At the end of April, I put out another call looking for new writers for In Lou We Trust to write about the New Jersey Devils. I've opened up the audition to the community at large in order to get some new perspectives and additional voices on the front page with regularity. Since then, I've received eighteen entries that met the submission criteria. Regardless of how they're received, I thank the writers of each and every one of them - you know who you are - for stepping up and submitting an entry. (One more instruction for those who made submissions and received letters, by the way. Please do not comment on your submission or any of the other audition posts. This will help allow others to freely judge the work and show that you can handle online reactions. No drama is the best drama.)
Throughout the this week, I will post each one under an anonymous name so you can discuss and critique the post without regard to who actually wrote it. I can ensure you that I did not change any of the content outside of formatting it in to the SBN platform. To that end, please note that I don't necessarily agree with what the posts actually say. I'm just letting them stand on their own. Please be constructive in any criticism and do offer your thoughts about whether you liked (or disliked) the post in addition to discussing it's content. Don't be mean, but be fair.
Now, I assigned a letter to each writer based on when I received it. However, I decided to mix up the letters in terms of order of posting. So this process continues with the submission of
Writer B Tyler Lund, who writes about former goaltender and long-time mostly-beloved color commentator for the New Jersey Devils: Glenn "Chico" Resch.
My On-again off-again love affair with Chico Resch
"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers" - Blanche DuBois "A Streetcar named Desire", also the Simpsons
It has long been said that you only get one chance to make a first impression. I have been lucky enough in life to have the opportunity to make 3 with New Jersey Devils's announcer Chico Resch. This is the story of how I failed miserably and firmly planted my foot in my mouth with all 3.
Last year I began a job at a new company, one which is based in Newark, and run by a CEO who loves hockey. This love is manifested in 4 VIP seats for every game at the Prudential Center. Due to an imperfect lottery system and some social engineering (read: shameless flirting and bribing of the person who was in charge of distributing tickets), I was able to attend several games in these seats this year. On a terribly unfortunate side-note, she left the company and I now find myself in the position of needing to establish this relationship with a new employee. These seats included VIP parking as well as access to the exclusive "Platinum Lounge" deep in the bowels of the Prudential Center. Needless to say this whole experience completely ruined our normal season ticket seats for us, especially due to the woman behind us yelling "poop-a-chuk" every time my previously favorite player, Kovalchuk touched the puck. I found it to be the kind of taunt, that is simultaneously so ridiculously lame and un-thought-out that it cut deep. It was the kind of taunt one of the fat people stuck in their chairs in Wall-E would have belched out. I deliberately stay away from the terms "coming up with" or "thinking up" as there was clearly no cognitive activity involved.
This however, is not "poop-a-chuk" lady's story, this is the story of why Chico thinks I have the same mental acuity as her.
While shamelessly gorging on the buffet offered to A-list celebs like us in the Platimum Lounge before one game, I noticed a familiar face discussing the finer points of carved meat with the carvery server. Who else would be eating, but the world renowned recreational eater, star of "Chico Eats" himself, Chico.
Side-note: great idea for a new segment on MSG next year: "Chico Yeats". Chico reads early 20th century Irish poetry.
As a fellow fan of food, I decided to approach Chico.
Now it is worth noting that I consider myself to be an excellent stalker and yet an extreme introvert. If it weren't for my wife, I would have been perfectly happy walking past Matthew Perry at game 2 outside the Prudential Center with just the head bob I got back. I expertly charted a collision course that wouldn't seem too stalker-y by joining the carvery line and very closely inspecting the horseradish bowl for a good 2 minutes. Through cautious side glances, I found what I determined to be an optimal time to make eye contact with the great one. I did so, and was rewarded with a half head nod, the ultimate in uncommitted acknowledgement. Result! This was all I needed to get my confidence at an all time high and actually say something. I thought back to the horseradish. Being parts Danish, English, German, Hungarian, and perhaps Ukrainian as well as being married into a Ukrainian family has taught me the finer points of Armoracia rusticana and I felt well prepared to discuss it with a fellow eater of renown. "I much prefer a fine summer red 'radish". "Ah far too much vinegar has hidden this fine mellow root". These are the things I could have said. Instead, "Ugh, so what are you eating today" is what was excreted from my talking hole. I apparently had been star struck by the fame and glamor that is Glenn "Chico" Resch. I am not even sure if he answered, I just hung my head in shame and retreated back to my buffalo wings. Baked of course. Why couldn't I have brought up the wings? For shame. This was meeting one.
Meeting two occurred a few weeks later and was to be no less auspicious.
We were sitting in the Club seats at center ice. Thanks again to my company! We always sit and watch the "Mites on Ice" the little kids playing during intermission which is usually a ton of kids crashing into each other or one who has to be 3 years older than the rest who stick-handles like Patrick Kane coming from the left side. Just ask Peggy from the Discovery commercials. After this, during the Happy Birthday announcements from Travis Zajac (how does he know all of those fans personally?), we always bury ourselves in our phones, trying to catch up on Twitter. during the height of our virtual removal from the meat-space world, I realized someone was standing in front of me and was clearly waiting for me to answer something they said. I looked up and into Chico’s deep dreamy blue eyes. I realized he had said, "I hope you guys are drawing up some game plans for our boys! they need it!" A chance for a new first impression. What were the chances? I realized I needed to make this one count. Something witty, dry, and slightly sarcastic was in order. Just my forte! "Take your time", I thought. "Make this one count". Of course as I thought these things, my mouth opened and I spewed something like "uh huh". I proceeded to stare, mouth agape until he had to kind of back away slowly and run away, panic spreading on his face.
And at last we come to the final but yet most humiliating meeting. This game was in the final stretch of the season, the point when the Devils had really got things together and were doing well. I was really getting into it at that point, and felt I needed some extra-curricular hockey entertainment. So I made my wife watch Mighty Ducks with me. All three of them. Yes even the one that Emelio Estevez said, "nah you know what, thanks guys, but I don’t think this one is for me." I was eating, breathing, and sleeping knuckle pucks. The next day, we went to the game against Anaheim. The team that was created by Disney in some sort of bizarre marketing ploy originally as the Mighty Ducks. Now obviously, they changed ownership and names like back when I was still watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which I admittedly still do, so maybe that wasn’t the best example). However, in my constant struggle for ever increasingly overcomplicated and overthought taunting, I tend to ignore subtle facts like the that. In this vein, I found myself discussing the Mighty Ducks with Chico. It was once again in the Platinum Lounge and once again I was occupied with shoving my face full of chicken wings. Too busy in fact to notice Chico entering and approaching. At one point I must have needed to look up to find some blue cheese or something, because I did see and and realized I needed to impress him this time. And this time I was prepared. I wouldn’t be starstruck and I had prepared for this game my entire life. Let’s just say I’m not Joshua Jackson’s biggest fan because of Dawson’s Creek. My repertoire of Mighty Ducks trivia was the strongest it had ever been. I was ready. Maybe too ready. When Chico came by, I asked him, "Can we get a flying V joke in tonight?" He was not amused. I took this to mean he didn’t get it since my reference was so obviously hilarious he should have been on the ground shaking in fits of hysteria. I said it again, in case he hadn’t understood. Yet another blank stare greeted me. "You know, because they’re the Mighty Ducks" I said. "Oh yeah. But they haven’t been the Mighty Ducks in a while," he replied. "Yeah I know, but still," I bemoaned, mostly to myself. He grabbed a cookie and made off hastily. I took solace in my chicken wings.
Thus concludes the sad tale of my interactions with Chico. Now, as he retires to the big snack bar in the sky, or at least the upper level, I don't know what the future will hold. I hope he continues to chat with fans in the lounges and snack bars. I wish I could say I later redeemed myself and had a normal conversation with him. But it was not to be. This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but with a whimper.
Now that I have relieved the burden on me, it's your turn to let us know your favorite Chico or other star struck interactions with Devils players or personnel. Tell us about that one time you chocked on a shrimp and NJ had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on you? Sound off in the comments below.
Now that you read
Writer B Tyler Lund's post, I want to know what you think about it. What do you think of the subject matter? What did you think about how Writer B Tyler Lund wrote this post? Based on how it was written and what was it about, is this the kind of post you would want to see regularly at In Lou We Trust? Please leave your answers and other comments about this post in the comments. Thanks go to Writer B Tyler Lund for the submission and thank you for reading.