Here are some of the things heard on the road this past week as spoken by coaches, team officials, broadcasters, and traveling companions during some of the down times between games.
"Call hotel management- there is a wookie in the hot tub."
Brandon Walker of the Nashville Predators upon seeing Preds video coach Robert Bouchard in the hotel hot tub in Phoenix.
"Arizona is my favorite city."
Preds video coach Robert Bouchard, commenting on how much he liked Phoenix.
"I think I have a wine concussion."
One of my fellow travelers at lunch after a hard night during a discussion of player concussions.
"Tony Rangers? Who is that?"
Preds color man Terry Crisp, reading about a player trade that indicated a player was traded To: NY Rangers.
"You're the bomb."
A comment made to our middle Eastern cab driver in L.A. after doing some good driving around town. Political correctness was not a strong suit here.
A great story told while sitting around the campfire (okay, it was a fire pit on the balcony of the bar of the Omni Hotel in L.A.) one night. The story is that at a NY Rangers game, John Condon, the PA announcer asked the crowd to stand for the national anthem as Patty LuPone, star of the Broadway play Evita, was going to sing the anthem. A drunk and rowdy crew in the upper bowl shouted in unison that Ms. LuPone uh, well, um, performed a particular sexual act. This reverberated throughout the arena in the still before the performance. Condon, never missing a beat, came back on the PA system and said, "Nevertheless, Ms. LuPone will sing the national anthem." Listen to future broadcasts to see if at least once during the game, a "nevertheless" reference is thrown in.
"You just got to have a little faith"
Spoken to Preds coach Robert Bouchard as he was waiting for service at the hotel bar as the cute young blond bartender walked up. Her name happened to be Faith. Awkward, to say the least.
"Is that a flying taco?"
Spoken upon seeing a Taco Bell balloon flying around Jobing.com arena during the first intermission. I think it was actually a chalupa.
Being with the players, coaches, team officials, and broadcasters for a week on the road provided an opportunity to interact that was priceless and showed a very human side of these folks. We should be proud of the way they represent Nashville and the quality of these individuals.
Obviously, this was not everything heard on the road, but it is a sample of some of the banter and conversations that occur. The impression that I took away is that this is a group of people that care for each other and play and work hard for each other.