5 more fun facts about Earl Sleek:
- I spent my undergrad as an Econ major at Duke University in Durham, NC. This was during the era where the Carolina Hurricanes had temporarily relocated to Greensboro, NC, while their arena was being completed in Raleigh. As I had no car, I had to cajole a friend to take the hour-plus drive, so I didn't get to go very often. However, Greensboro Convention Center was great in that you could purchase a student-discount $10 ticket for the worst seat in the house, but then go sit by the glass. Security was non-existent. Two items of note: that was the only time I saw Paul Coffey play, and Greensboro Convention Center does not let people outside during a game. There was an indoor smoking area, basically at one end of the concourse. It was a glorious smoky mess; only in North Carolina, I guess.
- The only other arena I have been to (other than Staples Center or the Pond) was GM Place in Vancouver back in 2003. Two buddies of mine and I planned a hockey trip to coincide with a homestand. It had been somewhat of a desire of mine to see a hockey game in Canada, as I was sure the animated fans would contrast the lullish crowds of southern California or North Carolina (note that this is historical; both regions' fans have really improved). We attended two games, and watched another at Sharky's bar across the way. It was a fantastic trip, Vancouver is an awesome city, and they have great fan support.
- I am very unpatriotic when it comes to international hockey; I routinely cheer for other teams besides the U.S., including the gold-medal game in Salt Lake City. I don't know exactly where this stems from, but I do hate Chris Chelios. A lot. Hatcher's not my favorite either. And I don't like bustin' chairs at Nagano. I love the diversity of hockey, and lately the rage is to root for Selanne and his Finns, who have done very well lately. But honestly, I cannot remember ever hoping Team USA would win anything.
- Aside from the Ducks, the one team I have followed the most is the New Jersey Devils, who are somewhat of a second team of mine. I have only bet on hockey twice, but once was a preseason bet for the Devils to win the 2000 Stanley Cup, which won me $300 in Vegas. I still think the A-Line of Arnott, Elias, and Sykora was the best line I have ever seen. And Mike Emerick is the best announcer there is. But since the fateful game seven in 2003, it has been a different story. Now I have an Elias jersey and a Brodeur poster that will sit in my closet forever.
- As for this year's Stanley Cup Finals, I am a little bit indifferent who wins. If the Oil wins, then I can say at least we lost to the Cup winner (which of course is very lame, like saying I slept with a girl who slept with Brad Pitt). The Oil also has a great collection of bloggers. If the 'Canes win, I have the NC connection, and I can celebrate for former Ducks Martin Gerber, Oleg Tverdovsky, Matt Cullen, Mike Commodore (briefly a Duck), and Craig Adams (never played for the Ducks, but came to camp this year). I will say that no matter who wins this year, I like it better than a Tampa Bay or Calgary cup winner. For some reason, I will never like those teams.