I did not receive a card from you today, Diary, so I believe it is safe to assume that you have forgotten it is my birthday. It is an understandable mistake, as Boxworthy assures me I do not look a day over 13. I take that as a compliment. It must be hard for you to believe that I am now a strapping young man of something-more-than-13.
I shall confess to you here, Diary, as you are a trusted secret-keeping bosom friend, that I have one specific wish for my day. What I should love above all things is a new Travis.
A robot Travis.
The human Travis has not panned out, Diary. He keeps insisting he is Batman, not Robin. He does things like get married. And he beats me at cribbage.
My robot Travis will be programmed to not be as good as me, Diary. He will be so much more fun than human Travis, I just know it!
Happy birthday to me! My life with my new robot roommate, linemate and Robin is going to be so grand. It is ever so wonderful being older than 13.
As you already know, Gentle Reader, we don’t have Devils season tickets. And when we did not renew the season tickets we don’t have, the Devils did not offer us a gift as a reward. And that gift? A tour of the Devils’ dressing room! What fun! We took them up on that offer they didn’t make, and were very surprised by what we saw. Take a look:
This is the view of the door to the dressing room. (That’s our tour guide in the suit. He’s not with the Devils, which makes sense, considering the Devils didn’t offer us the tour.) The brocade wallpaper is so well-suited to the team, being all team-colored and everything. The yellow carpet makes less sense, but who are we to question? The Rawk is a state-of-the-art facility, and state-of-the-art includes, it would seem, miles of mustard-yellow shag carpet.
Our tour guide let us wander free through the room while he riffled through the players’ personal belongings. We were especially enamored of the team’s walk-up (over yellow shag carpeting) bathtub, and managed to catch a glimpse of Zach taking his daily rose-scented bubble bath. Note Zach’s fluffy hennaed perm shower cap!
Here’s one of the vanities in the bathroom, with all kinds of players’ personal effects. Note the team-color red towels and black tiles. No detail was overlooked when they built this dressing room. Our guide told us that the lamps were added after the fact — it was a decorative detail that Zach insisted on. They have the same kind to illuminate the 12-man hot tub at UND, apparently. (Although the UND walk-up tub is carpeted with green shag, of course.)
We have to say, we were very impressed with the Devils’ dressing room. We’d heard about how opulent it was, but seeing really is believing.
a) Triumphant Sid unveils his next 87 line for Reebok, “Dare to Win”. After hours spent around the family dining room table, Sid and his handlers decided that white suits and red vests are “in” and branded athletic gear is “out”. Reebok was really not sure this was a good direction to take the company in, but the instant Sid got his grubby hands on the Cup, there was no stopping Sid’s wild plans. One can only wonder how Ovie will step up his endorsements with the discount hair cut business to keep pace.
b) This is a vision of the future, namely of the Devils first-day-of-training-camp seminar. The new (surely awesome and foxy) head coach will bring in this extravagantly stylish speaker, whose white suit and red vest will deeply underscore how much elan is needed when you dare to win. The Devils will sit, slack-jawed in amazement, as this motivational speaker’s message resonates in the furthest recesses of their hearts (even though they’re very small and they don’t remember the last time they used them). Then they will leap to their feet in a roaring ovation at the end of the seminar, ready to race into the season full of an insurmountable daring to win. They will be so irrevocably in the thrall of the Dare To Win speaker that they will adopt his style of dress away from the rink — we can’t wait for next season now! Because now that the playoffs are (finally) over, it’s officially the new year. Anything can happen! Even the Devils daring to win! Right? Right? Please tell us we’re right. Yes. We’re right. And that’s why we’re fully confident that Vinny Lecavalier and Jay Bouwmeester are going to look fantastic in their white suits and red vests.
c) The Ookies host a training session on the power of positive thought. As you can see, it’s very well attended. We’re renowned far and wide for our positivity and optimism.
d) Jim Rockford has a huckster motivational-speaker adopted brother??? Who’s running a Ponzi scheme and neck-deep in “Syndicate” problems? Really?
Once again we find ourselves wondering, what’s going on in this picture:
A. At the Devils rookie dinner, Zach (right. Her?) insists that he is not, in fact, a rookie anymore, and consequently shouldn’t be on the hook for the tab. But Travis (left), ever the prankster, is adamant that he has never seen Zach before, thereby proving he’s a rookie. It’s a fight Zach will never win, and once again he finds himself stuck paying for his teammates’ nearly insatiable desire for delicious Medieval Times dinners. (Off screen, under the table, Travis is also installing the latest step in his most recent taffy-in-the-shoes strike. Zach will never know what hit him.)
B. While they refuse to wear visors during play, Jamie Langenbrunner, left, and Mike Mottau, right, insist on wearing sunglasses indoors at all times, no matter how dark the restaurant.
C. Patty Elias, right, is the Devils appointed social secretary for entertaining prospective free agents or trade targets, giving them a glimpse of what life in Newark has to offer. Here, VincentLecavalier, left, finds the Ironbound to be far hipper than he had been led to believe. “In Tampa,” he will later say, “we don’t get served maraschino cherries out of footed silver bowls alongside dinner rolls and goblets of genuine Newark tap water!!”
D. Jim Rockford charms a young woman on the lam in Vegas in the hopes of getting a percentage of the reward for the money she’s absconded with.
Last summer we introduced Project Bicycle Spoke, where we were drawing hockey cards at random out of a box and writing about them. This summer we’re excited to add to our stable of off-season programming “Project Bicycle Screenshot”, a series wherein we will suss out the hockey-related screenshots from our non-hockey TV watching and share them with you. Sadly, we’re losing our touch as hockey bloggers — when confronted with pure hockey-blogging gold, we’re freezing up. So it’s up to you, Gentle Reader, to tell us the true story behind the hockey-themed images we’re bringing to you.
What is really going on in this scene?
A. Paulie Martin (center) is meeting with a sportswear designer (left) and the head of Reebok’s clothing marketing (right) at Reebok’s corporate headquarters. They are in discussions to launch Paulie’s own line of stylish merchandise, Gopher7. The line will offer head-to-toe clothing and style choices for today’s hip hockey fan, all inspired by Paulie’s unparalleled fashion tastes. Here he is modeling the prototypes for Gopher7′s top-of-the-line wig, unique poufy tight-cuffed shirt, and snug, snug pants. Paulie looks concerned that the colors (and medallion) don’t have enough flair. The Reebok executive, however, thinks the line needs more Devils red and black, since nothing sells quite as well as the Devils.
B. Photographs of the GM’s office are rare, but here you can see Lou, left, as he joins Jim Dowd, center, and Sergei Brylin, right, (her?), in a discussion of a possible future return of the dynamic duo. Note the widely-reported lack of personal effects around the office and the dedication shown to cutting costs — the silver cylinder on the desk doubles as a pencil-holder and as a string-can telephone for communicating with the coaching staff on the other side of the office.
C. Pando (left), Travis (center), and Andy Greene (right) get caught by a surveillance camera stealing from the Devils’ office supply cabinet. That’s not going to sit well. If there’s one thing Lou’s protective of, it’s the team’s paper clips.
D. Columbo and Roddy McDowell listen intently as the secretary to the recently-murdered business tycoon explains who packed the deadly exploding cigars in the limo. (Hint — Columbo didn’t do it! And Roddy McDowell did!)