Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Valentine (Of Sorts) For Hockey Widows (Part III)

So, another Valentine's Day has rolled around, and so comes what I guess is now an annual tribute to the hockey widows, widowers and others who claim to suffer the existence of the world's greatest sport.

My wife is no exception.

However, I think it could easily be argued that Mrs. Martini -- and the countless others who no doubt want to strangle us at least one today during hockey season -- have suffered considerably less than we fans have this year.

Case in point: While Mrs. Martini last year suffered through the shortest off-season a year ago thanks to the Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup run... I suffered through the longest off-season 10 years, thanks to Gary Bettman and -- in a cruel twist of fate -- the same guy who screwed her Cleveland Indians out of perhaps their best shot at a title when he forced the cancellation of the World Series (and helped establish and maintain the perverted, corrupt system that is the reason I will never acknowledge baseball as my nation's pastime).

But I digress.

So, while I was at the unveiling logo the All-Star game I was speaking with a Blue Jackets rep who happened to be a fellow Ohio Bobcat alum, and in the process of shooting the breeze, he asked me if I had considered season tickets for this year. I told him that I had a couple voicemails waiting for me from my ticket rep, but had not had a chance to talk to her.

It turned out she was about 100 yards away, and the gentleman make introductions.

Seeing as I had waited for many years for an All Star Game in Columbus, it was a well-established fact that I would probably do just about anything I had to, to get access to All Star Weekend. I was happy to find out that I could get a half-season ticket package and still have the opportunity to buy tickets for both the Skills Competition and the All Star Game, thus preventing the possibility of the Mrs. getting burned out, as she had with previous season-ticket experiences.

Well, then that whole Lockout thing happened.

We managed to fill the time this year. Sure, I poured a lot of time and energy into the job... gotta pay bills. But yeah, we filled the time, catching up with friends and spending time with the dogs. We did the Draft Lottery Party, of course, when she proclaimed the "Fail For Nail!" heard 'round the hockey world, only to find that "Fail" would just be the theme of the evening.

CannonFest was awesome as always.

Tim Thomas went crazy and decided to focus on his family and faith (but more on the fact that he just wanted to mute the criticism for speaking so openly about his politics, rather than apply himself in goal), so she stopped talking about him.

We just kind of retreated back into regular life.

Because I kept paying into my CBJ ticket package and PSL, we got opportunities to see the slew of concerts that were coming to Nationwide... sadly, it seems only country music artists book in large arenas anymore. Once Aerosmith came to town, though, IT WAS ON. And it was a terrific excuse to wear the Aero Force One sweater she bought me on their '04 summer tour (still weird being in a hockey arena with no hockey, though.

Yet even as Mrs. Martini proclaimed her love for a delay of the season, I know in her heart she secretly pined for this season to start.

So, while I guess we're few weeks and season at the longer five… guess what, honey! We get 48 GLORIOUS HOCKEY GAMES FOR US TO ENJOY!!!!!! Isn't that FANTASTIC?!?!?




Guess I'd better clear off the couch...

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