As for me, I'm going to have to resort to bullet points. First, some of the amazing highlights:
- One of the coolest games I've ever been at. Seriously. Even though it was more or less a beat-down against a team with little to no hope of making the playoffs, and as far as importance is concerned, it can't hold a candle to Western Conference or Stanley Cup Finals games, - this game was amazing. Purely and simply, it was made so because of the mass of people of which I was a part. Everyone was a rabid fan. Everyone got the strange inside references to Larry Aurie and obscure Babcock quotes. Everyone was ballistic from the beginning to the end of the game, regardless the score.
- Singing Happy Birthday to Super Jimmah - awesome. Doing it three times - wicked awesome.
- Mingling has never been so easy. I'm not much of a mingler, myself. Turns out, I lack much of the tact and social prowess to interact effectively with strangers. Who knew? Apparently, "sup, fuckers?" doesn't usually work as an icebreaker. Well... not at H2H. The entire process was pretty interesting, especially pre-nametag. Conversations would start with "Hey, I'm so-and-so" and would eventually turn to, "so, what's your Wings name." Immediately, you felt like you knew the person for an eternity and the conversation possibilities were blown wide the hell open.
- All the badass people I got to meet and put faces with names. I'd attempt to list them all here, but there was cold Molson on the tap, so I'm pretty damn sure that there's little chance I'd cover everyone. To everyone I had the pleasure of interacting with - a hearty stick tap to you. It was quite the pleasure.
- I won a signed jersey! I'm pretty sure that's all that karma built up from everything I touched turning to hell in Vegas. Definitely a nice touch.
- That I couldn't spend more time with the professional badasses in attendance. I wasn't able to get into the D until Friday afternoon, just before the Hockeytown Cafe pre-game. Then, I had to take off right after the game. From the other recaps, it seems that I missed some outstanding partying. Never again.
- That I didn't get to meet absolutely everyone. Hell, Herm was busy enough throughout the whole time I was there, I didn't get to exchange much more than a pat on the back and a passing "good to have you here, Herm."
- That I didn't convert a thousand dollars into singles, stand on a table in the middle of Hockeytown Cafe, and make it rain for the Children. Ok, maybe that was a good thing. Probably hard to justify that as an education related expense.
Not. Too. Shabby.
Oh. One last thing. A core group of superhumans came together to truly make this happen. And for that... I think they deserve a nice refreshing swim.
Serven, Ellen, Jen, Hollis, Patrella (shirtuzzi and all), and of course, Herm - Enjoy the Swim in the Above Ground Pool of Glory. You've earned it.