Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Wing's Fan's Goodbye to Michigan

As I've mentioned on Twitter and on our excellent podcast, the Dollar Hotdog Power Hour, I am moving to Colorado, as my wife and I chase down our dreams of starting our teaching careers. It's a hard notion to wrap my head around. I've lived in Michigan my entire life, and I'm about to pick up and move on.

Never again will I be able to locate where I live simply by pointing to my palm-side up right hand
I was born in 1984 in Lansing, Michigan. From birth to age 19, I lived and grew up in Holt, Michigan. I moved up to Mount Pleasant, Michigan to attend Central Michigan University in 2004, turning 20 in November of that year. From then to this day when I start the process of relocating to Colorado, I have been in Mount Pleasant.

However, around 1993-1994, I gained my dual citizenship. Well, I guess my tri-citizenship. I'm an American, and proud to be one. I was a Michigander, and pretty content with that. But, around that time, I also became a proud and fervent citizen of Hockey Town.

This is Hockey Town's flag. It kicks your flag's ass.
So before I move from Michigan, and start the next chapter of my life in Colorado - the desolate hockey waste land where I'm not entirely convinced they have a professional hockey team - I want to give some thank yous and acknowledgement to the best hockey team to ever lace up the skates. After all, tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

Thank you to Mike Ilitch and Ken Holland. While I know I hold a great deal of animosity towards you both during this lockout and this past off-season, that hasn't erased from my heart the memories of the fantastic hockey teams you both have dedicated yourself to providing. I hope once this lockout is over, we can go back to great hockey and unconditional love and respect.

Thank you to Scott Bowman and Mike Babcock, for proving that the guy behind the bench matters a great deal. You helped to mold together a cadre of players, skill sets and egos into a more than formidable hockey team. You both came from outside Detroit, but have both left your mark on the team and fans. And I'm pretty sure you could both murder me with your bare hands.

Thank you to Oh Captain, My Captain Steve Yzerman. You scored goals. You back checked. You blocked shots. You did everything that you could have asked of a man and more. You did so with dignity, poise, honor and class. There is quite possibly nobody who has meant more to this team and to the fans than you.

Thank you to Kris Draper, Darren McCarty, Kirk Maltby, Joey Kocur, Drew Miller, Justin Abdelkader, Patrick Eaves, Darren Helm and so many more of the "energy guys". The Detroit Red Wings of the past 20 years would not have been the unstoppable, amazing hockey teams without your sacrifices. The quality and character of the Winged Wheel is not only defined by the contributions of marquee players, but by the blood and sweat donated by men like you. The Grind Line. The "Energy Guys".

Thank you to Ken and Mickey and Larry "This Is a Guy Murphy" for being the first place I turn to when I want to watch Red Wings hockey. I sincerely pray that when I buy my hockey television package that I am not punished by watching Red Wings games called by other networks. I want all of my guys from Fox Sports Detroit and the Call Sam Studios.

Thank you to Budd Lynch. Just...thank you, sir. You will be missed.

Thanks to my parents who encouraged me to play hockey, to watch hockey and to love hockey. They bought tickets, took me to games and taught me so much about life beyond the rink.

Thanks to Ty Schalter for helping me get started with the blog and the Twitter. Good luck working for the Bleacher Report. Totally go read The Lions in Winter for top tier Lions commentary.

Thanks to J.J. from Kansas, Graham, Jeff at Winging it in Motown, Rob, Michael and Chris over at The Production Line, and Tyler at The Triple Deke. You guys have, indirectly or directly helped shape me as a blogger and Tweeter. While I'm not done doing either, you guys deserve acknowledgment.

Thanks to Michelle, Josh Howard, Peter, Nick, Kevin, Josh "Whoabot", Andrea and so many more people who have made Twitter a fun and interesting place to be. Thanks to the, as of the time of writing this, 110 people who think I'm interesting enough to follow me on Twitter. I hope to earn many more.

Thanks to Third Round Wife Pick for being her and for tolerating me.

And finally, of course, thank you to Nicklas Lidstrom. The man who this blog was named in honor of. The man who guided me on playing defense without ever meeting me. The Perfect Human. The greatest defenseman in the history of the NHL and the Red Wings organization. Thank you.

Be sure to give thanks to those in your life and in the world of hockey who mean a great deal to you.

One of many great things about being a fan is that it knows no boarders. It doesn't care about time zones, international date lines or municipalities. It transcends all of those things, through time and space, and travels with us wherever we go.

So rest assured, while I may be leaving Michigan, and while I may never again live in Michigan, I will always be a proud, devoted and passionate citizen of Hockey Town.

And I am going to troll the FUCK out of Avalanche Fans.

Fuck, yeah!

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