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Abel to Yzerman

Panic Express De-railed Again

Soooo….I guess we’ll go ahead and officially decree yesterday as the strangest 24-hour period in A2Y history.  We started out with mass deletions, cries of the Man Keeping Me Down, threats of regulars leaving in droves.  It continued with a flight that should have had me in The State That Hockey Forgot with plenty of time to spare, but ended up being the most excrutiating night of my life…and yes that even includes my first full evening in the Philippines.  20 years old, alone and scared, taken in by a…nevermind.

Now? A timeline.

0733: Messages of protest start flooding in. Bellows of censorship, corporate tampering, spine removal.  Debate continues throughout the day.  Two regulars threaten to go elsewhere. Phrases like “just another hockey blog” ricochet around the comment section.  I consider starting to drink at my desk, but resist the urge. 

0920: TeamDub writes something in German.  I spend 47 minutes trying to translate it before I see he’s done it for us on the next line.  Says he and O-Joe are hitting the road, never to return.

0947: TeamDub writes again, saying they’re serious.  Censorship won’t be tolerated.

1025: O-Joe, in true Sailor fashion, throws my own words back in my face, quoting from the blogger description on the port side.  “Good point,” I think. Then realize it would have been more effective if he’d included the Judy Blume reference.

1111: TeamDub comments one more time, reminding O-Joe that they’re leaving.

1155: My wife emails me.  “Why the F&^k did you delete those comments?”  [original text was intact, but Paul monitors my work email and replaced the “u” and the “c” with “&” and “^”]  “You even said those two are wittier than you.  Dumbass.  You had 13 readers. Now you have 11.  Make that 10.”  Nice. 

1347: The stress overwhelms me.  I decide to leave work early and head to the airport to be sure I don’t miss my 1600 flight.

1602: Plane hasn’t left yet.  This will be important later.

1613: Plane still hasn’t left.  Not concerned.

1628: Plane still on the ground. Start considering long-term ramifications.

1645: Plane, an AirTran flight (remember that), leaves 40 minutes late.  Pilot guarantees “no connections will be missed.”

1840: Plane, an AirTrain flight (have I mentioned that?), twenty minutes outside my connection in Atlanta.  Pilot:  “uniformed representatives will be at the gate giving you connecting information.”

1907: Plane, an AirTran flight, arrives 36 minutes late and 2 minutes after my theoretical connecting flight was scheduled to leave.

1911: I leave the plane, an AirTran flight, and go to the uniformed representative.  “If you tell me my flight to Memphis has left I’m going to punch you in the face.”  Blank stare.  “Gate C5, sir.”

1925: Gate C5. Plane has left. Long-term ramifications of leaving DC late? The ones I mentioned before?  F&^K.

1931: AirTran customer service. Me: “this is the fourth time I’ve missed a connecting flight using your airline.”  Britney, AirTran customer service rep.  “thank you for flying AirTran. We’re cheap and we suck, but we’re cheap and that’s all that matters to most travelers.  We don’t really care all that much if you miss your connecting flights because we have your cash and that’s all that matters.  It’s your own fault.  Dumbass.  Your next flight leaves at 10:59pm. Enjoy the game.”

1932: Careening through the terminal.  Doing math in my head.  “Faceoff at 10. Flight leaves at 11.  Catch the first half hour in the bar. Listen to the rest on the plane because AirTran has XM.”

2000: Conducting research in the Atlanta airport.  Hitting the bars, looking for Versus!!!!!!  No one has it.

2001: Decide to drink a little while I look.

2103: Sitting next to a guy from my hometown of Saginaw.  Weird.  Both of us concerned we’ll miss the game. Concerns aleviated slightly by warm Killians.  Ask Kirby, the bartender, if he can switch to Versus.  “Idol’s coming on.  Every Wednesday.”  Me: “Do the same people come to this airport bar every Wednesday to watch Idol?”  Kirby:  “Yes.  Another Killians?”

2145:  Happy moment.  The “Sailor” gets kicked off. Yes, quotes were intentional.

2204:  Me: “Idol’s over.  Can we watch the game?”  Kirby:  “What game?”  Me: “It’s on Versus.”  Kirby: “Versus?”  Me: “OLN.”  Kirby: “All they show is motocross. I checked.”  Me: “Please?”  Kirby: “Another Killians?”

2231:  Board my connecting flight.  Plug in headphones to XM.  Find station 205.  The little display reads “Red Wings/Sharks”. Silence. 

2232:  More silence.  No reception.  Check other channels.  Baseball coming in loud and clear.  Back to 205.  Silence.  Display read “Red Wings 0, Sharks 1”.

2232:  I ask Sally, the AirTran flight attendant, “why can’t I get hockey?  why?”  Sally:  “Baseball’s on 184, 196, 187 and 202.  Thank you for flying AirTran.”

2344:  I’ve played 5 consecutive games of spider solitaire on the blackberry.  I, literally, can’t lose.  Invincible.

2358:  Plane, an AirTran flight…late again because that’s how they roll, lands in Memphis.  I check the internet on the blackberry:  “2-1 San Jose. 14:51 left, 3rd period.”

0010:  Wife picks me up.  Me: “Hi honey.”  Wife:  “I’d talk to you but I’m sure you’d delete anything I say.”  Nice.

0026:  Driving fast.  No game on radio.  Checking Blackberry. 2-1 still.  Vomit is a distinct possibility.

0036:  Comments from the blog hit my blackberry in succession: 

I’m thinking “it’s a minute left, empty net, why is Lang on the ice and why is he the one trying to control the puck.” then “holy crap Lang’s in!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I knew it.
Posted by Paul from Miami Beach on 05/02


I, uh, started this comment to grouse about why in hades Langsadaisical is always on the ice at the end ... then he scores.



My bad…
Posted by Hoser from Downer Peninsula, Michigan on 05/02

No idea what time it is.  Pulling into the driveway. World spinning. Lang scored?  Lang scored with 30 seconds left?  I don’t understand. It’s too much.  Run into the house.  Overtime underway.  Stressful.  Hurts.  Make it stop.  Schneider, time slows down, stick in the air, rocket, weird pingy sound, Nabokov…pain.  Delayed reaction.  Ron Wilson’s crying. Literally, like a little 11-year old girl.  Wings celebrating. Chelios sneering at a Shark fan as he leaves the ice. 

And that was my day.  Did I mention the airline that shafted me?  AirTran.

O-Joe, TeamDub:  you’re more than welcome to return.



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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com