Ruminations, etc..

Musings, rantings, and pie.

Random Anecdote #2

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Earlier this century, I attended a hockey game at US Airways arena in Phoenix.  I had two tickets to the “Ice Den” portion of the arena, so I took my friend Phil who lived above me.  He was later immortalized in a song John E. GO! wrote called Phil’s Apartment.

US Airways was not a good place to see a hockey game.  The sight lines were poor and depending on where you sat in the upper level, a good third of the ice wasn’t visible.  The Ice Den, where Phil and I were that night, was a section sort of underneath the main seats, directly behind the Coyotes goal and level with the ice.  There were actual seats, but still, it really sucked to sit there. To make up for that fact, the Coyotes marketing staff would do things between periods for the people sitting there.  Like giving away t-shirts and stuff like that.

A 6'4", 280 lbs man wearing this will get anyone's attention.

About midway through the first period, a nice looking young woman came in and asked, really loud, if anyone wanted to ride the Zamboni.  I stood up immediately, extended my arms wide and yelled, “Me!”  I was wearing the old style green and orange Coyotes jersey and I’m a large man.  I attracted her attention and she picked me.

Right before the period ended, she came by my seat and got me.  I waited for the Zamboni in the back corridors of the arena. I remember it was dim and there were lots of dark taupe colored bars and pipes winding around the superstructure of the arena. Before the Zamboni picked me up, I saw three men in suits walking swiftly towards me.  The guy in front was shorter than the two behind him and had sand colored, curly hair.  As he came closer I recognized him.  It was Wayne Gretzky, then the Coyotes President.  He nodded at us as be breezed by, smiling.  Friendly enough, I decided.

The Zamboni came and picked me up and we went out onto the ice.  The Coyotes were playing the Colorado Avalanche that night so I made sure to taunt and jeer the fans as we drove around the ice.  I think the Coyotes were losing at that point, so I was being a big a-hole for no reason.  Oh well — it wasn’t the first time, that’s for sure.

After we smoothed out and resurfaced the ice the Zamboni headed back into the tunnels.  I got off, thanked the driver and marketing person, and walked back to my seat.  As I was walking, Gretzky and his guys were coming the other direction.  He smiled and nodded and, as he walked by, he said, “Good job.”  I think I said thanks or something similarly lame, but after I got back to my seat, I told Phil what happened and I realized that I had gotten a “Good job” from the Great One, Wayne Gretzky.  There are people who are playing in the NHL that have never gotten a “Good job” from Gretzky.  I think that makes me King of Canada or something.

The Coyotes ended up winning that game. Goaltender Patrick Roy being ejected helped, I’m sure.


Written by B. Michael Krol

June 7, 2011 at 10:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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