firstname.lastname@example.org. Today's post is a recap of a special experience of visiting the Al Shaver Press Box from Tim Karsjens aka Bozak.
No, this isn’t an article about Guillaume. While it was a pleasant surprise to find out that Latendresse was playing for the first time in four months, this article isn’t about him.
This article is about about one of the coolest experiences I’ve had in regards to hockey and it is also saying a big thank you to the Minnesota Wild organization for doing very cool and awesome things like this for their fans. Oh, and it’s also a big thank you to my awesome wife who had the awesome answer.
The Wild organization has introduced in-game contests this season. Most of the time they are subjective, which is fine. For the majority of contests that I’ve seen tweeted, the reward for winning is normally getting to attend Todd Richards post game conference. Since I’ve been probably one of the most vociferous member of the masses calling for his head, I can honestly say that I’ve never been interested in attending his post-game presser.
However, this time around, the reward for the contest was a guided tour of the Al Shaver press row. Both my wife and I got stoked about even that possibility. A tour of the press row? How awesome would that be? The tweeted contest question was;
#mnwild contest time-Must be at game to win! Since prize is tour of press box let's get in the spirit - Write the headline for Gui's return!
My response was admitedly lame. I tweeted back almost immediately; “Latendresse triumphant in his return! Natural hat trick!” Yeah, I admit that it was really lame. I mean, Lats was about half speed and seemed sometimes a bit shy of contact. My wife thought it was really quite lame and I agreed. She took some time to think about it and came up with;
@mnwild Wild Guillaume Returns At Home : Right When Needed #mnwild
It was the winning choice! (Hence, the title of the article.) Sound it out, it rhymes, it’s clever, it won.
In my writing, I tend to use hyperbole and exaggeration in the words I use, mostly due to the creative bend that my brain possesses. This experience is just too awesome to use flowery language to describe it.
The Wild PR team followed my wife on Twitter. She initially didn’t suspect that meant anything, but I figured that she was a “finalist” and they had to send her a DM. That’s how Twitter works, after all. Shortly thereafter, she did indeed receive a DM that she was a “finalist”. They asked for her section, row and seat number and she promptly responded. A young member of the Wild’s PR department then came down to our seats and asked her a few questions. With my ear issue, I had a hard time hearing the conversation, so here is how my wife remembers it. Basically, he came down to make sure that we would be appropriate “tourists”, meaning, not drunk, not with screaming kids or I also suspect that we would have been disqualified if we were wearing Avalanche gear.
He gave us directions and instructions. With a couple of minutes left in the second period, we needed to start making our way to the elevator. As we were on our way, we did miss the Bruno power play goal, but considering that I missed the win against Nashville to take part in the Movember effort, we were okay with that. We waited by the elevators for a couple of minutes and our PR guy (Jason?) popped out of the elevators.
The awesomeness began as soon as we got into the elevators. I remember a lot of details about nearly everything and I’m pretty sure that we rode up the elevator with Carly, the intern. Carly isn’t that popular of a name so I figured it was the Carly that I’ve heard Ryan Stanzel and Mr. Russo talk about.
Jason (I’m going to call him that, I’m horrible with names) introduces us to the Media check in station and explains how the media members check in, get their pertinent information and then stop by the media pack station. The media pack is an absolute wealth of information. Each pack contains more facts and stats than any fan could possibly imagine. All of the quips and bits of information that are revealed during a broadcast are a small scratch on the surface of what is contained in these media packs. At one point, I thought it would be a neat little business idea to collect box scores and generate various reports. Every single report I had outlined multiplied by ten are contained in these media packs. What’s even more impressive? These are produced for every single game, individually.
The first main area is a "home side" for various media types but when we were up there, we spied a very handsome young man (Tyler Cuma) sitting watching the busy-ness around him. My man card is safe, because this young man was dubbed as “gorgeous” and "super hot" by my wife. Tyler Cuma was in the general press area, with his crutches. I nodded at him as we were walking by and I have to say that he looks nothing like the pictures of him which primarily depict him as a somewhat gangly youth. Since I was at the game he was injured, I wanted to go over and wish him my sympathy, but we kept any intrusions away from our tour.
The next “station” we were shown was very amusing to me. A running joke on the Wild Message Boards and HF Boards is about the popcorn running that our healthy scratches do while they sit in the press box. Sure enough, the next room had a popcorn machine. Several people that we recognized were hanging out in that room, including the anthem singer for that night and Tom Reid. There was also a reporter that wasn’t Mr. Russo that I recognized.
Jason showed us the various rooms and studios for television broadcasts, pointing out the Versus crew room (which honestly looked messy and cluttered in comparison to everything else which was mostly pristine).
The next stop… The HITS room.
Which will have to wait until Part 2.