Hello Stingrays Fans,
After friendly badgering from various sources, the final two months of regular season play, one playoff series and a cleverly asserted Facebook message, it occurred to me that I’ve slacked on a SS for far too long. I will attest that times have been busy at the Scherer house, you’re no doubt calling my bluff and thinking “come on guy, you haven’t had an hour to put together some useless meanderings for our amusement since going on January?” The answer is no. Kidding, I’ll answer your question by posing another question. How many people (not including those with editorial job titles) got done with school and still had a deep heartfelt yearning to fire off papers on a regular basis? I hear crickets- touché’, Scherer. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing SS and I think it’s awesome to have an opportunity to dish the dirt on whatever comes about but it can be a cruel mistress. It’s like the good friend that calls you but you’re busy and don’t have time to chat. You intend to call back in a timely manner, but before you can another week has gone by and now there’s more explaining and you know it will take at least an hour to validate such a conversation. Perhaps they’ve called two or three times now, but those calls coincided with an all new LOST or a pre-game nap (insert your own guilty pleasure here). You get my drift; I’ll try to catch you up to speed.
Highlights for February came in the form of a team Super Bowl party followed by a trip down to FLA for what I recall was thankfully the final round of Everblades away games. The day was fraught with food, beverage, games and opportunities to win undeserved money as well as a big screen TV. The score squares proved to be a fruitless effort all four quarters for both Mrs. Scherer and I as was the pre-game coin flip, ‘left-right-center’ buck passing game and don’ t get me started on the raffle for the TV. The only arena where I shined was the replaying of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” during halftime for those teammates who had yet to see me squander my shot at $1 million. The majority of the time was spent rewinding and playing over the shot of my face as it turned from elation to pride swallowing shame in the incorrect answering of the final debut question. I learned two things that day: One, it’s better to let the past be the past, and two, never feel sorry for a 21-year-old rookie who can score 35 goals in less than 50 games and still has enough luck left over to win a free 42” flat screen.
Fast forward to the Florida trip where things didn’t go as well as they could’ve but got us fired up to win back at home and begin the start of a solid end of regular season run. It was also the stage for a duel of epic proportions. We have a way of settling things in the locker room should they begin to get out of control or it looks like feelings are going to be hurt. Hockey is a game of gentlemen who strive to maintain the utmost respect, professionalism and maturity during all of their endeavors, so when there is a difference of opinion between two mutually dignified parties, as was the case on this day with myself and ‘Nasty’ Nate Kiser, we settle it like men. We’re further evolved beyond a childish round of fisticuffs or verbal assault. That’s likely how we came to be in said predicament initially, so what do two grown men do to rectify a quandary such as this? We race. From goal line to far blue during pregame skate at Germain Arena we risked hip flexors and groin tears for glory. Nasty Nate was a lot faster than I’d originally thought. He edged me out by a goatee and some facial hair wax although I contend, and the late Paul Kelly would back me up on this, that there was a false start in lane one and the legitimacy of the race has to be questioned. Hold onto this thought, we’ll be coming back to it shortly.
The remainder of February was relatively uneventful, as was March in terms of PG-rated stories, much of the reason for the incredibly tardy SS. Away from the rink, Sasha the cat, who has worked her way up to “allowed to sleep inside” status because she’s so precious, received a haircut. I’ve been told that you don’t need to give a cat a mop chop but you’re all familiar with my love of this animal and as her inside status moved up, so did my unwillingness to deal with shedding. Those of you with pets likely know the cost to have a groomer take care of Fluffy. I do not, but whatever the price, it would be too much as our budget for Sasha’s lifetime was squandered during that incident back in October. As Mrs. Scherer has been on the job hunt and busy, Sasha was going to be getting a chic styling from my able hands sans a pair of clippers since we don’t own them. I am perhaps the first human being to cut cat hair with a pair of scissors that I found in my tool box. There was a lot of meowing, uncomfortable entrapment and some biting but the end result was a mammal that appears to have uneven scales or armor covering it from head to tail and the bane of the feral cat population at our apartment complex. Mrs. Scherer and I both concur that we think she can feel petting better now and for that she is a much happier feline.
Just prior to playoffs there had been a time, approximately a month, in which Nasty Nate underwent some repairs and was out of the lineup. Never an easy time for the truly competitive. Injuries and healing are the most difficult time in the season for many reasons, aside from the obvious. When you’re out of the line-up and not cleared to play, guys will do their best to cut you down. You miss the camaraderie of being on the ice every day, big wins, trial and hardship. It wasn’t long before another race was inevitable, although this time we would have to be creative as anything hockey related would not be an option. He offered a weightlifting competition which I thought favored him heavily even though my lats and core would take him years to attain, you can’t argue with the pipes as many a non-Stingray foe would agree. I countered with the option of a spelling bee but when he stated that he was not a “spellologist” I figured that was his nice way of conceding victory. We were at a stalemate. I still don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it sooner, and I know that Kiser is far too proud a man to nix anything competitive in front of a group of people, but the gauntlet had been thrown down and taken. There would be a swimming race - pool and time to be determined. It’s not something I brag about daily, more bi-monthly, I was at one time, and perhaps still reigning, the 10 and under Emerald City Open Water Swimming Champion. Really it just means that as a young lad I donned a small pair of trunks and ripped around Lake Washington for 3 km and got a neat coffee mug for my efforts. Regardless, I know how frequently you can swim in Detroit and as a child it would’ve been nearly impossible for Nasty to learn any stroke while rocking a Lions Starter jacket in July. He’s still stalling.
We’re now finished with round one of the 2008-09 Kelly Cup Playoffs and looking forward to a battle with Florida for South Division supremacy. Looking forward to the road again as anything would be better than the Extreme Ice Center. There’s nothing like being at home, though. Thank you all for your tremendous support against Charlotte. We’ll be looking forward to it again as we face FLA. For those interested, media mogul Andrew Miller will be taking video footage of the swim race should Nasty ever stop coming up with excuses to get dominated. Stay tuned, it should be exciting.
See you around the rink…
PS. If you see Miller around the arena, ask him to show you his “crescent kick,” it is truly a marvel of athletic ability.