Friday, January 27, 2006

My Gift To Myself...

My birthday was Wednesay and my present to myself was tickets to the Avalanche/Stars game last night. How I got the tickets takes a bit of back-story...

Some time in my first year of blogging, I posted a story that had to do with a picture of ex-Av Rene Corbet showing up in a pack of pictures where it shouldn't have been. Around Christmas time last year, I got an email from a guy in Germany asking if I still had the picture I had been talking about in that post. It turns out that Rene Corbet was now playing for the Mannheim Eagles in Germany and this guy, Marc, was a huge Corbet fan and was looking to get his hands on anything of him. He offered up autographed Eagles cards in return for copies of any Corbet pictures I had. I took him up on his offer and we started emailing each other back and forth about our favorite players, the game, etc.

One thing that Marc was very into was collecting game used jerseys and was always sending me links to jerseys that he thought I would be interested in. I would be if they weren't so darned expensive! One he brought to my attention was a game-used autographed Rick Berry Hershey Bears jersey. Oooo, I really wanted that one! When Marc saw my enthusiasm, he immediately emailed the guy selling the jersey with my address. The seller then contacted me.

His name is Thomas and he lives in Switzerland. He's also a member of the Dave Aebischer Fan Club. If you're not a hockey (or Avs) fan, Aebischer (or Aebi) is our goalie. He is Swiss and one of the few players in the NHL from that country. His fan club travels around the US to see him play including extended stays in Denver for homestands. They were coming to Chicago then Denver this month and Thomas offered me tickets to the Stars game. I snapped them up fast.

So last night Derek & I went to the game. Sitting with the Aebi Fan Club was the most fun I've had at a hockey game in a long time. Those guys were so much fun!! There was about 60-70 Swiss fans there and I'll tell you what, they get into the game! They led cheers, made noise, sang songs and chanted...sadly Aebi didn't start last night since he'd been in net the last few games. But they supported Budaj just as much as they do Aebi.

Their favorite non-goalie player seemed to be Patrice Brisbrois - they had a chant just for him although after Tanguay scored the 2nd goal they switched names which I liked! At one point, Hejduk rushed the Dallas net but missed wide and suddenly Roger, whom I think was the DAFC president and was sitting 2 seats from me yelled, "No chocolate, no goal!!" Thomas, sitting next to me, laughed and agreed. Then Thomas explained to me that the day before they had gone to the Avalanche practice facility and when they got autographs, they gave the player Swiss chocolates but Milan Hejduk didn't want the chocolates. See what happens when you refuse a gift? WE LOSE TO DALLAS IN A SHOOTOUT! Thanks a lot, Milan!

My favorite cheer that the Swiss boys did was Roger would hum the opening part of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" - Nuh nuh nuh nuh nuhnuhnuh nuh nuh...and then Thomas would yell "THUNDAH!!" It was so great! I'd never seen anyone get that into cheering at a game. And it was so contagious, our whole section was rocking! They invited us to Brooklyn's after the game, saying that Aebi would show up and hang out but we had to get back to was so much fun, though!! I just wish we would have won.

The best thing overheard at the game: It was after the game while we were herding towards the stairs and this guy next to me says to his buddy: "You know what rhymes with Modano?" (For you non-hockey fans, Mike Modano is the Dallas Stars captain and very hated in Denver). His buddy said "What?" and the answer..."Fag." Ha! Loved it!!

A big thanks to Thomas for getting me the tickets and to Derek who went with was too much fun!!!


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