Friday, May 8, 2009

Jason Shaver and how things come full circle

I finally had the pleasure of meeting Jason Shaver last night, former Aeros broadcaster and now broadcaster for the hated Chicago Wolves, though he still lives in Houston. I really enjoyed his game calls last season when all I had was radio. I could just close my eyes and watch the game in my head, which, I believe is more than B2 subscribers could see actually watching the game online.

Anyway, it was great, I learned a lot listening to him, and he's just a total pro. The games he broadcast with Schaefer and/or Brusty when they were out with injuries were the absolute best. It was like the Aeros Hockey Comedy Hour. Really great stuff. But also insightful, because goalies see the whole game unfold in front of them.

But seeing Jason reminded me of one game when Schaef was on and Shaver was taking emails with questions for him, and I was still toying with this "being a goalie" idea.

So, I emailed and explained that I'm 32 and, suddenly, I've decided that I MUST become a goalie, and did he have any tips for me.

Nolan, in his usual no-nonsense way, basically said, 'Good luck with that, crazy lady.' (Okay, that isn't an exact quote but that was the gist.) His tip was to get VERY good gear.

It told me two things:

  • Never ask Nolan if these pants make your ass look big, because he's gonna tell you the truth.
  • Goaltending is going to be harder that I think it is. (And it is... but it's also more fun than I thought it would be.)
I'll be honest, it was a little discouraging. In fact, a lot of feedback I got along the way was discouraging, so I learned to blow it off, but this one, from a goalie for whom I have tremendous respect, stuck with me. Kind of in a "I'll show you, Mr. Goalie Man" way. So, I chalk that up as a good thing.

But beyond playing goal, I'm doing lots of things now that I kinda shake my head at with wonder. Talking to people whose names I only used to read in the paper, who are the source of so much speculation among fans. So much "big stuff" is placed on their shoulders, they seem like they should be taller or more imposing, but they're just regular humans.

So, meeting Jason last night kinda felt like things coming full circle, at least in my hockey life (which, let's get real, is really kinda my whole life now). Especially in light of some other big life decisions Mr. C and I have going on.

Lots to ponder, but for now, I'm just enjoying the ride... even the bumpy parts. (Fred's totally making a dirty joke out of that. Aren't you, Fred?)


Fred Trask  May 8, 2009 at 11:04 AM  

I'd NEVER make a dirty joke about you enjoying your ride on the bumpy parts. I just thought there was jihad or something with all of that noise you were making.

Too bad you're late to the party, you'd have really enjoyed Jason over in Beaumont. Good people usually great hockey and it was quite a ride. Glad you got to experience him when you did though. he's one of the good ones for sure.

buddhafisch  May 8, 2009 at 1:21 PM  

When I was covering the WCHA playoffs, I ran into Frank Mazzocco. For the uninitiated, he would be the Gopher hockey play by play guy. Since... forever really. I grew up listening on the radio and watching him on TV on the rare occasion we actually got to watch hockey.

Anyways, I stopped him in the press box and chatted with him for just a minute. Small talk really. He asked my name, we shook hands and parted ways.

The other day at my bill paying job, he came into the store. I walked by and was with another customer. As I walked by he said, "Hey Bryan, when you get a second, we could use some help."

I was not wearing any Home Depot garb at the time, so it was kind of cool. He remembered me, and asked how the writing was going.

Too cool when you run into these people in the real world, and you realize just how real they are.

Ms. Conduct  May 8, 2009 at 1:45 PM  

That's great. Hockey people are the nicest people, aren't they, Buddha? I have yet to see anything that convinces me otherwise.

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