Part II :: Airplanes and Awesomesauce

Read Part I here.

ALL ABOARD
We climbed the stairs of Red Bird I, knowing we had beaten almost all of the team (hold for Rafalski and Bertuzzi), but when we were being shown to our seats, I noticed that most of the personnel — coaches, management, trainers — were already on board.

The first person I see is Mr. Holland — he’s seated in the first row on the left side of the plane. As soon as I duck in through the door, he stands up, extends his hand and says, “Hello. I’m Ken.”

Knowing what I know about him now, this isn’t surprising in the least. He’s one of the most friendly human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking with, but to hear someone who’s so revered and respected introduce himself so casually was pretty neat. I shook his hand and said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Holland.” I’m not sure I’d ever be able to bring myself to call him “Ken.”

On board, I see that most of the plane is divided into tables of four. Two sides of a table face one another in big, comfy, leather seats — with a large wooden table between them. On the table waiting for us (and everyone else) is a spread of cold cuts and cheeses. I’m sure the players are famished after three hours of hockey.

As I was still trying to process what had just happened with Mr. Holland, I realize that I’m sitting in an area with all of the media folks — Mickey Redmond, Paul Woods, Ken Kal, John Keating… Daniels was still screening players — and the coaching staff. Paul MacLean wasted no time to start dissecting game film. His laptop had been loaded with footage and as I sat down, he pressed play on the opening faceoff. Pretty wild.

Slowly but surely, the players started to stream onto the plane — most of them giving us a head nod or a little hello, very few of them making eye contact with Coach Babcock. I start going through the roster in my head, crossing off guys I’ve seen enter, trying to keep the lineup straight in my noggin.

Niklas Kronwall was wearing his Potter glasses. Jiri Hudler really is noticeably shorter than most of the other guys. Jonathan Ericsson is a goddamn beast. Nick Lidstrom has a halo. Val Filppula liked the tie/vest combination I decided to wear after changing my mind fourteen times.

Once Jan Mursak walked by, I figured we might not see Pavel Datsyuk on this trip after all.

PRIVATE JETS ARE THE WAY TO GO
The service aboard the plane is unreal. We were asked — no joke — five or six times if we’d like anything to eat. They had several choices of meals, and I assume that the guys all have their “flight meals” that they swear by. Anything you could possibly ask for — they probably had on the plane. The overhead compartments? Stuffed with chips and gum and cookies and whatnot.

I’m so used to taxiing on the runway for three goddamn hours that I was startled to find we took off about nine seconds after the door closed. They didn’t harass me for not having my seatbelt on. No one mentioned the window shade being down (I knew that wasn’t the reason planes stayed in the air), and before I even realized, my phone was sending and receiving e-mails. Interferes with the instruments, my ass. I didn’t lose service until somewhere over Ohio (of course that’s where it would be).

As soon as we were airborne, Mickey Redmond wandered back to our table and hung out for a few minutes, lamenting the night’s effort but confident the next night would be better. You can tell these guys work hard doing what they do, because Mr. Redmond and Mr. Daniels both looked like they could fall asleep within thirty seconds if challenged. Nevertheless, it was awesome to chat with #20 for a few minutes and my dad couldn’t help himself but to tell him I’m part of the triumvirate of masterminds behind Operation: Curly Fries. Mr. Redmond’s reaction? “They always find a way to make a good thing go bad.” Clearly, this man is  pro-fries.

I decided that this leg of the journey probably isn’t the best to go mingle with the players. They weren’t making much noise back there (although, it was midnight by now) and I figured they’d rather be alone with their thoughts and iPads than shoot the breeze until we landed.

When we did arrive in Nashville, we walked down onto the runway to find that Mickey Redmond was pulling his weight in the way that Ken Daniels had through security screening. Redmond was on the baggage conveyor belt, getting everyone’s bags off of the plane faster than the three actual baggage handlers could dream. One of them tried to get his hands in there to help, but Mickey was moving so quickly, he was better off letting the pro do his thing.

DEAD SILENCE ON THE BUS
We got our bag and headed to the charter bus, which had pulled up to where the plane landed. Baller.

Heading to the hotel, it was completely silent. I kind of figured it would be — considering the plane was pretty reserved, and it had only gotten later. I sat directly behind Valtteri Filppula and his non-Red Wings Lacoste bag. Most of the other guys had black duffel bags with the winged wheel adorning it, but we all know Val rolls in luxury.

As fans, we expect the players to be affected by a loss. And we usually demand perfection from them. But, having played the game for a handful of years, I can say that they’re all still human beings and though I’m sure they don’t like losing, they let it roll off of their backs. And they would. But not tonight. Tonight, they were silent.

Okay, not completely silent.

One player (who will remain unnamed), as we meandered our way through Nashville, looked out the window and joked “neon lights and trucks? You know what that means.”

It means strip club.

A handful of guys chuckled, but believe me when I tell you that zero of these guys had any intention of focusing on anything but hockey. I’m not sure you could convince me they go out and party ever given how reserved and dialed in they were all weekend. But it was a humorous attempt to break the tension a bit and pretty soon we were arriving at the hotel, ready to crash before getting up a few hours later and starting all over.

TEAM HOTEL
We checked into the hotel around 1-ish Central. I was having a hell of a time keeping my eyes open and I didn’t burn 4,000 calories playing hockey that night, so I can’t imagine how painfully exhausted the Red Wings were. In fact, traveling with them for only 48 hours really opened my eyes to what kind of lives they lead. Sure, they have beautiful hotels and beautiful planes and meals are coordinated for them… but they literally don’t stop. We didn’t get settled in until after 1. And they had morning skate at 11.

And they have to do this 41 times a year. Minimum.

Walking into the hotel, we’re greeted by half of the staff (including the manager who welcomed my dad and me back…which is kinda awesome). Just inside the door are two tables: one that says “PLAYERS” and another for “STAFF.” All of the players have envelopes with their names on them — inside is a key to their room. Find your name, find your room, and get to bed.

Pavel Datsyuk’s envelope is left on the table when all the others had been removed. Hint #2 that he wasn’t around this weekend. But, seeing as how the local papers still had him listed in the lineup for Saturday’s game, I thought I’d take the opportunity to break my first “scoop” of the weekend.

We’re just about to head to our room on the 7th floor — the team was spread out all over — Mr. Holland stops us and says, “Breakfast at 9am?”

598 thoughts on “Part II :: Airplanes and Awesomesauce”

  1. “Mr. Holland stops us and says, “Breakfast at 9am?””

    Good gravy, Mr. Petrella, you are the biggest tease I’ve encountered since a girl named Shannon in high school.

    Fantastic work, my friend. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

  2. I’m not posting JS for an entire week. What’s the point? Anything I crap out will look like that one chick who goes to the gym twice/week sitting next to Heidi Klum while she makes out with an early 90’s Kathy Ireland. This really frees up my weekend plans.

  3. Incredible details and great writing. This series of posts feels like I am reading hockey’s version of Penthouse Letters. “I never thought this would happen to me……”

    1. HA! Not quite. More of a look that resembled “I kinda wanna ask where he got that, but don’t want to look weird.”

      I’ll be honest… I looked damn good. I don’t blame him for giving it a once-over.

  4. Gee, Petrella, you made it to Fantasy Island…even riding “The Plane!” Thanks for taking the rest of us there with your great writing about you and your Dad’s adventure.

  5. I was inspired by your title, but walking around campus saying “airplanesh and aweshomeshaush” was met solely with derision. Sad face. Oh and great story. But you already know that, and I wanted to be different.

  6. What a lucky muthaphuka. I get chills just thinkin of being able to flyl on that plane among the gods.

  7. Pingback: those
  8. Pingback: get ripped fast
  9. Pingback: meratol review
  10. Pingback: Grado sr125i
  11. Pingback: Small chicken Coop
  12. Pingback: Rob Rasner
  13. Pingback: Russell Armstrong
  14. Pingback: phoenix locksmith
  15. Pingback: Anonymous
  16. Pingback: CieAura
  17. Pingback: locksmith Miami
  18. Pingback: New Indie Films
  19. Pingback: P90X Workouts
  20. Pingback: Hotels in UK
  21. Pingback: kaddish
  22. Pingback: SEO Services
  23. Pingback: Taylor Armstrong
  24. Pingback: weight loss bob
  25. Pingback: how to get ripped
  26. Pingback: volume pills
  27. Pingback: coach sunglasses
  28. Pingback: Disneyland Coupons
  29. Pingback: mlm secrets
  30. Pingback: Dating online
  31. Pingback: Hostgator Brasil
  32. Pingback: Hypnosis
  33. Pingback: Patio slabs
  34. Pingback: logitech z2300
  35. Pingback: free cams
  36. Pingback: Magniwork
  37. Pingback: detox diet
  38. Pingback: Free Xbox 360
  39. Pingback: order viagra
  40. Pingback: Boston SEO
  41. Pingback: webcams
  42. Pingback: baby bedding
  43. Pingback: Wine Aerator
  44. Pingback: rug
  45. Pingback: Kitesurfing
  46. Pingback: Computer Monitor
  47. Pingback: Kite Boards
  48. Pingback: wall stickers
  49. Pingback: Buy Extenze
  50. Pingback: order viagra
  51. Pingback: Yoshimura Exhaust
  52. Pingback: generic viagra
  53. Pingback: la ink tattoos
  54. Pingback: my free cams
  55. Pingback: Math Tutor
  56. Pingback: generic viagra
  57. Pingback: train horns
  58. Pingback: SEO Packages
  59. Pingback: Made in USA
  60. Pingback: Anonymous
  61. Pingback: SEO Services UK
  62. Pingback: Russell Armstrong
  63. Pingback: Anonymous
  64. Pingback: Dremel Stylus
  65. Pingback: Duramax for sale
  66. Pingback: Fracas Perfume
  67. Pingback: dune perfume
  68. Pingback: Hunstanton
  69. Pingback: Norfolk
  70. Pingback: viagra 50mg
  71. Pingback: jumbo home loan
  72. Pingback: family Solicitor
  73. Pingback: meaning of bikini
  74. Pingback: Rob Rasner Magic
  75. Pingback: my free cams
  76. Pingback: Anonymous
  77. Pingback: eos 1d mark iii
  78. Pingback: coach sunglasses
  79. Pingback: sports medals
  80. Pingback: webcam
  81. Pingback: טל דרוקמן
  82. Pingback: free ipad testing
  83. Pingback: ecover design
  84. Pingback: order viagra
  85. Pingback: Sir Walter Lawn
  86. Pingback: 3D bril TV
  87. Pingback: car locksmith
  88. Pingback: Wedding Bands
  89. Pingback: Albertsons coupons
  90. Pingback: pokies for fun
  91. Pingback: Benz Warranty
  92. Pingback: freshbooks
  93. Pingback: viagra 50mg
  94. Pingback: minisite design
  95. Pingback: card Sleeves
  96. Pingback: viagra 50mg
  97. Pingback: Lowes Sheds
  98. Pingback: viagra 50mg
  99. Pingback: viagra 50mg
  100. Pingback: viagra 50mg
  101. Pingback: Life Quotes
  102. Pingback: viagra 50mg
  103. Pingback: Restaurant Surveys
  104. Pingback: photo Collages
  105. Pingback: bedroom set
  106. Pingback: bjwholesale
  107. Pingback: list of dog breeds
  108. Pingback: bags under-lasik
  109. Pingback: Debt Settlement NY
  110. Pingback: e-books database
  111. Pingback: buy ebooks
  112. Pingback: CWBBINDINGS
  113. Pingback: SONOFCITATION
  114. Pingback: Dark Under Eye
  115. Pingback: Dark Under Eye
  116. Pingback: Dark Under Eye
  117. Pingback: EEYOREPRODUCTS
  118. Pingback: eBook Libraries
  119. Pingback: JVCGHETTOBLASTER
  120. Pingback: tree pruning
  121. Pingback: Anonymous
  122. Pingback: Bedroom Set
  123. Pingback: Glycemic Monitor
  124. Pingback: discount viagra
  125. Pingback: online 4 baby
  126. Pingback: Nook eBook Reader
  127. Pingback: cloth diapers
  128. Pingback: presseportal
  129. Pingback: Online casino
  130. Pingback: Free online games
  131. Pingback: porn
  132. Pingback: free stuff
  133. Pingback: wedding planning
  134. Pingback: bali beach villas
  135. Pingback: man boobs
  136. Pingback: Gynexin Reviews
  137. Pingback: free website
  138. Pingback: m4a1 airsoft
  139. Pingback: Youtube to MP3
  140. Pingback: ICICI Bank
  141. Pingback: Kasper Suits
  142. Pingback: tiguan review
  143. Pingback: nascar standings
  144. Pingback: Dark Under Eye
  145. Pingback: belly fat
  146. Pingback: Master Cleanse
  147. Pingback: Buy eBooks
  148. Pingback: Jeff Cope
  149. Pingback: Glucose Monitors
  150. Pingback: celebrex
  151. Pingback: free samples
  152. Pingback: диета
  153. Pingback: Ellis Hoyt
  154. Pingback: Plasma TV Stands
  155. Pingback: Douglas Schwartz
  156. Pingback: Piles Treatment
  157. Pingback: Non-camera Phones
  158. Pingback: home staging
  159. Pingback: call center agent
  160. Pingback: Pink Desk Chair
  161. Pingback: Quick Weight Loss
  162. Pingback: Anonymous
  163. Pingback: ICICI Bank
  164. Pingback: Antony Morgan
  165. Pingback: WestJet Promo Code
  166. Pingback: Chromium 6
  167. Pingback: clinique coupons
  168. Pingback: Dion Engel
  169. Pingback: Kasper Suits
  170. Pingback: M1 Student
  171. Pingback: Emini Futures
  172. Pingback: handmade jewelry
  173. Pingback: Kasper Suits
  174. Pingback: Meratol tablets
  175. Pingback: rats are good pets
  176. Pingback: SEO Software
  177. Pingback: proactol plus
  178. Pingback: best self tanning
  179. Pingback: Polish Dating Site
  180. Pingback: gynexin scam
  181. Pingback: ICICI Bank India
  182. Pingback: becoming a CNA
  183. Pingback: ghost hunters taps
  184. Pingback: invent
  185. Pingback: earth
  186. Pingback: war games
  187. Pingback: manuel harrer
  188. Pingback: Kasper Suits
  189. Pingback: Shop For Computer
  190. Pingback: Colpurin Reviews
  191. Pingback: Fly Agaric
  192. Pingback: Yacon Syrup
  193. Pingback: suede boots
  194. Pingback: Quiet Treadmills
  195. Pingback: Dishwashers Guide
  196. Pingback: Wine Coolers
  197. Pingback: Pressure Cookers
  198. Pingback: hall
  199. Pingback: Birdhouses Guide
  200. Pingback: Steam Irons
  201. Pingback: Tom's Place
  202. Pingback: Not the Real Kafka
  203. Pingback: Video Game Store
  204. Pingback: Vacuum cleaners
  205. Pingback: YMCMB Shirts
  206. Pingback: Chemotherapy
  207. Pingback: GM Diet
  208. Pingback: COLTA
  209. Pingback: picnic
  210. Pingback: Video Games Deals
  211. Pingback: casino room
  212. Pingback: Women Underwaer
  213. Pingback: make money online
  214. Pingback: Cyber Monday
  215. Pingback: hotels in benidorm
  216. Pingback: Buy A Camera
  217. Pingback: Kasper Suits
  218. Pingback: PVC Front Doors
  219. Pingback: PVC Front Doors
  220. Pingback: Beads Gallery
  221. Pingback: Lcd Tv Deals
  222. Pingback: Cyber Monday
  223. Pingback: Thank you for purchasing the list.
  224. Pingback: Dish Washers Deals
  225. Pingback: Video Games
  226. Pingback: Teeth Whitening
  227. Pingback: nordstrom dresses
  228. Pingback: bikinis uk
  229. Pingback: Daniel Craig
  230. Pingback: carry
  231. Pingback: Passport
  232. Pingback: nordstrom dresses
  233. Pingback: Dental Loupes
  234. Pingback: fire
  235. Pingback: nordstrom dresses
  236. Pingback: Sexchat
  237. Pingback: lick
  238. Pingback: lunch
  239. Pingback: Television Reviews
  240. Pingback: HTC Desire Review
  241. Pingback: free xbox 360
  242. Pingback: Lawyer
  243. Pingback: forex trading pdf
  244. Pingback: Emelia Deliz
  245. Pingback: home insurance
  246. Pingback: Pandaranol revolutionPandaranol table Pandaranol contractPandaranol 404
  247. Pingback: Pandaranol revolutionPandaranol table Pandaranol contractPandaranol 404
  248. Pingback: cougar dating
  249. Pingback: How To Get Abs
  250. Pingback: amy winehouse
  251. Pingback: Keesha Bergholm
  252. Pingback: Knobsemiscought
  253. Pingback: Toms Place
  254. Pingback: Earn Extra Income
  255. Pingback: rap models
  256. Pingback: how to get ex back
  257. Pingback: mobile
  258. Pingback: lose weight fast
  259. Pingback: freelancers
  260. Pingback: free ps3
  261. Pingback: diet success story
  262. Pingback: Easy Weight Loss
  263. Pingback: lose weight fast
  264. Pingback: plyo box
  265. Pingback: sports tickets
  266. Pingback: bid us
  267. Pingback: bend
  268. Pingback: amazon dvd
  269. Pingback: amazon video
  270. Pingback: Television Reviews
  271. Pingback: Water
  272. Pingback: Barniple
  273. Pingback: wanna screw
  274. Pingback: hip hop videos
  275. Pingback: medical job
  276. Pingback: Swung
  277. Pingback: Ohio job felonies
  278. Pingback: sciatica stretches
  279. Pingback: Ledaweller
  280. Pingback: roofing liberty mo
  281. Pingback: online viagra
  282. Pingback: generic cialis
  283. Pingback: chef uniforms
  284. Pingback: metal signs custom
  285. Pingback: Us
  286. Pingback: INTERNET MARKETING
  287. Pingback: dota maphack
  288. Pingback: A Wrinkle in Time
  289. Pingback: no exercise
  290. Pingback: discount viagra
  291. Pingback: registry cleaners
  292. Pingback: Google Smasher
  293. Pingback: AAA Visa
  294. Pingback: Spongebob Games
  295. Pingback: Write SEO article
  296. Pingback: google movies free
  297. Pingback: Google
  298. Pingback: domain name
  299. Pingback: Jobs San Diego
  300. Pingback: get ex back
  301. Pingback: Tulsa mortgage
  302. Pingback: Napkin
  303. Pingback: Bali Bras
  304. Pingback: Barbecue
  305. Pingback: easy cash advance
  306. Pingback: facebook fans
  307. Pingback: Chromagen Vision
  308. Pingback: hcg diet dangers
  309. Pingback: Disney Sweepstakes
  310. Pingback: MySQL Replication
  311. Pingback: credit monitoring
  312. Pingback: Dim
  313. Pingback: Search Marketing
  314. Pingback: Mesion
  315. Pingback: ipad apps list
  316. Pingback: slots casino
  317. Pingback: united states debt
  318. Pingback: Site
  319. Pingback: Black Friday 2011

Comments are closed.