13 January 2010

Wham! Wednesday.

Remember last Wednesday, when we were so distraught over the loss to the Ducks that we created our own fantasy fantasy hockey team and made ourselves feel 0.3% better?

Despite the Wings' road wins in Los Angeles and San Jose, due to the team's performance last night, today feels like a complete clusterfuck. So, true to the promise I sorta made, of making this a recurring feature, I am going to posit another question to you today:

What is your favorite memory of your early days as a Wings' fan?

As a relative newcomer, the first thing that comes to mind is watching the Wings win the 2008 Stanley Cup. The actual Cup celebration--I'd never seen anything like it. I grew up in a football-obsessed household, and for as much hype and commercialization that encompass the Super Bowl experience, there is something much more genuine and special about the way hockey teams celebrate championships. Each player has his own turn skating around the ice with the Cup, displaying it for the fans, and there is always so much camaraderie among the team and their coaches, trainers, and so on. As my hockey obsession progressed, I learned about the traditions rooted in the Stanley Cup presentation and celebration and am still awe-struck by it--no, I didn't actually watch the presentation of the Cup to Sidney Crosby; unfortunately, there isn't enough shielding oneself that one can do to avoid subsequent replays of it on Gary Bettman's Summer-Long Boner: 2009 the NHL Network.

I'm a big fan of traditions. The Stanley Cup tradition is undoubtedly the most kickass in all of sports. One day, I hope to drink out of the Cup while partying with some members of the team. Aim for the stars.

What about you guys?

Also, let's all do ourselves a favor and cheer the fuck up:


  1. I gotta go with Stevie handing the cup to Konstantinov in 98. The Russian Five made me the Wings fan I am today and losing Vladdy in that cup off-season really hurt. It was great to see him smiling and how happy the team was to have won it for him.

  2. 3/26/97......enough said.

  3. Depends how early we're talking. My folks are big time Wings fans, so I spent a lot of time at the Joe as a young'n. Friends of the family had front-row tickets (before anyone gave a damn about the Red Wings), so I saw lots of games in the mid-80s from the glass.

    I've been fortunate to see some amazing games in person - but the highlight of my life (forget hockey, LIFE) was the 2002 Stanley Cup. A friend of the family still had season tickets, in the second row behind the net. Prior to the series, I told my dad that I'd fly home for Game 5 because I was SURE it wasn't going 7. The only way I had a chance to see the Cup was 5.

    Sure enough, I got an envelope from our family friend with two tickets to that game, with a note that says "It would mean more to you to see something like this than I could even dream. Enjoy." To this day, it's one of the kindest things anyone's ever done for me.

    With a minute left in the game, we were directly behind an empty Hurricanes net, and I can't even explain the feeling when I saw the Shanahan clear was on target.

    I sat in that seat, crying like a little girl, for three hours. When I finally looked up, the building was nearly empty.

  4. March 26th, 1997, one of the first games I watched.

  5. Dena and Herm, you must be soulmates of Andy at Fight Night at the Joe. He said he considered putting up McCarty photos on his blog to match the title. Maybe you can convince him?

    J.J. and Michael, both of your examples are amazing stories. It's awesome that the Wings were able to clinch the Cup again in 1998 after the tragedy that immediately happened after the 1997 victory. And Michael, what an awesome turn of events for you. You have the best family and friends ever. Also, I just want to say that without even meeting you, I am going to go ahead and guarantee that you had the most kickass childhood ever, considering you had front-row Wings seats. Wow. Just...wow.

  6. So many, so God damn many.
    Runners up:
    - I would say every game of the short 95 season (except for the finals), because they hooked me.
    - Win against Chicago 5-3 at home April 12th 96. Wild game that I saw live late at night on TV.
    - Stevie giving the cup to Konstantinov
    - Stevie giving the cup to Scotty

    The winner is a tie between:
    - The fight night
    - The 97 cup win. What a game 4!

    Favourite single highlight:
    - DMac's goal in game 4 97. Booyah!

  7. My least favorite moment in hockey made me a Red Wings fan: My beloved North Stars moved to Dallas. Ugh. How could they? Since I had just moved to Michigan, I became a Red Wings fan the day the moving trucks pulled away from the Met Center in Bloomington.

    My best Red Wings memory: The 1997 Cup was great. It was a culmination of a couple of years of effort. The 2002 Cup run is my second favorite. Stevie Y basically picked up the team on his one good leg and carried them to the finals.

  8. Of course, who can forget Fight Night. But my personal favorite is the 7-0 victory against the Aves in 2002. We were in the car on the way to Meijer when we heard that they were up 4-0. We ran to the electronics section and convinced one of the employees to turn on the game. By the third period, there were probably 20 people standing with us, cheering on the Aves. When they pulled Roy the whole electronics department exploded. It was true fandom and Red Wing brilliance, both at their finest.

  9. I'm about to date myself, but the moment that really hooked me on the Red Wings was the 1987 Stanley Cup Playoffs first round matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks. I was 13 when I flipped on one of the playoff games, and got hooked. I still remember Shawn Burr scoring in OT and the ensuing celebration, and the feeling from that moment was amazing--up until that point hockey wasn't given much of a thought in my household. It all changed after that day--younger brother and sister got hooked shortly after, and the rest is history. I've seen the Red Wings provide so many top moments since then I could probably write a book, but that OT victory back in 1987 was where I got hooked.

  10. two moments jump out for me:

    1. Yzerman's goal against St Louis in the playoffs; beating Jon Casey top shelf to win in OT.

    2. Yzerman playing in the playoffs on ONE LEG. Wings fans remember this; but its never ever mentioned anywhere else. How gutty was he in those playoffs?

  11. Brian. I considered mentioning both. Both were totally awesome:
    1. And I love that he took the puck from Gretzky to do it.
    2. That is one of the many reasons he is my favourite player ever. Even more favourite than Dmac and Z