In a sense, Boston's Tyler Seguin was correct. I was sending Colin over to get autographs. Where the Boston rookie was wrong, though, was who the autographs were for. They weren't for me, they were for someone else -- a youth hockey team up in Wisconsin that's holding a fundraiser to help offset player registration costs.
Still, that didn't keep Seguin from upsetting Colin, not by declining his request to add to the Bruins logo banner, but in how he did it, insulting his father (that's me, you know) by saying that he was the "kid whose father sends him over to get autographs for him."
In a sense, he accused me of "pimping out" Colin just to get signatures. Sorry, rookie, but that's hardly the case. I help Colin get his own autographs, telling him who players are and finding their cards within the card book. I'm a big boy, and I get my own autographs when I'm out hounding by myself. If Colin's with me, it's his hounding adventure, not mine.
From my point of view, there's little wrong with a father bringing out his son(s) for autographs. For the most part, it's a bonding moment. Every other NHL team or player we've hounded hasn't had a problem with our approach. If they have, they've kept their yaps shut or simply said "no."
Needless to say, Seguin set off a bit of a firestorm, as Hockey Bay hounds jumped all over him, pointing out his less-than-stellar start of the season left little room for his attitude. Incensed, I questioned the young man's intelligence, suggesting that if he could read (I believe he can), he might want to check out this blog.
I'll even admit to asking the Hockey Gods to teach the young man a few lessons, too, in the form of an extended slump and, adding in a dose of much-needed humility, a couple of long, haul-your-own-gear-bag bus rides down in Providence.
Seguin's young and, apparently, has plenty to learn about being a professional. Let's hope he puts this unfortunate incident to good use. We'll find out in December, when the Bruins come back to Hockey Bay. Depending on Seguin's attitude, maybe I'll have another chat with the Hockey Gods.
Boys' night out
Last week, as a reward for all of his hard work at school, Colin and I headed south, even heading across the famous Alligator Alley, to watch his beloved Bruins play the Florida Panthers.
It wasn't all about the Bruins, even though we stayed at the team's hotel, wishing the players well after checking out. It wasn't about the hounding, either, as we completed our goal days before in Hockey Bay.
No, it was about hanging out and watching hockey. Visiting someplace new with a sense of adventure. Bottom line, it was another instance of father-son bonding.
Of course, we had a great time. Colin had a rinkside view of warmups. He got lots of compliments and smiles on his game-night get-up. He even got to meet the diminutive Mini, one of the two Panther's mascots. Even better, in Colin's eyes, the Bruins won, earning a 1-1 split in their two-game road trip to the Sunshine State.
I think we'll do it again.
On the big ice
Though Colin has skated a couple of times on the ice at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, he'd never played a game on the Tampa Bay Lightning's home rink. That changed Friday when his Pinellas P.A.L. Stars took on the Tampa Bay Titans.
Colin, who was named as an alternate captain of his squirts-peewee squad, even had the honor of taking the opening faceoff for the Stars. And, yes, some of the kids he played against were bantams and midgets.
From what I hear, he did his best at being a pest, getting under the skin of a couple of bantam players for his dogged defense. He even drew a penalty. Even though the Stars lost, he said he had a blast.
Quote of the week
"Is that Mini?"
Colin, his tongue planted firmly-in-cheek, as he pointed out Florida's Bryan Allen, who stands 6-foot-4, yesterday morning outside the Panthers' team hotel.