Diary Of A Fantasy Player: Sunday & Monday

by minter •  Feb 22, 2016  •  0 comments

Gameday.After a fairly sedate Saturday, I got a decent night's sleep and woke up around 9am Sunday. The realization set in almost immediately - I was going to hit the ice and play a hockey game with real NHL players in just a few hours. Now, I've been performing in front of crowds for quite a while: Nearly 18 years at ComedySportz, a few years at GOUGE wrestling, NC State Hockey, and the Canes PA gig this year. Plus all of the public speaking stuff I did in school. I'm generally pretty even-keel before an event. But Sunday morning, I could barely eat any of the pancake breakfast that my wife fixed. At the point where she exclaimed "Would you stop pacing around the house?!?!", I realized that it was time to pack my bag and head out.Arriving at PNC Arena, I got the treat of parking in the player's lot behind the security gate. That made for a shorter trip with the bag and stick into the arena, then a right-hand turn down the hall into the Hurricanes locker room. As Doug Warf had tweeted out earlier in the day, my locker stall was ready and waiting. - Serious businessTurns out my spot was the third down as you walk in the door. Goalie Wendy Thomas was in the first stall (the other #42 on Team White), and I was sandwiched between Nic Wallin and Bret Hedican.Yup. Just got real.

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Diary of a Fantasy Player: Friday & Saturday

by minter •  Feb 15, 2016  •  0 comments

I took the day off work on Friday.That's kind of a big deal - I'm an employee of a small startup hustling to get some product out, so this was actually the first day off I'd taken since I joined the company in October. But with a full day of events planned, I was going to get my money's worth. With my hockey gear packed the night before, I set out around 9am for the PNC Arena.We were able to park in the North lot, right outside the security gate, making for a fairly quick trip with the gear bag into the side room at ice level that was functioning as a temporary locker room. Stash the gear, sign the waivers, and look around for any familiar faces. I didn't recognize too many, this being my first fantasy game in a room with quite a few veterans. I did recognize Jeff Wing, assistant coach for the NC State hockey team, and Paul Lawson, all the way in from Scotland.I ended up sitting next to Wendy Thomas, the only woman to play in the game, during the Hurricanes' morning skate. Apparently her husband and I were at Red Hat at the same time. That bit of nerdy trivia would come into play later.For the morning skate, Justin Faulk came out and skated on his own for a bit. He was moving pretty slowly, unfortunately, which didn't give me a great feeling about his availability for the night's game. He left the ice before practice really got started. Coach Peters worked the guys for about a half-hour or so through a nicely-paced workout, then left the healthy scratches to get a little bit of extra work in.

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Diary of a Fantasy Player: Pregame

by minter •  Feb 10, 2016  •  7 comments

"Hey, Chris, uh, do you need me to announce the alumni fantasy game?""Nope, we're covered. You can take that game off."With that, the wheels started turning.Let me back up a bit, by way of introduction. I'm Wade. Some folks may know me (or my voice) as the surprise selection for the new public address announcer at PNC Arena (I was as surprised as anyone). My day job is as a technology executive/programmer/sysadmin for a local internet startup. But what's relevant to this article is that I'm a Hurricanes fan. I started following hockey while in college at William & Mary, where my friends were almost universally both from Northern Virginia and Capitals fans. But I moved to Raleigh in February of 1999, just before the Canes left Greensboro for their new home.  After attending the first game at the then-ESA, I fell in love with the sport and the team. I've been a regular in Section 328 for quite a while.Hipster Cred - I haz it.I also picked up playing adult hockey about a decade or so ago. As I tend to physically match most of the stereotypes of computer nerds, I'm not the most athletic guy in the world. My last foray into any sort of competitive sport was a season of Babe Ruth baseball when I was 16. My career ended with one hit, one run scored, and I missed the only game our team won that year. Yeah. And growing up in the middle of nowhere in Southside Virginia, the only place you'd see a hockey jersey was when the one new kid who had lived in the city wanted to show off by wearing one. Hockey was that thing you might pass briefly by on ESPN, watch five minutes, get confused, and move on. But after seeing the Canes storm the crease like bumblebees for a few years, I got the itch. Even my wife (who grew up in the same town, and joined me in Raleigh saying "Hockey is stupid, why would I want to go to a hockey game?") was hooked after seeing about three games in person.

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So Enigmatic!

by minter •  Apr 18, 2013  •  0 comments

Let's be blunt, the last third of this season has been a tank-job of epic proportions. The talent-laden Hurricanes went from a force in the Eastern Conference to a point where fans are encouraging the team to get addicted to methamphetamine in order to draft Seth Jones. From March 14 through today, the boys went 2-14-1.  In a half-season, that's particularly embarrassing. Though, to be fair, it does spare the headache of missing the playoffs on the last day of the regular season again. So we've got that going for us, which is nice.But when a losing streak becomes worrisome, then frustrating, then painful, then hilarious, the fans are looking for someone to blame. It's hard to blame a system, so anger tends to get focused on one person. And the internet in general seems to be focusing on Alex Semin.Sasha is mesmerized by Canadian media's xenophobia.

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