Friday, April 25, 2008

Yes, that is an octopus in my pants and I am happy to see you

I found myself in a bit of a conundrum last night. The Detroit Red Wings were beating the hated Colorado Avalanche, 4-3. There was 4 minutes left on the clock and just another sip of beer in the bottle. It was also 8:57. Three minutes until karaoke started.

The game went to commercial and I finished my beer. These 4 minutes could drag out so it was possible I could get home in time to watch the last seconds. Doing so would mean I wouldn't be subject to the torture of karaoke. My ears would be happy.

But the game was close. I could also miss a fantastic finish, maybe an empty netter to seal the game. Plus, what kind of sports fan would I be if I left a close exciting game with 4 minutes left?

I braced myself, took a deep breath, and pushed the bottle forward. I nodded to the bartender and had a fresh beer in front of me. For those keeping score at home, I did not win any Brewer tickets nor shirts on the contest. Just more, "Sorry, keep drinking you loser" tickets.

The game was winding down. With just over a minute left, the Avs pulled their goalie. It was about that time that I noticed it was after 9pm and my ears weren't being attacked. Then the dork who runs karaoke said it would start in about 10 minutes. A reprieve from the warden! Shot and a goal!

The Red Wings held on for the victory. I downed my beer listening to the jukebox. We both won tonight.

Roughly an hour before this, I spent time trying to explain the tradition of Red Wing fans throwing an octopus on the ice and what it signified. These two guys admitted they don't watch hockey which is fine. I told them about the 8 tentacles symbolizing the number of wins it used to take to win the Stanley Cup. I explained that men shove these octopi down their pants to "smuggle" the creature into the arena. As I did that one of the girls sitting by the guys whipped her head around and said "Octopus in their pants? Eww!".

The octopus is a great story. I can't believe they will not let the guy whip the octopus around in the air anymore. It is like the NHL wants to be like the NFL and outlaw the simple things fans like.

A funny thing happened at the bar last night. I had a conversation with the owner about the NFL draft. At first I couldn't understand him. But soon my brain kicked into gear and I heard what he was saying. See, he was sober. My brain is used to translating drunk into English when speaking with him. This time I had to skip a step and not translate. Until later in the evening that is. Then I was able to identify which slurring dialect he was using and translate accordingly.

I am excited about the NFL draft tomorrow. It provides a very good reason to meet up with friends and sit in Hooters for hours drinking beer and eating wings. It also gives you a taste of football in the spring. Just as the NFL seems to be gone, hockey and basketball are in the playoffs and baseball has just started, football comes back with a simple reminder than they are still the big dog on the block. It is amazing how the NFL draft is so much bigger and interesting than any other draft in sports. It is an event unto itself.

It is also a good reason to bust out the football clothing and wear it for the day. I am a big believer in not crossing sports. When the season is over, the jerseys and shirts get put away. You move on to the next sport. It pains me to see people wearing a Packers jersey at a Brewers game, especially when it is a 92 Reggie White jersey that has gone through the dryer too many times leaving the numbers all faded away. Do these dolts not understand they are at a baseball game? Thankfully this has dropped precipitously and it is rare to see green and gold at Miller Park. You still see some but it has been replaced with blue and gold.

This weekend you are allowed to wear football colors. Come Monday they are to be put away until training camp. And never- NEVER- to be worn at Miller Park.

So that is the weekend plans. Baseball tonight, Hooters and NFL draft tomorrow, and I will be at the ballpark on Sunday. When it may snow.

Rock on with your bad selfs this weekend!

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