Almost four months ago, on February 7th, two fellow bloggers, friends, and hockey fans and I made what was dubbed the 1st Annual NHL Blogger Bet. Jewels, Simple Dude and I decided that we were so excited hockey was finally starting (a nasty lockout cost us half the regular season) that we would start a wager, much like the ones you hear about made between mayors of cities whose respective teams were in championship games or series in professional sports. Jewel is a Philadelphia Flyers fan, SD is a Minnesota Wild fan, and I’m obviously a St. Louis Blues fan.
The team that lasted the longest into the post-season would be declared the winner, and that fan would receive gifts from the other two, ideally reflecting something about their own city/state. It was a really fun idea made all the more exciting for me because the Blues won! Now, if you follow the NHL you’ll know that they lasted only a single day longer than the Wild, but hey, a win is a win, right? I felt a twinge of guilt in accepting the title of “Winner,” but my friends are good sports and stayed true to the bet. They both sent me some really cool stuff. I am humbled, and wanted to share with you all word of my riches and their generosity and sportsmanship.
From the far-flung North, up in frosty Minna-SO-tah (I don’t know if he says it like that but I enjoy believing everyone from the Land of 10,000 Lakes has that accent) SD sent me the following package of goodies:
SD described his gifts to me in his post over at A Simple Dude in a Complex World and you absolutely need to go there and follow him, he’s hilarious. Congratulate him on his impending nuptials and offer consolations that his Wild couldn’t hold out for a couple more days. You can see the genuine Minnesotan wild rice, which we’ve not yet cooked but certainly will, and I’ll be sure to blog about it for your reading pleasure. Also, very cool, a book by Minnesotan author, Ross Bernstein, called The Code. It’s a book about fighting and the code players follow to protect themselves and their teammates in a fast, often violent game. It was really a perfect addition given the nature of the bet. I’m only now about a chapter into it and I’ll blog on that later, it’s fascinating stuff if you’re a hockey fan. Lastly, and this was well done indeed, a Minnesota Twins key chain.
To understand the irony of the last item, we must travel back in the annals of sports history to 1987. Specifically, October 1987, when SD’s Minnesota Twins beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. It was the first World Series in which the home team won every game. There are actually more than a few interesting firsts and facts about that Series, but I’ll let you go check that out for yourselves. It was a bitter ending for the Cards who were up 3-2 but lost in seven games. I tip my cap to SD for the subtle dig, it was well placed among the spoils of my victory.
I also received a very nice “winner’s package” from Jewels in the City of Brotherly Love.
First of all, the entire bundle was contained in a nifty little duffel bearing the Philadelphia Flyers logo. I can’t remember if I told her or not, but I’ve actually been a fan of the Flyers for a long time. They’ve always been my Eastern Conference team, particularly when they acquired defenseman Chris Pronger, a favorite ex-Bluenote. Also included was a Flyers bottle-opener key chain. Jewels mentioned she would’ve rather sent me some man-sodas but I understand they don’t travel through the mail well. Equally as delicious as beer would’ve been, there’s a box of Philadelphia’s own Tastycakes! A Philly standard since the early 1900′s, Tastycakes are even shaped sort of like hockey pucks. Appropriate AND tasty, good show, J. They’re a hit with my 9yo daughter too
Most prominently, you can see the awesome Down & Dirty t-shirt. Fund from the purchase of the shirt go to the #hartnelldown Foundation, a charity started by Scott Hartnall, #19 for the Philadelphia Flyers, to “ support hockey, children and communities around the US and Canada.”
My excitement at winning the bet was obviously slightly dampened by the fact the Blues didn’t make it out of the 1st Round of the playoffs, but next season will be a full one, and I’m definitely looking forward to the 2nd Annual NHL Bloggers Bet. I’m pretty sure we’ll all be happy to see more hockey fan bloggers join in the fun, and raise the stakes, though we all really just want to see our beloved team hoist the Stanley Cup! Thanks again to Jewels and The Simple Dude. Remember, fewer than 100 days until camps open in September!