In lieu of the fact that yesterday was my birthday I didn't feel like spending part of my evening scouring the internet for non-existent hockey links and NOT at a bar. Therefore, we have something different today, but hopefully something you'll find interesting.
I've been hanging on to these two things for a couple days, and today they get unleashed. No hockey articles today (even after the break), and if you completely hate this little experiment - well, chill out, it's only one day. Thanks for indulging me.
It's Not Just a Ballgame Anymore - A book by Sean Michael Hogan
Buffalo native and author Sean Hogan has written a collection of essays about sports and politics centered around the story of the 2006-07 Buffalo Sabres, when they started the year undefeated for ten games, started 3 players in the All-Star Game, won the Presidents' Trophy, and then collapsed against the Senators in the playoffs. One of the last essays is called "The Greatest Game Ever," and describes the 2008 New Year's Day game against the Penguins, and includes all the ridiculous, nostalgic optimism that comes with being a life-long Sabres fan who can't help being a little superstitious. If you're interested in purchasing the e-book ($2.99) but want to know more, the introduction can be found after the break.
Stealing Signs: Memories From My Last Life - A Visual Love Letter to Hockey by Mark Penxa
This is such a unique project that I'm going to use Mark's own words to try and describe it - just do yourself a favor and check it out.
My father tried to explain to me once that I will always have a "mistress" in my life, that there was "no getting around it" and how I should probably learn how to explain it to people because it could create a "problem" if they just didn't understand. To have a game (hockey) be your highly-profitable "mistress" is an interesting thought to consider. She's going to walk away from you at some point, you signed up knowing this. Your body is going to quit eventually, the money will run out, and you will no longer have anything to offer her. She is no longer attracted to your fire and skill; even though your mind can still outplay and out hustle the best of them. This is their love letter to the greatest, most beautiful thing they've ever seen. I hope you enjoy it.
Special thanks to Sean and Mark for allowing us to try something completely different.