So, there was a game last night. And I went to it, despite the terrible weather. And, well, it ended up with this happening.
Grab a drink and settle in, kids. This is going to be a long story.
Part 1: Travel Sucks
Before I tell you about all the awesome things that happened last night, you have to understand all of the stupid crap I went through beforehand.
I woke up yesterday morning and decided that I really needed to go to the Blackhawks game. I just needed to go, despite the snow that was already falling. So, around 1pm, I left my house and went to the South Shore train station to catch the train to Chicago. I got on the train around 1:50 (it was delayed ten minutes).
The train finally arrived in Chicago around 2:35. Okay, not bad. When I stepped out onto Randolph and Michigan, the snow was a lot worse than I expected, but still not too terrible — or so I thought. After picking up a pass at Walgreens, I got on the bus around 2:50pm to head to Leiram’s place, where I was going to crash for the night.
As I rode on the bus, the storm got exponentially worse. By the time we arrived at Water Tower Place, a CTA official stepped onto the bus to deliver the bad news — Lake Shore Drive was closed to buses (probably to keep them from ending up there overnight like during the Snowpocalypse last year), so we were going to be shunted to the city streets.
A ride that usually takes about 45 minutes in normal traffic took two hours.
I finally arrived at Leiram’s place, ate warmed-up McDonalds food (which tasted amazing, since I hadn’t eaten anything all day), and after figuring out how exactly to tackle the second part of my journey, I suited back up and headed out into the snowstorm.
Part 2: The Awesomeness
The buses were still all sorts of screwed up at that point, so I shuffled to the nearest Red Line station to take the L, where I could transfer over to the Blue Line.
While I was on the Red Line, the Blackhawks pushed the game to 8pm, since the Panthers’ bus didn’t arrive to the UC until 6:45pm.
I then took that train down to the closest Blue Line station from the United Center, the Illinois Medical Center stop. I figured I could walk the three blocks to the UC no problem.
That was a lie.
The three blocks felt like a mile, thanks to having to march through the snow to avoid busting my ass on the sidewalk.
I finally got about a block and a half away from the UC when this really nice car pulls up next to me on the corner. The window rolls down, and there’s a smartly dressed older blonde woman in the passenger seat. “Are you heading to the Blackhawks game?” she asked.
“Yeah.” I nodded.
“And you’re going there by yourself?”
“Um. Y-yeah,” I replied, more confused by the moment.
She then handed me a ticket. “Well, we have an extra ticket, if you’d like to join us.”
I blinked. “Oh, uh… okay!” I nodded and thanked her, waving as they drove away.
After a little while, I took a look at the ticket…
The ticket was for a lower box seat — arguably the best seats in the UC.
“What is my life!?” I screamed as I crossed a parking lot.
I finally made it to the box and met my gracious benefactors — the blonde woman is the wife of Sal Ferrara, the president of Ferrara Pan Candy.
I mean, how else could I react? My head was spinning from what had just happened.
I met a few of the people with the Ferraras, then went to my seat to watch the game.
After a back and forth first period, Jonathan Toews broke open the scoring with about two and a half minutes left with an amazing breakaway battle to the goal following a pretty stretch pass from Patrick Kane. He’s scored four goals in four consecutive games.
Duncan Keith then scored on the power play with 17 seconds left in the period to put the Blackhawks up 2-0.
So, during the first intermission, I sat in the box, ate a lot — and then I met a family friend. “Hi, I’m Grant,” he said as he shook my hand very firmly.
“He scored five goals in one game! Remember that one?” Sal added helpfully.
Oh. OH. “Hi, Mr. Mulvey!”
Grant Mulvey then handed me a beer. It was awesome.
The second period is kind of a blur, really. I know I was yelling at the Blackhawks to get out of their zone, along with cheering on Patrick Kane every time he touched the puck. I just really wanted him to score a goal so the idiots on NBC would lay off of him, already.
And, finally, he did, with a nifty wrist shot that slid passed Jose Theodore to make it 3-0. That’s the way it stayed through the second intermission, when I got to meet another family friend.
Denis Savard is the nicest guy ever. There’s just no other way to say it.
After we were done taking pictures, he said, “Wait a minute,” and pulled out a silver Sharpie.
After that, I was floating and couldn’t really focus on much. Jason Garrison scored on the power play early in the third to make it 3-1, but the Blackhawks held on to win.
And thus ended my awesome night… well, after I rode back to Leiram’s place on the Red Line and passed out on her couch.