Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The view from my playoff rally seat

So me and a few friends arrive around 5:30 for the fan celebration, about two hours before the real event starts. My roommate calls me to tell me to meet him at the white inflatable player, which I spot all the way across the crowd (first circle above). We proceed to cross (see me in the green shirt in the second circle), but a bit further we realize there is an impassable aisle and also, thanks to further crowding there is no going back. So we stick pretty much by that sign indicated by the arrow.

Nearby, local TV personality Bill MacDonald keeps taunting us fans with his elevated, spacious TV platform and his inflatable cup. But soon enough, in comes the real hardware, flown in by helicopter and trotted down the aisle. As they gathered up front (yes, ducks in a row), I thought that this ceremony was turning out to be awfully wedding-like.

Another surprise visit from the Governator, who you can see shaking hands with the players (Corey Perry is contemplating whether he should take a dive). Rather than listen to Arnold's "Hasta la vista baby / I'll be back" speech, the blueliners decide to listen to Scott Niedermayer's killer Kindergarten Cop routine instead: "It's naht a too-mah."

When Burke gets up to speak, the crowd goes crazy, chanting "Re-sign Jiggy!" for a near-minute. Note how Arnold is curious to see how the crafty GM will handle this touchy political situation. Finally Burke cuts through it all with a snide, "We'd like to thank Giguere's family for coming out and supporting him tonight," and continues with the usual "thank the best fans ever" speech.

"I will Terminate you all!"

The show concludes with more passing of the cup player-to-player. After the crowd challenges Teemu Selanne with chants of "One more year!", he instead offers only a Matrix-style look at his cup-carrying brilliance. And I had to include a photo of Sammy Pahlsson lifting the cup, despite the blur.

All in all, a pretty fun experience, and a really good showing by the city of Anaheim. Other than the opening act (shall we say "persistently awful"?), a fairly well-executed event.


Moné Peterson said...

Persistently Awful, yes, that would be a good name for them. Happy to see the Anaheim faithful boo their asses off the stage.

The 2003 celebration also featured an awful band. What's up with that?

Sherry said...

Was there only one band that played? Because if there was, I believe it was Pennywise.

And dang, you are tall. Not to mention the green shirt, you're just asking to be noticed!

Much better picture taking this time at least ;P

Grace said...

Gack! Nieder looks 40 years younger without the playoff beard. I'll miss the "tenured comparative literature professor" look.

Thanks for posting the photos! My "fan celebration" over here in Boston consisted of a random stranger giving me a high-5 after spotting me in my Pahlsson t-shirt. I was too shocked to speak--just dumbly put up my hand and mumbled something like, "Huh? Oh, yeah!"

Moné Peterson said...

"Was there only one band that played? Because if there was, I believe it was Pennywise."

No, Pennywise played later. This band was called The Blasters, who used to be a good group back when guitarist Dave Alvin was with them. But Sleek is right, they sucked out loud yesterday.

Grace said...

By the way, can I make an offseason request? More Garage Wall photos! I stumbled on your older posts and had to pop K'sDS into the DVD player to satisfy my sudden, inexplicable Studio Ghibli craving.

zot said...


Look, it's a real-life Duck Vader! :D

alejandro said...

Sleek, was good to be with you at the rally, man, it's easy to spot you in the crowd wearing that shirt.

Here's the pictures I took. Link to flickr set

Finny said...

how is it you didn't tell me that you were there?!?! (obviously, so was I).

Earl Sleek said...

finny, I know you were there, you're still on my Tivo. :)

What time did you get there for those spots?

Anyway, that place was super crowded. I got separated from my brother and roommate and despite some lackluster attempts, we couldn't reach each other anyway. We had pretty much got to a spot that was inaccessible.

Any way, a fun time for sure.

Matt Gunn said...

Arnold? That is excellent.

Not quite the usual grand parade we're used to seeing, but looks like a decent time either way.

Hell, I'd be happy with a televised "thank you" speech from Steve Tambellini, if it meant the Canucks had just won the Cup.