fun times and we could afford it because we didn't have kids. We saw Wayne Greatzy play ( in the middle of the game, Susan asked me " when he was going to do something "great".) We also saw a fantastic game in which Hall of Famer, Brett Hall let go a booming slap shot as time expired in which Eddie Belfour made the save. We still have all of the ticket stubs to those games and even though we were able to go to one game at The United Center, Old Chicago Stadium will always be near and dear to our hearts.

On our way home from Luke's baseball game last night we were talking about the game and wondering if the Blackhawks were winning? Could this be the night? When we got home, Luke tried to play it cool, but ended up bolting into the house. A moment later he came outside and told me " The Blackhawks are winning 3 -2 and are 17 minutes away from winning the Stanley Cup". Ok, now it was decision time. I get up each day at 4:45 AM and it was now 9:00 PM. If I watch the game, I might get no sleep. I decided to do some other things and check the score before I went to bed. It was 9:30, with my stomach churning and I turned on the TV. The first thing I heard was the announcers talking about overtime........... The Flyers had tied the game. The announcers were explaining how the Flyers now had all of the mementum going into overtime.

Decision time again. My gut told me stay up as the outcome was going to be quick and the way I was hoping for. I was right and I leaped upstairs to wake up Luke. He came downstairs with Noah, who didn't really understand why all of these guys were hugging each other.

Yes, it happened, but I needed to talk to someone, who do I call? Silence........... lump in my throat, I wanted to call Dad and share this moment with him. Silence again, another lump in my throat, I wanted to call Uncle Rick. Now what? Ok, wake up Susan and she can give me my cousin Doug's e-mail address. Darn it! We only have their Facebook address. ( I hate Facebook....... who has time for it?) Now what? Oh yeah, let's order our Stanley Cup Champion T-Shirts for me and Luke. Time for Susan to work her computer magic........... of course the T-shirts are on back order, but they will be coming soon. Now what? Facebook? Oh yeah, many of our friends in Chicago are describing the madness and joy in their neighborhoods. It looks like so much fun that we wish were still living there. Now, how about Susan's friend in Kansas City who is a big Blackhawks fan and friend in Canada who's husband is a former player and knows some former Hawk players. Facebook again and we are talking live about how great a victory it was.......... Did I mention I LOVE Facebook? (ha)

Ok, it's 11:00 PM and I am really tired and I know when the alarm clock will be going on. Four hours sleep will have to do. I wake up tired, but feeling great...................

Now back to reality. In the course of the morning I found out my cousin Doug recently lost his job and a friend of Susan's is in the hospital and taking a turn for the worse.

The real world has struck again. In over eight years of working for my Mom, I have taken one day vacation day and I often work on weekends. Yet, I still feel guilty about coming home for lunch and writing this note. Better get back to work, as I am thankful I have one and that me and my family are healthy. Will keep Doug and Susan's friend in my prayers.

The great sports escape may be over for now, but for 13 hours it was a great ride.......... Go Blackhawks.......... Go Dad........... Go Rick. What a rush!

Thanks for reading this long note.


  1. Lovely! And sorry to hear about cousin Doug and your friend.

  2. This was wonderful. BTW, God answer's prayers, and I thank you both for them. :) ~skye

  3. All the sports stuff aside, that was incredibly sweet. Susan, thanks for sharing your hubby's thoughts with us!


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