Guest post time! (And Pants fixed her broken photos, sorry.)
Hi, I’m Jess! You may remember me from such WUYS guest appearances such as Up Close and Personal and Our Friends Party With the NHL. Pants and Chuck have once again let me take over their blog so that I can drop a little ‘Hawks fandom on y’all.
My latest mission? The Fifth Annual Blackhawks Convention!
If you haven’t been to Chicago, go. Now. I’ll wait… Did you LOVE it? Amazing, no? It is stunning and I cannot wait to go back/move there one day.
Friend of the blog, fellow Blackhawks fan, Virginia-native and all around spectacular human being Carter was already going to be there as, by happy accident, the Convention fell on the same weekend as the half-marathon she was running (!). I BEGGED her to hook me up with an extra pass, even though I live nowhere near Chicago (It’s 691 hour walk. Thanks Google Maps!) and wasn’t sure I could make it. A last minute seat sale and a terrifying Hotwire gamble meant I was on my way to the great state of Illinois.
Carter and I, as featured on the Chicago SunTimes website. Not wearing Blackhawks gear = ultimate party foul. #guiltyascharged
Now, it is well documented than I suffer from a severe case of Jonathan Toews-induced catatonia and therefore my memories of the weekend are a little bit fuzzy. I was really hoping that the Blackhawks would have posted the whole thing on their website so I could do this thing Mystery Science Theater 3000-styles, but I will try my best…
Disclaimer: People on the interwebs had way better cameras than I did. I borrowed a few, but I highly recommend trolling Tumblr…
The Opening Ceremonies were kinda like boarding an airplane. It took forever to get everyone in their places, there was a brief message from The Captain, followed by a video that no one really paid attention to. But then, THEN, as the room was emptying, Toews came out to do an interview in the press area that was RIGHT BESIDE ME:
As he was leaving, he walked past and shook a few hands. Instead of extending my hand like a normal person, I put my hands behind my back because I was afraid this would happen:
He was ushered off by his NSYNC-circa-2001 security entourage, but not before he said “Sorry guys, I gotta go!” His voice directly touched my ears. Did I say ears? I meant SOUL.
Friday night was “Second City” comedy/awkwardness hour, scene of the infamous Shawlberg strip-tease. They can Magic Mike all they want, but Tina Fey and Amy Poehler they are not. Personally, my highlight of the evening was Patrick Kane saying that he woke up that morning next to a beautiful woman and Carter’s hilarious NSFW commentary.
There were memorabilia auctions, activities for kids and several rooms set up for Q&A’s. Personally, I parked my ass in the International Ballroom ALL day. The first must-see panel was “The Olympic Ideal”. Patrick Kane rolled in wearing the same clothes as the night before. Oh PKane, never change. There was a lot of “Blah blah, it’s an honour to play for one’s country,” but I do not remember anything that was said after Jonathan Toews spoke because he had sexy, husky morning voice and GURRRL HE LOOKS LIKE SUPERMAN:
Next up was the “Behind the Scenes with Blackhawks TV” panel wherein my Life Hero Patrick Dahl, Director of Advertising and Game Presentation, revealed that he has ample blackmail footage of Jonathan Toews in his underwear (the use of “ample” was not an intentional pun.) The panel also included humiliating out-takes of their already humiliating BHTV featurettes which can be seen here and here. The fake moustache has scarred me, as the kids say, 5-evah.
Speaking of humiliating, during the Q&A a crazy fangirl tearfully sang a version of “Call Me Maybe” to “Jonny” asking him to sign her jersey. Let me tell you, Carter and I would have taken gold in Synchronized Cringing, Pairs, Long Program. The fontrum was palpable.
But I’ll allow it because we were treated to this:
The last panel was “Generations of Captains” where Jon put on his big boy clothes to sit at the grown-up’s table. This was actually my favourite panel because Stan Mikita is everyone’s hilarious grandpa and I have never seen Toews laugh so hard. Like, literally head down, pounding the table hysterical laughter. It was joy.
Captain Judging-You (Thanks Veronica for the amazing photo!)
I really did try to get his autograph! I’m working on it you guys, 5th time will be a charm…
At the risk of facing WUYS army court-martial, I failed to get Viktor Stalberg’s autograph. Let me explain. No, there is no time. Let me sum up. The convention employed an elaborate system of wrist bands and scratch-and-wins for pictures and autographs, and I am blessed with neither patience nor luck, respectively. There was a somewhat entertaining panel about social media in which I decided I want Jimmy Hayes to be my boyfriend, but other than that, it was pretty low-key and all was said and done by 1PM.
Hmm… what else?
Brent Seabrook is the ULTIMATE troll. His sarcastic slow-clap is amazing. I want to hang with him.
Patrick Sharp, like Barney Stinson, is INCAPABLE of taking a bad picture. He may never actually blink.
PATRICK SHARP. YOUR FACE.
- Fan to Toews: “Are you gonna do a no-haircut season like Stamkos?”
- Toews: “I dunno. It gets out of control pretty fast.”
- Sharp: “Well, he’s not gonna have that hair much longer, so he better enjoy it.”
- Fan to Sharp and Mayers: “Is it hard leaving your family during road trips?”
- Andrew Shaw: “Yeah, it’s real tough leaving the kids.”
- Dan Carcillo: “Especially when you don’t know where they are.”
- A mom, to Kane: “Can you tell my son that getting up at 4AM for practice is normal.”
- Kane: “I was doing something at 4AM, but it wasn’t playing hockey.”
I know this was overly Toews-centric (sorry I’m not sorry) and I’m forgetting a bunch of stuff (I barely discussed Patrick Kane and his forearms!), but I don’t want to overstay my welcome. And one should keep some of one’s anecdotes secret, as one does not want to be a dreadful bore at cocktail parties.
Thanks again Pants and Chuck! You ladies are the absolute best and I adore you. XOXO.
We obviously adore you too, Jess. And since you mentioned Kaner’s off-season arms project…
Oh, okay. One more smile.
Follow Jess for endless hilarity, and that time she took a photo of Stamkos & Skinner together just for Pants - @jfrancesw.