at a hella cool castle
the groom channeled Thranduil and the Baratheons
the bridesmaids were elf maidens
the court jester and town crier were there
the cakes were gorgeous
luckily a friar was passing through town who was able to officiate (“mawwaige,” he said, “is what bwings us togevver today”)
the bride’s chariot was pulled by the most beautiful creature
unfortunately, as with all medieval weddings, there is the dragon problem
Someone said Kaner and Sharpy had a funny interaction during the Second City skits, do you know what they were referring to?
As far as I can recall (and have confirmed with other people present for the show), the only time Kaner and Sharpy were on stage together was during a skit where they didn’t stand anywhere near each other.
(Please see this truly awful picture I took to confirm that.)
The skit set up was an audience Q&A where the people on stage had to answer the questions one word at a time in the order they were standing.
I’m guessing the interaction you heard about was when an audience member asked about the Sharpy trade rumors. From my dim recollection the answer went something like this:
Second City Guy: Assuredly
Patrick Kane: NO
Making everyone in the audience laugh and Sharpy give Kaner a very grateful look.
Though if you’re looking for Sharpy stories, then you need to know about when someone asked where Brandon Saad had gone (he was in earlier skits and then DISAPPEARED). They go down the line and the answer was something like “He’s gone to the Billy…” when it gets to Sharpy and he just goes “WHAT?” and the next guy finishes with “concert”. And poor Patrick Sharp looked so confused about what was happening and then judged Brandon Saad’s life choices (I can only assume because he was not invited).
Ah, that’s cute. I’m imagining Kaner knowing someone has to get traded to get under the cap, and it’s a business and so on, but “not my buddy!”
The problem is, of course, that most of the team are his buddies.
So this panel started on a high note when I spotted these lovely people in the crowd:
(Krugs Tre Kronor Jersey)
(Q Whaler Jersey)
This was basically a panel of all the front office bigwigs, including Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough, Stan Bowman, Jay Blunk, Al MacIsaac, and Chris Werner. I went originally because I am a giant worrier and I needed to stare at these dudes and mentally be like “TELL ME YOUR PLANS FOR THE NEXT FEW YEARS, I PROMISE NOT TO TELL THE INTERNET, BUT I NEED TO KNOW YOU HAVE A PLAN.” While I failed to achieve mind meld with StanBo to learn the masterplan, I *was* there for the single best question of the entire convention.
This is a question that made me, and the rest of the audience, applaud madly, made me so, so proud to be there as part of this fanbase, and made me literally write “CASEY IS GREAT” in my notes.
First though, let me back up a bit to cover some pertinent pieces of information that came up during the moderated portion of the panel:
Jay Blunk (EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT) really emphasized how important the Hawks considered fan feedback on everything that happens during a game including little details like how the bathrooms at the UC are, what could make the experience better because it should be “like a fine hotel” and “everyone who walks in is a customer”. He brought up how important it was to have a dialogue with the fans, especially calling out a volunteer organization called Fan’s Voice. He also mentioned connecting with people who don’t make it to the UC.
Chris Werner (VICE PRESIDENT, TICKET OPERATIONS AND CUSTOMER RELATIONS) also called out the Fan’s Voice, and basically requested feedback, noting that they’re always looking to improve. I literally have “Feedback plz” written in my notes.
Blunk also noted that the Blackhawks have the fastest growing female fanbase among the Chicago sports franchises (here’s an article with some numbers from the beginning of last season).
So to return to the BEST QUESTION, everyone stepped up to the mic, announced who they were, where they were from, and then stated their question. Casey steps up to bat a few questions in, announces herself, and then asks a rocking, kick ass question, that took what they had put out there and really asked them to listen to what they were saying. I’m going to paraphrase because I was applauding/nodding/fangirling too hard to get the exact wording:
You mentioned female fans as a growing segment of your fanbase, and I was wondering what you were doing to increase the diversity of female representation at Blackhawks games? Right now what we’re seeing is very one dimensional, with things like Ice Girls and the organ playing “The Stripper” when it’s a female fan’s turn during Shoot the Puck, but not much else.
The Hockeybrunch Blog provides a pretty good summary of what then happened.
Everyone on the dais took a nervous swig of water, the sort that says “Hoo-boy, we’ve got no good answer to this one,” before providing a solid non-answer, that the concern was appreciated and they would be careful about their practices going forward.
And despite the requests for feedback that Werner and Blunk both made, Kate Conway reports there’s been no follow up on the question.
While I actually learned lots of interesting things at the panel and would have considered it worthwhile even without Casey’s question, I’m so glad that she did bring it up, and that the Hawks front office is learning first hand:
Rathunde told me she asked her Ice Crew question not to attack the Blackhawks, but because she loves the team and wants them to do better by the fans. Roughly two-thirds of the convention’s attendees, by the extremely scientific count from “my eyeballs,” were women, and 38 percent of local fans are women, according to New York-based Scarborough Research. Thus far, we’ve been happy to shell out for Blackhawks tickets and merchandise, but that won’t last forever.
Listen up, Blackhawks. Your female fans are asking you to make changes. Eventually, we’ll get tired of you covering your ears. (x)
BY ADAM L. JAHNS email@example.com
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Patrick Kane certainly dresses the part well. There he was during one of his Stanley Cup days Friday, wearing a tan suit and shiny black shoes and sporting slicked-back hair.
Kane looked every bit like the NHL superstar he is. But there is more behind all the bravado that comes with being the player who ended the Hawks’ 49-year Stanley Cup drought with a quick flick of his wrists.
It really has nothing to do with Kane getting his personal time with the Cup about a year after his arrest in a cab incident in downtown Buffalo. There is simply more to Kane than what you see on the ice, hear in interviews or read about in newspapers.
It’s not hard to reach the conclusion that Kane lives in two completely different worlds. In the one fans are most familiar with, he’s the leading scorer for the Stanley Cup champions and an icon in a sports-crazed Chicago, glitz and glamor included.
The other is one in which he has a father who still nudges him to be better at everything he does, a mother who prepares him steak when he asks, three younger sisters to compete against in backyard games and a group of friends — or goofballs — not afraid to give him a hard time.
But what those closest to Kane want you to know about him is that ‘‘Chicago Pat’’ hasn’t influenced ‘‘Buffalo Pat’’ and that NHL superstar Pat is the same as I-drive-around-with-my-sisters-and-dance Pat. To them, Kane hasn’t changed at all.
But that leaves the question: Who, then, is Patrick Kane?
It figures his loved ones would paint the best picture.One of the guys
If you ask his friends, they’ll tell you that Kane looks ridiculous in his tan suit. As Mike Rautenstrauch put it, just because he can afford expensive clothing, it doesn’t mean he has a good sense of style.
‘‘Before we go out, [we’ll say], ‘You’re going to change right?’’’ said Rautenstrauch, 21, one of Kane’s friends on hand for his Cup-deciding goal in Philadelphia. ‘‘It’s just little shots like that, just to keep him in his place.’’
Every guy has a ‘‘place’’ among his group of friends. Kane is the smart-aleck.
‘‘Pat is not a tough guy,’’ said 21-year-old Tom Vivian, a longtime friend of Kane’s. ‘‘He definitely can be a smart ass. He’s quick with words. He’s good with them.
‘‘Some people may think just because he’s Pat we won’t say anything to him. But he gets it just as bad as any of us do. His hair is brutal all the time. … His game with girls is just brutal. I mean, it works, but I don’t know. He’s going to kill me for saying this.’’
That’s just it. Kane, with his video-game covers, multimillion-dollar contract and NHL superstardom, is just one of the guys. He’s fair game for harassment, just like everyone else.
‘‘He hasn’t changed since I’ve known him,’’ Vivian said. ‘‘He will do anything for his closest friends or family. … I just like that he’s being himself.’’The big brother
Did you know that Kane is a good dancer? At least his three sisters — Erica, 20, Jessica, 19, and Jacqueline, 16 — tend to think so.
‘‘We’ll go in the car, the four of us, and just take a ride somewhere,’’ Erica said. ‘‘He’ll crank up the music and just get going. He’s just amazing. He pulls these moves out of nowhere.’’
Flo Rida’s ‘‘Club Can’t Handle Me’’ is one of Kane’s favorite songs to dance to right now, his sisters said. As far as the one song their brother enjoys but won’t admit to liking, Miley Cyrus’ ‘‘Seven Things’’ is a popular choice.
But there is more, too. Kane and his sisters just set a personal record in ‘‘keep it up,’’ a simple game predicated on keeping a ball from touching the ground, by surpassing 500 touches last month.
Just think about it: Kane is weeks removed from winning the Stanley Cup, and he’s in his family’s backyard playing a childhood game with a giant ball purchased from Wal-Mart. Certainly sounds like a 21-year-old kid.
Then there is the basketball competition with Jacqueline in which big brother holds a 42-32 all-time series lead. Kane won the latest game Thursday. As sisters do, Jacqueline responded by locking him out of the house.
‘‘It’s up to 11, win by two,’’ Jacqueline said. ‘‘He’s the only one who actually plays games with me.’’
Kane maintains a close relationship with his sisters through text messages, phone calls and Skype. His sisters say he’s very supportive — but also very protective — of them when it comes to dating.
‘‘You’re never allowed to date any of his teammates,’’ Erica said.
‘‘He said never to date a hockey player,’’ Jessica added.
They’re always doing something together, whether it’s 2-on-2 soccer — which sometimes prompts Kane to throw balls at his sisters if they quit — or even just sitting around, sharing laughs in the living room.
So it’s not a surprise that when Kane leaves for the season — even three years into his NHL career — everyone gets ‘‘emotional,’’ they said. Even Kane.The hungry son
Kane’s father, Pat Sr., shed light on an interesting and little-known fact about his son.
‘‘The last three years, Patrick has scored the last three goals for the Blackhawks,’’ Pat Sr. said. ‘‘The first year we did not make the playoffs, but he scored the last one in Detroit. Last year we were in the playoffs, and he scored the last goal in a playoff game. And this year he scored to win the Stanley Cup.’’
Pat Sr. notices and remembers plenty of things about his son. He noticed Kane holding back tears as he met patients Friday at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Kane doesn’t try to hide his emotions, either. He said he cried three times when they visited deceased loved ones at an area cemetery during his second day with Cup on Saturday.
Pat Sr. also recalled how his son remembered to turn around after making his way to the locker room after a game against the Sabres in Buffalo to hand his stick to a kid in the stands.
‘‘He always remembered that he would ask players for sticks,’’ Pat Sr. said of his son, who has turned into a regular souvenir machine for fans around the glass after warmups and games.
Pat Sr. also noticed that his son is eating a lot more than he has in the past and that his mother, Donna, has given in to him. Consider it part of Kane’s weight-gain plan for the coming season.
‘‘He’s asking for food every couple of hours,’’ said Donna, who added her son still sleeps in the same room when he’s in town. ‘‘He’s leaving his clothes on the floor, leaving the lights on, just everyday stuff. But I pretty much don’t have to get too hard on Pat. … The worst thing is that he asks me to feed him every couple of hours.’’
The menu: steak, pizza and spaghetti.
‘‘Sometimes it’s just nice to have your mom do a few things for you, like laundry,’’ Donna said.
Sounds more like your typical 21-year-old kid than a superstar wearing a tan suit.