Normally I’d make this my recap post from a great weekend in which there were three fantastic hockey games played. Yale’s 5-0 whitewashing of Cornell doesn’t exactly qualify as a great game, but hey, two one-goal games on Friday night including a double-overtime thriller in which both games winners had to come back from a deficit late in the game to win it is pretty awesome.
Something came to light yesterday thanks to a couple of folks dropping me an e-mail to let me know that there were a couple big time hockey luminaries in attendance in Albany.
One of them is TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Now I had assumed that Bob would be in Albany since, you know, his son Mike plays for St. Lawrence. Bob has made a couple of posts on USCHO’s message board to say that he was indeed in town and that he tries to be there for all of Mike’s games.
Pretty cool dad, wouldn’t you say?
Bob was on NHL Live this afternoon discussing his trip into Albany where he let it be known that it was indeed true he wasn’t the only familiar NHL face there that weekend. The other guy that was here?
That’s right – Gary Bettman.
I’m sure you’re wondering what in the world would Gary Bettman be doing at the very poorly attended ECAC Championships in Albany. Perhaps he was learning a few more tricks on how to think a half-empty arena is acceptable for attendance.
Turns out he was there to support his alma mater.
You see, Gary is a Cornell University graduate, something which Cornell is proud of. I’d like to think that Cornell might want to, you know, keep that one a little more under wraps considering he’s not exactly a glowing example of academia.
Oh sure, the title is great, he runs a major professional sports league – a fantastic level of achievement and distinction. Then again, he’s helped make the sport into a joke and has mismanaged it into a consistent punchline of how not to do things.
Now here’s where I’ll out myself a little bit as I was a faceless, anonymous Internet blogger and make it seem as if I knew he was going to be in the house to throw things in his face. I came dressed for insult for Gary.
Any of you who were in attendance at the ECAC Championships may have spotted one suave individual wearing the finest of old school throwback NHL jerseys and it turns out you can really stick out like a sore thumb when sitting in amongst the red and white clad Cornell folks when you’re wearing these fine relics of past NHL greatness:
No, I wasn’t decked out in a Red Wings jersey meant to fit in with the Cornell folks. I wasn’t wearing a new, snazzy, overpriced Reebok Edge jersey to show how much more money I was willing to fork over to Gary’s Empire of Bad Ideas.
Old school, baby.
Old school squads that Gary’s Raw Deal helped run out of existence.
I’d love to say I knew that he would be there and I did it on purpose to shove it all in his face and have it be my way of providing him with the middle finger that only Ken Holland can give him best.
I’d love to say that.
But I can’t.
It’s pure coincidence that it worked out that way and while that sucks for me that I didn’t scheme up this MENSA brainchild of a reminder to Gary that the way things used to be are more beloved and more cherished than anything he’s schemed up since taking charge of the league.
I will pat myself on the back for pulling it off anyhow.
I’m just a little disappointed that either I didn’t spot Gary myself or he didn’t spot me and then commend/berate me on my choice of fashion. I think it would’ve gone down similar to an infamous movie encounter…
OK so that’s a bit overplayed, but that’s how it plays out in my head.
Gary, next time you’re in Albany I’d love to chat. I’ll be easy to find as I’ll have another relic from the past to help me stand out, just don’t think I’ll go changing up my site after we get to talk though. I know you pulled some fun on Wyshynski over at Yahoo because after you talked to him, his link for “Gary Bettman – Commissioner For Life” topics seems to disappear from the right side of his page (although it still can be found at the bottom of entries).
The invitation is always open, just drop me a line next time.