Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday morning homily V

Measuring the success of any hounding adventure depends upon each individual. For some hounds, the day isn't complete until they've run out of items to get signed. Others, however, weigh the day's efforts based on the quality, rather than sheer quantity, of the items they were fortunate enough to get signed.

In both cases, though, it all comes down to personal preference.

For someone like myself, who's been doing this for some time, I don't need to add a ton of autographs every trip to feel like I've had a good day. Sure, I question my time and effort if I get, say, five or six autographs during an entire day of hounding (like most times when the Pittsburgh Penguins come to town).

But, like I've said countless times before, one autograph, even if it is from a scrub like, say, Kris Letang, is better than none.

Lately, though, I've become more of a cherry-picker, especially when it comes to pucks. You'll see it this week in posts about hounding Ottawa and New Jersey. I got only seven pucks signed, but they're seven good ones. As I near the end of my hockey-hounding run, I'm trying to add nothing but exclamation points, so to speak, rather than amass staggering numbers.

At the opposite end of the hockey-hounding spectrum, however, are those relatively new to the game. For them, it's more about adding big numbers -- be it in cards, photos or pucks -- than anything else. From where I sit, and I'm not asking you to embrace my opinion, there's nothing wrong with that. I don't think they're being greedy, they're trying to get up to speed.

If a player is willing to sign eight or nine cards, that's up to them. Though most don't, some do. And more power to the hound -- newbie to veteran -- who benefits from the player's generosity.

My only concern, albeit a minor one, is that these hounds sometimes forget that others also want to get autographs. Not too many players, I've noticed, are thrilled to continue signing, even if it's only a couple of items, after pounding out a nine board or four pucks for a person.

Bottom line: Who am I, or who are you, to dictate how many autographs another person gets in a day. It's our hobby. We should have fun doing it. That's why we go out there, right?

He's a real Einstein

I couldn't help but laugh to myself last week when, with the Devils in town, one of a dealer's young minions prided himself on recognizing goalie Martin Brodeur. Now, recognizing teammates Matt Halischuk or Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond? That, my friend, would've been impressive.

"I knew that was Brodeur," he told his mates, a proud smile widening across his face.

Wow! Nice job, young man. Recognizing a sure-fire Hall of Famer like Brodeur. It's not like he hasn't been in the news over, say, the past couple of seasons. Making a spot-on call like that shows you definitely have a future in the business.

Here's some advice, too. I'd start asking the boss for more than $10 for a team-signed 16x20 photo. Your knowledge and effort is certainly worth $25-$30 a pop, don't you think?

5 Big Sigs

With the Lightning hitting the road for four games this week, the next hounding adventures take place Nov. 12 for Minnesota and Nov. 14 for the Los Angeles Kings.

That doesn't mean, though, there won't be some autograph reports. Thanks to Hound Central 5.0's correspondents Moody and Al, you can expect to read about these signings:

~ Catching up with reports from the Senators and Devils;
~ Updated hounding report from incredibleIce in South Florida;
~ Hall of Fame goalie Johnny Bower;
~ Post-game inside the St. Pete Times Forum; and
~ Top Ontario Hockey League prospects.

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