Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.
After the NHL strike season of 2004-2005, the Phoenix Coyotes offered discounts on all of their season ticket packages, to lure fans back to the game for the upcoming campaign. I discovered that some of these packages were quite affordable for a fan on my meager income, so I made the call and picked up a deal for the only seat in the very top row of Section 204, in the upper bowl of Glendale Arena. It was the first time I’d ever had season tickets to any sport, and it was quite a blast going to every Coyotes home game on the schedule and truly being involved with a team for an entire year.
One of the perks of owning season tickets was being invited to ‘season ticket holder only’ events, and one of them involved meeting the Hanson Brothers—the three bespectacled goons from the hockey movie Slap Shot—at a sports bar and grill called McDuffy’s, that was located literally right next door to my apartment complex in Peoria, Arizona. On the night of the event, I made the short walk to the restaurant, headed up to the second floor, and stood in a short line of hockey fans to get a cool team-issued photo signed by all three players: David Hanson, Steve Carlson, and Jeff Carlson.
What made the event so enjoyable was that these guys, now thirty years older than when they appeared in the movie, were not only friendly and talkative to every person they signed for, but also at times would lapse into character, which is what they did with me when I jokingly asked if the trio would also be taking my order for dinner that night. Suddenly the three broke into an angry mock tirade directed solely at me, telling me in PG fashion what I could do with my request and if I’d like to settle this matter right then and there. It was quite funny, and made for a great memory.
The next night I went to the Sharks-Coyotes game at Glendale Arena, and the Hansons were there as well, once again signing autographs and goofing around with the fans. I considered having them sign my Coyotes media guide, which I took to every game, and wondered if they might remember me from the night before, but the line to see them was much longer than it had been at McDuffy’s. So I skipped that opportunity and went to my seat instead, where I saw Phoenix lose a close one to San Jose by a 3-2 count, their fourth loss in a row.
Sadly, McDuffy’s closed for good several years ago, and I haven’t been to a Coyotes game since 2012 (when a second hockey strike in under ten years helped me to lose interest in the sport), but the three autographs given to me by the most feared men on Federal League ice will always hold a revered spot inside the CM vault.a