Bob and I have had our share of disagreements regarding the Chicago Blackhawks over the years. We are both fans, don’t get me wrong – they have just been on the periphery of a number of arguments. On one of our first dates at a Blackhawks game Bob attempted to impress me with a story that involved his personal relationship with Denis Savard, whose number was being retired in the pregame ceremony. I am not from Chicago and was therefore not impressed. I may have offered him a quarter to call someone who cared. (I know, I am a delight, right?) He was crestfallen. I was apologetic. It was awkward. But thankfully Bob didn’t hold my snark against me (possibly because I let him hold something else against me) and there were more dates to follow.
Several years later at a black tie charity event Bob wandered over to the silent auction table, after a martini or two. There on the table was an autographed Denis Savard Blackhawks jersey that no one had yet bid on. Well, Bob being both a Blackhawks fan and an old friend of Denis’ (really they had met once or twice not gone to summer camp together) put down the minimum bid of $350. It was late in the evening and he was concerned that no one would bid on it. Just to walk you through the logic, he wasn’t concerned that the charity would lose out; he was concerned that Mr. Savard would somehow be aware that no one had bid on his jersey and would have his feelings hurt. This bit of vodka-induced empathy led us to be the proud owners of one Denis Savard autographed Blackhawks jersey. It also led to a heated discussion of silent auctions, alcohol and finances.
Last weekend was the Blackhawks’ Fan Convention. It was requested that Bob attend in a professional capacity. Still a big fan, however, and coming off their recent Stanley Cup win this was not a big sacrifice. In a less than professional capacity, he apparently meandered over to the area in which all things Blackhawks were being sold. Now to be fair, he did not buy a jersey. Nor did he buy anything Denis Savard related. He did, however, buy a pair of hockey gloves. Not just any gloves, but a pair that had been worn in a game by a player this past season who is no longer on the team. I don’t know which player (I might have been more forgiving if they had belonged to Dustin Byfuglien). I do know that they were $150. Again to lead you through the maze that is Bob’s logic: Bob used to play and coach hockey and when our basement flooded a couple of years ago, his hockey gloves were destroyed. These new/used gloves were the same price as a “decent” new pair at Sports Authority (a claim yet to be substantiated) and they had the added bonus of being game-worn memorabilia. And unbeknownst to me, Bob had been planning on adding hockey to his midlife-crisis-health-fitness program. Did I mention this purchase was not in our rather strict budget? Um, did I also perhaps mention that the last time Uncle Bob busted out his skates was more than nine years ago? Most of the time Bob and I are on the same financial page, but last Saturday afternoon my fifty-something year old husband morphed into an eleven year old. His transformation was made complete with the explanation an eleven year old would offer after having made a rogue purchase, albeit a part of last year’s Blackhawk Stanley Cup winning season.
We rarely attend black tie charity events these days and I don’t think Bob would be tempted by a silent auction if he were exposed. Hockey season is over and the Blackhawks have traded about two thirds of the players that comprised their championship team, so it seems Bob and I may be immune to these Blackhawks related conflicts for the foreseeable future. And everyone knows there is almost no fighting in football.