Wed Jul 23 04:00pm EDT
Before you ask: Yes, the fawning over the resurgence of the Chicago Blackhawks (before they even hit the ice) and the overwrought schmaltziness over playing a hockey game at Wrigley Field are becoming slightly tiresome. And it's only July.
But it's not every day that hockey legend Stan Mikita and newly minted (though curiously 'C'-less) captain Jonathan Toews mingle with the fans outside of the Windy City's historic ballpark. It's also not every day that we get to witness the sort of inane glad-handing that professional athletes endure whenever they're within five feet of an autograph hound or a child under the age of 13.
The chance to blog about Stan Mikita means the chance to post an image of Stan Mikita's Donuts from "Wayne's World"; alas, we couldn't find one in our hasty searching. This photo from when Mike Myers and Dana Carvey were funny will have to suffice. Also, did you know the statue of Mikita from on top of the fictional donut shop was given to "MacGyver" star Richard Dean Anderson? Who later used it, a piece of old chewing gum and a can of compressed air to create a military-grade flamethrower?
First up is Stan the Man, doing the doddering fogie routine in a Cubs hat.
"He's on the Ice Dogs in Vernon Hills ... they won states!" Yes, we're sure that a guy who played with Bobby Hull and Glenn Hall gives a rat's fanny about Christian ... er, Carson winning states. How many years has Mikita had to tolerate inane small talk like this? Eighty?
Meanwhile, Jonathan Toews was also at Wrigley for the 2009 Winter Classic press conference. The videographer on this one started to get a tad annoying with the commentary track. Not as annoyed as Toews appears to be having to sign for fans in the middle of July while wearing a hockey sweater. But annoying enough:
Getting Toews to sign baseballs is a pretty astute move by the autograph hounds. (They're not on eBay ... yet.) We don't recall seeing autographed footballs from the previous Winter Classic in Buffalo, but the baseball/hockey mash-up would seem like a rather nice keepsake.
MLB baseballs signed by the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings would also seem like a no-brainer for the NHL marketing dept.
Assuming they have one.