A Sure Win

This never happens, never, ever happens, at least not to me anyway. But it has. I can’t believe it, but I have found myself in the proverbial “Can’t Lose” situation. And this time it’s a sure thing.

My Dad showing off all the Ranger Wins on the Cup at PPG's plant in Canada

I am referring of course to the Stanley Cup playoff round now being played between the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers. No divided loyalties here. I will be happy no matter who emerges victorious. Here’s why.

I grew up on hockey. My father was well-known to family, friends and the entire universe as the world’s greatest New York Rangers’ fan. Now, lots of people say they are fans, but my father lived the sport. Legend has it that he took my mother to a hockey game on their wedding night—and neither one of them has ever denied it.

As a child, I learned about hockey at his knee, which was no easy feat. You see, Dad was never particularly happy with how the TV announcers call the game (he thought they missed a lot of the subtle nuances of the sport, like how bad a guy was bleeding after a fight), so he’d set up an old transistor radio in just the right spot to try and hear the game after placing the TV on mute and watched it. Putting the radio next to a TV with bent rabbit ears and an antenna that had to be placed just so made sitting there a booby trap, because one wrong move could wipe out the signal. But it was a great way to learn about hockey.

And whenever a game was “blacked-out,” Dad would get in the car and drive to this spot on top of a small hill in a nearby park where he had miraculously discovered he could get the radio stations from Montreal. (He’d go to a different location for Toronto games.) And there he’d sit and listen to the game—entirely in French. Now my Dad does not speak a word of French, but I venture to say if asked, he could call an entire hockey game in the language. And when the Rangers finally won the Stanley Cup a few years back for the first time since he’d been a boy, my father received calls and letters of congratulations from all over the country. So his hockey fanaticism is a proven fact.

In fact, PPG was kind enough to take notice of this when I first wrote about my father’s fanaticism by inviting us both to visit its plant in Canada a few years ago. The invitation came after the Colorado Rockies, led by coach Bob Hartley, won the Stanley Cup. Seems Hartley had worked on the line at that (now-closed) PPG plant and promised to bring the Stanley Cup back there if he ever won it. (You can read about our adventures visiting the Cup if you’d like here.)

Since my father’s passing two years ago, my mother has been sure that he is providing some intervention from above for the Rangers. So, if they win, we will all be happy for him.

 And if the Caps win, that won’t be a bad thing either. They are the hometown team and the one I follow most closely. And our web developer, Bryan Hovey, and I can do a victory dance around the office. Bryan is the big hockey fan here and we have been waiting for years to see them parade that Cup around the rink here in D.C.

So tonight, I’ll be happy whichever way it goes.

The Friendly Skies

Thanks to everyone who called or wrote or posted about my “Well-Seated” post last week. Seems many more of you have been there than I could have imagined. Sad, huh? Next week: the primaries (as in manufacturers). Have a good one.