Tuesday, October 12, 2010

One big honkin' ring

One of my clients is the Upper Midwest High School Elite League, a fall hockey league for high school players. Every crowd includes a large contingent of scouts and college coaches, and tonight one of the scouts on hand was a fellow who works for the Chicago Blackhawks. Last week he received his Stanley Cup ring, and was kind enough to let me wear it for a moment. My camera phone picture is a little blurry, so I've also included a pic from the Blackhawks' web site that shows better detail. A few facts:

-- The ring is made of 14-kt white gold
-- It contains about 400 diamonds, seven baguette-cut rubies and two pear-shaped emeralds
-- The diamonds total about 8.0 carats
-- Each receipient's name is engraved inside the ring
-- Each ring is valued at about $30,500
-- Each player's wife received a similarly designed pendant, valued at about $10,500

I hope that when the Wild wins the Cup, the "gets-a-ring" list extends to the Guest Services staff.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

In my mind, I'm gone to Carolina....

Couldn't be in a better mood right now. In about seven hours I'll board a plane bound for Myrtle Beach and my annual golf trip with good friend and great all-around person Peter Thrane. By my count this is our 12th October jaunt to the Grand Strand, where there are somewhere around 130 golf courses within about an hour's drive of Myrtle Beach. Over the years we've played about 60 of them, and perhaps by 2030 we'll get them all done.

Last year there were no blogs from MB due to a malfunctioning wi-fi set up in the condo. We've been assured that it's corrected, and I hope to get a chance to post.

BUT...before I go to sleep with dreams of wide fairways and fast greens, I stop by the Star-Tribune web site and learn that the Vikings are trying to deal for Randy Moss. And suddenly my mood got EVEN BETTER!

There are a handful of athletes that I've loved over the years. Harmon Killebrew and Willie Mays were the idols of my childhood. Rod Carew and Neal Broten took those spots during the college years. And while Marian Gaborik was close, and Mikko Koivu is almost there, those four are in my pantheon, and the football player with them is Moss. He's the most talented wide receiver I've ever seen, with the kind of athleticism that makes you sit up straight on the couch and say "Geez, did you see that!?!" He HATES to lose, and seems to crave winning the same way Michael Jordan did. When things go wrong, he can bail, but that's the tradeoff for the fact that when he's engaged, he can do things on a football field that no one else can.

(The fact that he was willing to take a big, fat obnoxious Minneapolis "traffic control officer" for a ride on his bumper down a block of city traffic only endeared him to me. And anyone who's dealt with an officious, self-important cop knows just what I mean.)

His nickname is "Freak," and that about says it all. Nothing could increase my excitement about the Vikings more than having #84 returning home, and I hope that by the time I change planes in Atlanta tomorrow, Freak is coming back to the Purple.