Bro Jackson hockey writer and Chicago resident Pete Fitzsimmons promised a Game 7 Diary in which he would be either drunk with elation or drunk with rage. After the Blackhawks’ thrilling 2-1 OT win over Detroit, it’s a lot of elation.
10:30 p.m. Tuesday – After watching Jonathan Quick steal the series away from Joe Pavelski’s stick, I was ready for Game 7 at the United Center. But I’ve never been to a Game 7. Always wondered what it would be like. I’ve got an awful cold/flu coming on. Ugh, summer flu is the worst. I’ll push through though. I will have a few drinks, too, regardless of the repercussions. Also, the Kings win puts me in the black for this round. Titties!
Missed: $150 on the Senators at +240 to win $360
Hit: $155 on the Kings at -155 to win $100 (255)
$150 on the Bruins at -125 to win $ 120 (270)
Juries out: $45 on the Blackhawks at -300 to win $15 (60)
So I’m at +25 on the round awaiting the outcome on Wednesday.
Jesus Christ, I could be in the black for the post-season if things go well for me tomorrow. Mark it down, $1,000 in action, and a +7 to show for it. There’s obviously more efficient ways to make seven bucks. Probably not more exciting, though.
9:30 a.m. Wednesday – My God, last night was like Lieutenant Dan’s night on that shrimping boat that almost went under.
Holy shit is this cold the real deal. It won’t slow me down tonight, though. Mind over matter. I’ll polish a few beverages as well. You watch.
Listening to the morning drive radio stations, all anyone can talk about is the fact that the Rolling Stones played the United Center last night and the ice is going to be bad. We can put men on the moon, theoretically. We can split fucking atoms. There has got to be a way that a
billion million dollar industry can figure out how to freeze less then an inch of ice consistently.
12:00 noon – Oh boy, lunch provided by the owners at work today. This could be trouble. Italian beef, Italian sausage, ravioli, pasta salad, salad, cupcakes, cookies, sandwiches, chicken, and ribs. My god, the new girl who ordered all this has to be in trouble. My office has 18 people in it. There is enough to feed 100. I feel like this will be the end of sponsored lunches for awhile. My favorite part was that the only soft drink procured were eight, two liters of Barq’s root beer. I load up on the sausage, ravioli, and sandwiches. Need to carbo load because feed a cold, right?
1 p.m. – Wrong. I feel awful.
3 p.m. – Just watching the clock now, this is like Christmas for adults. I thought nothing would surpass my fantasy baseball draft that I’ve been a part of for 15 years, but this is better. And totally out of my hands.
4 p.m. – Grab some cookies and leave work.
6:15 p.m. – Leave for game
6:20 p.m. – Arrive in parking lot (I live very close to the United Center)[ref]Ed. Note: Seriously, I know where Pete lives. This is American decadence at its very worst.[/ref]
6:30 p.m. -6:50 p.m. – Drinking Miller Lites in the parking lot. It might be the best weather I’ve ever experienced. 80 degrees and windy. Savor this moment, Pete. In a few minutes it’s going to be nothing but Bud Light and anxiety.
6:55 p.m. – No security line. Either they are all at the Obama $10,000 a plate dinner or everyone got here early. Either way it’s a good sign. I hate lines.
7:00 p.m. – Budweiser. Fuck it.I’mma spoil myself tonight. My main man Marcell says, “Don’t worry, I’ll see you here Saturday night.” I like his attitude.Treat Yo Self.
7:05 p.m. – Loudest anthem I’ve seen since the Stanley Cup in 2010. The crowd is fired up.
7:07 p.m. – The Detroit fans that got kicked out of their seats next to us brought beers back to the people that they wronged. Everyone is in a good mood until the game is played.
7:10 p.m. – Puck drops and the “Detroit sucks” chant starts.
7:25 p.m. – This is the worst. The Blackhawks technically look better than the Wings, but the score is deadlocked. It reminds me of the closeout game last year with the Phoenix Coyotes. The Hawks dominated that game and lost 4-0. Fucking Mike Smith.
7:30 p.m. – Ugh. Bad Duncan Keith penalty, no need for it. I’m not against penalties, but ones committed when there is no need bother me. Fucking Andrew Shaw. He’s the king of the dumb penalty. Chicago fans love him. I can’t stand him. Q loves him though, or he must, because the guy is always in there. I guess he did score twice in Game 5. I hate for unknown reasons. I’m beginning to ramble. I’ll go get a beer. Only bad can happen on the penalty kill.
7:35 p.m. – Get back to my seat. I’ve been told Corey Crawford made a few incredible saves. So far both goalies look good. I trust Jimmy Howard more than I trust our guy. Hate to say it, but it’s true.
7:50 p.m. – I realize I’m no longer looking at my phone to write down the times. If they are off, bear with me. They’ll be chronological so, just relax. Period one ends. 0-0. I feel good. Maybe it’s the alcohol or the cold finally subsiding. But then I look up at the scoreboard and I don’t feel well at all anymore. My boys looked good, but they didn’t crack the scoreboard. This might be one of those bad-bounce games.
8:00 p.m. – I expected more scalped tickets. You can always tell someone who got scalped tickets. Either a Wings fan or an old man with a really young escort-looking friend. There aren’t many here tonight. I looked on StubHub and the tickets weren’t going for astronomical prices. Not that I’d ever sell, but, you know. I guess because in the grand scheme of things it is only a conference semi game. Still, this feels bigger. I buy two beers during intermission and am really cruising along here. I’m going to be inebriated.
8:23 p.m. – I have to use the bathroom. I decide to go during the game. I know I’m a bad fan, but I hate lines, plus I’m not going to miss anything.
8:25 p.m. – OK I hear “Chelsea Dagger” from the bathroom. Fuck. The Hawks must have scored and I missed it. What an idiot. You wait your whole life to see a Game 7 and miss the (possibly) only goal. I’ve pissed 25,000 times in my life. I chose that over minor discomfort and seeing history. I need my head examined. 1-0 Hawks.
8:35 p.m. – Stupid Shaw penalty (of course). BTW, shout out to the club level. This is living. Beers being brought to your seat is the greatest invention on the planet. All they need now is an in-seat loo. I can’t get over my piss misfire (pissfire?). Why on earth did I think it was a good idea? I’ve failed. Epically.
8:50 p.m. – Second period in the books. My bet on the over (5) isn’t going to come in. I know it. Both goalies look locked in. My only fear is that Crawford will let a goal in and get rattled. Side note: I will be sleeping on the couch tonight. I snore like a steamship when I have too many.
9:00 p.m. – I remember that I brought a camera to take candids and important Ansel Adams-type shit, but the truth is, unless you get a hard-on for the ice girls, there really hasn’t been anything special about this game thus far. I took an unfortunate photo of my attempt at a playoff beard. I look like a middle schooler that hasn’t been told that he needs to start shaving yet. Oh and also? It’s grayer then I ever imagined.
9:15 p.m. – Brent Seabrook looked like he had that shit blocked, but typical Seabrook: He didn’t. Seabs looks terrible this year. I keep hearing that he looks better now that he’s back with Keith, but who wouldn’t? The guy should be able to run his own pair. I think he’s got the worst plus/minus on the team. At least it wasn’t a cheapy. Crawford doesn’t seem to get rattled by legit goals. The cheap ones turn into runs. 1–1.
9:40 p.m. – Goooooooooooooooooooooal! Hot damn. Hjalmarsson. Dammit, if that guy doesn’t show up in big spots. The roof is about to blow off this place. The ever classy Chicago crowd has tossed aside the usual celebration to chant “Detroit sucks.” Two minutes away from . . .
9:41 p.m. – Wait, what? No goal? YOU HAVE TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME. For a scuffle at the bench? Fifty feet behind the play? This is one of those moments I do wish my phone was a little smarter, but my dad is on it. His old fingers can’t pull up the replay fast enough though.
9:42 p.m. – ARE YOU KIDDING ME MORE? Why the hell was Brandon Saad called for anything there? Aren’t you supposed to delay the penalty until after the play is over? The Hawks are fucked. Teams don’t come back from this.
9:43 p.m. – The officiating has been pretty dodgy in this series. The bullshit slashing penalty on Michael Frolik (I’ll take it though), the two disallowed goals now. My god. This is a tragedy. Going to hockey games is the only time I spend out of the house not running errands and going to work.[ref]Ed. Note: Pete has a three-year-old and a newborn.[/ref] Jeebus, please don’t take me time away. I blame the officials for ruining my social life.
9:50 p.m. – The refs better get a police escort out of this place if the Wings win. The stadium is buzzing with the news that the penalty was awful, and everyone is looking at it on their phones. I can’t get over it. Best thing about the club level is they sell beer until one hour after the game. No cutoff. Basically they’re saying, “We’re worried about most of you driving drunk out there. First and third decks we have our eyes on you . . . but second deck you’re cool.”
10:10 p.m. – Sudden-death overtime to see who advances between the Blackhawks and the Wings. Nothing will ever rival this. Not even my kids being born. This is going to be the longest period of my life up till this point.
10:11 p.m. – I’ve been informed that men do not have periods.
10:25 p.m. – Seabrook! You’re still terrible, but for this brief fleeting moment in time, I will forget how bad you’ve played. Runner up in the awful-but-redeemed category: Dave Bolland destroyed a Red Wing to make it all happen. Goalie Howard is consoling the defenseman, doesn’t that normally happen the other way around? Bring on the Kings! I’m up SEVEN DOLLARS on the year! 2–1 Hawks win.
11:00 p.m. – Stop at a bar on the way home to spend my $7 on a few pints.
11:20 p.m. – Text from my better half to come home. My night out is complete with that reprimand.
11:30 p.m. – Pull out a blanket and fall asleep on the couch. Drunk and sick, but a Western Conference finalist nonetheless. This is what winners do.
My wagers for the next round will be 250 (+130) to win 325 on the Kings and 250 on the Bruins (+150) to win 375. Trust me. I’ve made over $6 in the last four weeks. I’m printing it, bitches.