The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Autograph

That momentary cry of panic you may have heard tonight was me fearing that I had lost "The Autograph."

Let us flash back two years ago to a spring night in Nashville, circa 2003. The "Playoff Pledge" has gone down in flames, though not because the Preds didn't make a good run of it. However, an injury to David Legwand against the Blackhawks basically sent the entire team into a funk that they never crawled out of.

Anyways, it is the night of the Fangtastic Fanale. Unfortunately, the Preds do not win this one, as their opponents are headed off to the Stanley Cup finals for a date with the New Jersey Devils. After the OT goal is scored by one Steve Thomas, the post-game festivities begin.

Eriks (a friend of mine from high school) and I, however, dart down to the basement of the GEC and get down to the green room - mostly in hopes of catching a certain defenseman for the other guys who was one of the reasons why he and I caught the hockey bug over a decade ago.

And, of course, I have my eye out for a short kid who I'd always admired (and, after that year's SC finals, it was cemented as one of his fans). We got the one guy's autograph, and then - sure enough, here comes this short guy with that unmistakeable face and look.

I politely asked for his autograph, which he provided - right on top of a Predators logo inserted in the middle of my Predators Press magazine. I never forgot that autograph, especially after his theatrics in game 6 of the finals.

I had temporarily forgotten where I'd placed the magazine, after months of keeping it right beside my computer. I thought I knew where it was, but when I went looking for it, I didn't find it immediately.

I did some looking through some boxes I had displaced elsewhere in the mess I like to consider as my office, and finally - just as I was about to wail and moan in despair - I found it.

It's now back on my desk, and even though the little PredsPress magazine had two other autographs in it - one of Rem Murray, and another of Sandis Ozolish - it's still the one in the middle, on the Predators logo, that makes me smile.

It makes me smile because I don't think he ever suspected that he was signing his name on the logo of the team he would be playing for, two and a half years later.

Paul probably wouldn't remember me from Adam, but that moment was only topped by what happened August 5th.

"Is that sappy enough for you?..."