The readers of this blog are why we still do what we do. When we got the email from Cassi with a desire to tell the story of her first NHL game, we couldn't say no.
We think this is a great read and hope that you enjoy it as well.
A Chicago Cinderella Story: An Effed Up Friday Night Fairy Tale
So remember when you were a kid, and you’d read fairy tales? You possibly had the pink room with Cinderella wallpaper, or spent countless Halloweens looking like Snow White (if you’re like me, you had both). Maybe you even asked your parents why you didn’t live in a castle. But then you grew up and realized that when asked what you wanted to be when you grew up, “a princess” wasn’t a good response. So you move on, and perhaps you start liking horses. My point is despite what age you are, or how “cool” you may think you are, when it all boils down, every girl craves a good fairy tale. With Prince Charming, little birds, singing mice, a fairy godmother, and of course, a happy ending. HEADS OUT THE GUTTERS LADIES! So with this in mind, I hope that I can take you back with my little story here.
So grab some HoHos
and turn on your Scooby-Doo nightlight. Make sure Mommy and Daddy are sleeping. And here we go...(A/N-I know fairy tales aren’t typically in first person, but this is an EFFED up fairy tale, so it’s all good!)
Once upon a time, in a suburb close to the magical land of Chicago, lived a lovely little family. There was a mommy, three burley sons, and one daughter. Her name was Cassi, and that’s me. This is the story of what happens when a fairy godmother gives a hockey loving family FRONT ROW SEATS to a Blackhawks preseason game. It was recently my birthday, and by the grace of Joel Quenneville’s mustache, my “fairy godmother”, better known as my mom’s friend, gifted me with these.
It will forever be the best gift ever. We’re not supposed to disclose any more information about the status of how he got these tickets, so we’ll just leave it at that. Wow, that was like Cinderella meets The Godfather. I’d like to see that mash-up. Anyways, so when I got the tickets, the first thought that ran through my head was “This may be too close for comfort...” but then I realized this was not a drill, and I screamed. Honestly, I was so grateful. I was grateful, and then I thought “Shoot! What the heck am I supposed to wear?!” Now, I am NOT some egotistic 17 year-old. I am exactly what you would think a girl with three brothers would be like. I don’t take any crap. I’m an avid reader of the Hockey Junkies, can out stat the pants off of any drunk guy at a bar, and I honestly just love the sport of hockey. (umm, yea, duh!). Going back though, tell me you wouldn't ponder what to wear if you got front row seats to see (insert your NHL team of choice here).
Before my family and I load up the carriage (an 08 Toyota Scion that has squeaky brakes) and go over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house, aka the United Center, we first have to start with the some intros. My family is a bunch of characters, to put it simply. My mom “Da Joans” is, at times, slightly out of touch with reality. She also is what one would call an “aggressive driver”. This is always nice when we go to Chicago, not. And yea, I do call her “Da Joans”. The name holds a special place in our hearts, so therefore, it is not disrespectful. I have three brothers, four short of being my seven dwarfs. Michael or Grumpy, is 17. He has an er....interesting personality. He likes to drive errantly (hmm, wonder where he gets that from?), blast loud music, and swear like a truck driver. Family dinners are quite lovely with him. Dominick or Dopey, is 14, and he is huge. His back is the width of our kitchen table. We’ve measured. Many people think he’s older than me, but he’s not. He also finds great pleasure in telling me to “shut up”. Dominick plus Michael equals BOOM. No one is safe. Paulie, or Sleepy is 9. The youngest. Butt of all jokes that don’t include me. There you go.
The Motley Crew is known.
So back to the game. On the way there, somewhere along the Eisenhower, Dominick started to sing and Michael joined along. Paulie fell asleep and Da Joans was swearing at every passing car. Traffic was terrible on account of it being rush hour. My family doesn’t play car games, our entertainment of choice is being degrading to other occupants of the highway. And for the two older brothers, it’s being rude and singing. All at the same time. They are very talented. We can refer to them as the little birds and singing mice in this equation. Except they didn’t dress me in ribbons and what not, and they defiantly aren’t little.
Arriving at the UC, Michael screams out over the blasting music “Roll up your windows! Roll up your windows!” This was because before we could even get near the turreted castle of the UC, you had to pass the trolls on the bridge. The trolls on the bridge being the homeless individuals of Chicago. Except Michael told me to leave my windows down, because according to him, the homeless man closest to me was Patrick Kane, and he was waiting for me.
Now Michael, just because you can’t grow a mullet and have horrible judgment does not mean you can be jealous. Of course, since all fairy tales have some kind of conflict, we couldn’t find where the eff the parking pass we had was. We drove around the UC twice before we found our place among the other carriages. So, being the paparazzi of this trip, I insisted upon a photo session in front of the Michael Jordan statue, much to my brothers’ dismay. But they did enjoy mocking the foreign tourists we encountered by the statue on the way home. You’re probably extremely bored of this whole pregame stuff by now. But let me remind you that Cinderella did not go to the ball right after scrubbing the floors, and Snow White did not leave the dwarfs’ cottage dirty before singing with them, or whatever. I’ll flip a few pages to the good stuff. Our seats were in section 103 and I was not prepared for this. It was all so easy. We just walked in the UC, showed the security guy our tickets. He pointed to the very front seats and we just walked down there, me feeling like whichever princess walks down the staircase with the prince at the bottom (ain’t that all of them?). That’s when it happened. You know that scene in Cinderella when her fairy godmother gives her a new dress and she’s all like “Weee! Ahhh!”?
Yea, well, that was me. Except I didn’t get a new dress. But standing in front of my seat, looking out on the ice, and looking all around the massive UC, I had a princess moment. A moment where I felt like nothing could get better. I may not have a crown, or have a prince charming, but glass seats at a Hawks game is pretty damn close. I could have stayed in that moment forever, but my thoughts were cut by the words of my sarcastic brother, Dopey “These aren’t the BEST seats in the house.”
Now, I am going to admit it. I had a fan girl moment. If I can’t admit to it here, and get it out in the open, where else can I? Everyone must understand that I’m a girl, with ovaries, estrogen, and a respect for Jonathan Toews that goes beyond what he can do with a puck. When the Hawks (or the “prince charmings” of the story eh eh?!) came out and started practicing right in front of us, I grab hold of Da Joans’ leather jacket she insisted upon wearing, and mouthed to her “Holy shit”. Then I did something I’m ashamed of. I screeched “Ohmigosh! It’s Jonanthan Toews!”.
OK...hold it right there! Before you completely stop reading this, my screech was a whisper screech. AND it was only to my mother, not to the entire UC. I’d like to see what you’d do if you saw YOUR favorite NHL player all up close and personal. Something tells me you wouldn’t be all Joe Cool either. Mmk, so moving on. Flip past practice, trying not to oogle at all the players (conversation with myself: “Cassi! Grab ahold of yourself! Focus on evaluating the offense this year, or observe Crawford’s goal position. C’mon, you can do th-AHHH! Stalberg shot the puck over here!”). Cue the anthem (Jim Cornelision has gotten some specs, refined, I must say!).
And then the game started.
Seconds after the puck dropped, Seabs (who is like Flounder from the Little Mermaid in his breathing style) came skating by and all out flattens Ovi (Russian Sasquatch!) against the glass right in front of Dominick. It was epic. Ovi got up and was all like “I have a tramp stamp”.
He skated away and Da Joans chirped in my ear “Why does he have yellow laces? Does he like Tweety Bird?”. Yes, yes he does. Hawks got a power play early on, but couldn’t capitalize (pardon the pun). The Caps (Joel Ward) scored about 14 minutes into the 1st period with an assist by our Tweety Bird loving Russian Sasquatch. Other than that, and the enchantment this princess felt watching the Hawks rush up and down the ice, the first period was pretty dull. A little note here, the United Center, hands down, has the best hot dogs. The best. So good. Because it’s a fact that all fairy tales have evidence of meat products. I mean, in Snow White, the deer the hunter killed was so obviously for making venison stew. Duh. Before the 2nd period, the Caps practiced in front of us, and there were more questions from Da Joans regarding Ovi’s lace color. “Why are they like that?” “Why don’t any other players have different color skates?” There’s a logical question, Joans.
The 2nd period began and a little while into holding every breath with all 12 shots on goal (Cause wouldn’t it be awesome if the Hawks scored right by us?!), Jamal “The Head From My Hair Fell To My Eyebrows” Mayers got into a little scuffle with Danny Richmond.
And, to me at least, this was not a little cat fight like Cinderella’s stepsisters ripping up her bird made dress. This was the dragon type of fight from Sleeping Beauty. Except no one was sleeping because who doesn’t love to see a hockey fight? People that hate children, puppies, and old people that’s who. Oh wait, that’s Jonathan Toews. Whoops. Well actually, that explains a lot...No scoring in the 2nd though. Like I said, it’d been so cool if the Hawks scored and they did a lil celly right by us. Oh well. The glass slipper doesn’t always fit.
The third period is when the Madhouse started to rock. The puck dropped and as my grandfather would say, someone lit a fire under the Hawks asses. Let’s just hope that Patrick Kane never gets the lighter, because he’s no good with fire, and would probably burn Stalberg’s hair, Mayer’s eyebrows, and Sharpie’s eyelashes all off. Heck, he’d burn his own mullet off. So anyways, the 3rd period was great. At 3:24, Stalberg did a little snap shot that got past Vokoun. The assists were Brandon Saad (whom I know from an incident about 2 years ago at a Bensenville ice rink...) and Fahey. I nearly split open my hand pounding on the glass, and Michael got nacho cheese all over the glass he was banging. Wonder if Cinderella suggests Windex for cleaning processed cheese off glass? In the time it took for Ariel to learn how to walk, Stalberg scored again, this time on a nifty little wrap around.
We were up on our feet again, and the Hawks were leading. Captain Serious assisted on that goal, with Steve Montador. Caps got it in a short while after that. Matt Hendricks backhanded it pass Crawford. Sin bin sitters in the 3rd were Matthew Ford, and Hjalmarsson (bless you!) The clock was ticking down, and then with roughly 4 minutes left, Brandon Saad, aided by Toews and Keith (who by the way, has fabulous hair in person), shot a wrister that ended up on the score board. Deal done. Time ticked down, and when the clock struck midnight, or 0:00, no one turned into pumpkins. The Hawks put their sticks up, and the lights were flashing “Blackhawks Win!”. That feeling was a fitting glass slipper and a sleep awaking kiss wrapped into one, covered in bacon. As much as I wanted to stay and stalk the prince charmings of the night (I know, stupid reference, but every fairy tale has a prince charming, and the drunk guy behind me sure did not fit the bill) while going out to their cars (or expensive foreign carriages), we had 3 boys with us, who do not see the deal behind why Patrick Sharp is so attractive. So, as quickly as Cinderella flew the coop after the ball, the little blue Scion was out of the UC’s parking lot. The horses would soon turn into mice again, the driver a dog (just kidding, Da Joans is not a dog) and the night would soon be over. We left the magical place that is the UC in the dust. But don’t you know that Cinderella was rushing to get home because she spent too much time eating crappy Mexican food after the ball? So following her example, before the “the end” could be written, we stopped at Taco Bell and got a box of tacos. Wish granted.