What a weekend. As we all return to reality, and the relative break that work will be, it's time to reflect on what can only be described as three days of awesome. Friday was legitimately one of the best days of my life - I had an unbelievable time meeting everyone, doing a little partying, and welcoming a friend from South America to the States. I am truly honored and grateful to have had a role in making this come together, and it's something everyone should be proud of. We raised over $5,300 for Children's Hospital, and that's above and beyond what was raised to get Herm to Hockeytown. So we're looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of $7,500. I've said it before, but the generosity of Red Wings fans shouldn't surprise anyone anymore, but that's a huge number. Your pledges accounted for about a third of that grand total -- and that's nothing to sneeze at.
Rob and I felt a little strange not having anything up on TPL for a few days, and here's hoping you'll forgive us. It's been a wild 72 hours, but we should have you back to your regularly scheduled jailsexing shortly.
The sincerest of thank you's to everyone who had a hand in making H2H happen, but particularly Jennifer Macrostie, Mike Serven, Chris Hollis, Ellen Manuszak, and Bill Houlihan - the Chief architect that couldn't be with us, but was there in spirit. That's a cabal I'm humbled to be a part of.
Herm, it takes serious cojones (sorry, I don't know the Portuguese word for "balls") to do what you've done - between meeting hundreds of strangers and having a camera in you face for two days.
To the Detroit Red Wings - particularly Ryan Michaels and Nicole Yelland. These two people are perfect, shining examples of why the Red Wings are the best organization in all of professional sports. The lengths to which both went to make this dream come true is inspiring and everyone needs to know how much they've done for us. Some of the photos and stories that follow will help paint that picture.
If you're looking for photos, videos, and recaps, check out these links. If you've got photos you'd like to share, or a post I may have missed, send me an e-mail and I'll rectify that situation pronto.
:: Herm2Hockeytown Official Site - for all your H2H needs.
:: Fox Sports Detroit - Trev takes on Herm.
:: Fox 2 - feel free to mute my interview.
:: WXYZ - with jumbotron footage.
:: Herm in the locker room with Darren Helm.
:: The Detroit Red Wings Twitvid.
:: Detroit News - photo gallery. Check out photos 10-16.
:: Hollis' interview on XM Radio.
:: Kris' mom's photo gallery. These are awesome photos.
:: Part I of Herm's recap at Red Wings Brasil.
:: Caue's post at Red Wings Brasil.
:: J.J.'s must read for some perspective.
:: Paul Kukla's Post at NHL.com.
:: Abel to Yzerman
:: A Nueie Perspective photos
:: Babcock's Death Stare
:: Big Red Machine
:: Jennemy's Flickr Stream
:: Etched in Cold (and Part II)
:: Motown Wings
:: On the Wings
:: Red, White, Black and Blue
:: Sara's LiveJournal recap
Snipe Snipe Dangle Dangle
:: The Triple Deke - who totally pre-stole my timeline idea.
:: Winging it in Motown
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW AND SEE
If you weren't there, hopefully this will give you a tiny glimpse into the extravaganza. If you were there, hopefully it'll help piece together what may otherwise be a total fog of beer, accents, and the occasional hockey game.
The flight that Ellen and I were on landed in Detroit at 2:41 on Thursday. That's basically the last time I realized what time it was. We went from baggage claim to Joe Louis, where I found Herm and Orst a few minutes later. It was in the mid-40's, but our favorite Brazilian was freezing his ass off, so we headed on inside.
Fittingly, longtime-blogger-turned-Red-Wings-staffer Christy Hammond got the tour kicked off right, telling Herm he's going to meet grinder/deity Darren Helm after the Wild game.
A few seconds later, Nicole presented Herm with a Hockeytown: No Limits sign, graced with the signature of the entire club.
In the visiting locker room, the organizers and Herm are interviewed by Red Wings TV - who, unwisely, turned the microphone over to Christopher J. Hollis. I look positively thrilled to be there. Or maybe it's just that I'm so impressed with his perfectly sculpted facial hair.
Later that evening, everyone would meet at one of Hollis' old stomping grounds, The Old Shillelagh. I arrived at about 8:30. By 8:32, I was being accosted. It was excellent to put some more names to faces, and the ladies were nice enough to pose for an H2H Gone Wild-esque photo. Pictured left to right are Sara, Jenn, Greta, Jen Macrostie (I promise she's there), Jennemy, Ellen, TPL Mom, and Adrienne:
We called it a night around 1am, which would be -- by far -- the earliest night of the weekend, but Friday was a big day and we all needed our beauty sleep. We were greeted at Hockeytown Cafe with this marquee:
Shortly thereafter, Fox 2 made the mistake of interviewing me - it took all my might to keep myself from screaming "FUCKYEAH JAILSEXED WOO!" into the camera, but I think I was kept in line by the fact that Ronnie Dahl is no less than 7 and a half feet tall.
Just after the doors opened and the crowd flooded in, there was TPL reunion and all was right with the world. It had been almost two years since I'd seen Disch, and there was much huggage. Rob's brother Johnny, who I have now adopted as my own, was also in attendance (oh, there's pictures, I promise). I think it's fair to say that Johnny is our biggest fan and I would like to say that the feeling is mutual. Sorry Natalie, I have dibs on the entire Discher family - that's just how it's going to be.
Before he could put his coat down, Rob was snatched up by Nicole from the Red Wings.
Rob and I presented Natalie and Brian with a signed copy of the She-Tuzzi.
Herm was becoming a natural in front of the cameras, as Fox Sports caught up with him at Hockeytown Cafe.
Baroque and Jen writing out the giant check.
Chris Hollis reaches into the tub of tickety goodness to reveal some gameday prize winners. For the record, the prizes listed on H2H's website were drawn late last night and Ellen is getting in touch with the winners and posting a blog about it shortly.
The moment you've all been waiting for: The Shirtuzzi.
As demanded by Disch, a shot of whiskey for my mother.
The voices behind The Obstructed View. I'd say we all have a face for radio, but that's clearly not the case at all -- look at these beautiful/handsome folks. Pictured, left to right are Kyle, Hollis, Kris, Casey, yours truly, Disch, Ellen, Tyler, and Jessie.
We arrived at the Joe, and there was much rejoicing (particularly by that lady none of us recognize behind us...). Herm was already getting set up in the penalty box to watch warmups.
It's a bit fuzzy, like Malik's chin, but the photo below is our beat writer in residence George Malik atop the Zamboni during the first intermission. He's waving a Bill Houlihan face-on-a-stick, which will be available at Meijer and Belle Tire outlets within the hour.
During the intermission, and until the first commercial break in the second period, Herm was wedged between Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond (funny, they don't let Murph that close), and he was actually in the booth with a headset to call the first two Wings goals. Eat it, Doc Emrick! Around the same time, tinfoil hats courtesy of Lola were being passed through the sections.
I dare you to come up with a better "It's a Power Play" celebration than flashing a tat.
Arguably the best photo taken at the game came from Miss Red Wing. Check out her twitpic to see Johnny snapping a photo of our row sometime during the second period. Right around the same time, Herm was being interviewed by Wings TV and broadcast to 19,000 new friends.
After the game, we totally accepted a ride from a stranger - but he seemed friendly enough. While waiting for the shuttle back to the Cafe, some other bar's bus rolled up and said we could all fit. It was a tight squeeze, but Billy Mays jokes and lost cell phone stories more than made up for it. We took up residence at our new hangout, The Town Pump right around the corner from Hockeytown Cafe. It was here that the legend of Mike Serven: Ladies Man was born. Pictured with him are Baroque, Lola (she's back there), JJ's sister Anne (who is totally awesome, by the way), and Kris.
There was "dancing." Make sure to check out Tyler's creepy demon eyes on the background.
It was discovered that the reason for the Wings offensive onslaught was, in fact, Dena's Swedish underpants.
Saturday was mostly wasted, as nearly everyone was comatose until the late afternoon, but some of us worked up the energy to go to Cheli's/Hockeytown Cafe/Town Pump to watch the Wings 1-0 shootout victory over the Predators. Pictured (poorly - my bad) are Kris (poking in the corner), Sara, Nurse Nitz, Brian, and Natalie.
I am, in fact, real. As is Sara.
The fucking-hipster-DJ-that-Natalie-hopes-dies-of-herpes did his best to drawn out our laughs. To make matters worse, he didn't pump the Megamix or Walk the Dinosaur. I have absolutely no idea why Serven and I were talking about Wakl the Dinosaur, but I assure you we were. Putting a cap on a perfectly awesome weekend, it came on the radio as I drove back home. I shit you not. Fate intervened upon H2H this weekend.
After watching the shootout, Kris and I formed, under the watchful eye of Sara and Nitz, the Coalition for Making EAVESED Happen. Look out for the new vocabutastic word in the near future.
H2H2 is going to have its hands full matching this level of awesome, but I don't doubt it happens. We've all made friends for life -- not just internet friends, the real kid -- and I'm looking forward to doing this again. To those of you that couldn't make it, know that you were with us and absolutely a part of the fun, thanks to Twitter and whatnot. We'll see you all next year.