Thursday, April 19, 2007
Courtesy, Long Island Style. (Part Two)
Well, I was at game four of the Sabres/Islanders last night with Jack Kukoda, and I gotta tell you, sitting right behind the glass is extraordinary.
When you're that close, it's hard not to simply marvel at how REALLY good at hockey these guys are.
Even Tom Poti.
I swear, it's true.
Also, seeing Yashin's turtleneck up close is a deeply troubling experience.
Just to refresh your memories, here is the YouTube video of the Isles fans we were sitting in front of during game three. The full story of these Yahoos can be read here.
I was curious about how the crowd would measure up in the pricey seats, so I brought my camera again. Check out this rowdy gang of toughs:
It's a miracle we got out alive.
Still, the problem with the first row was not the fans at all.
It was the media.
I returned from a quick bathroom break during a TV time out in the second period to find none other than TV's Deb Kaufman sitting in my seat.
You heard me.
For those of you who are not exposed to the New York Hockey Market, Deb Kaufman is the tiny, adorable New York Islanders player interviewer who has been the sideline reporter for the Islanders for a number of years. She knows her hockey, is a New York sports media fixture, and both Jack and I were thrilled to see her.
We greeted her in the manner to which I'm sure she has grown accustomed, by pasting two big, stupid grins on our faces and shouting "Deb!" She apologized for sitting in my seat, crouched down to leave, and then she spilled my beer.
All class, she apologized again, and told me she would get me another one. I claimed it was no big deal, but she insisted, so I agreed. And then, Deb Kaufman was gone, my delicious beer with her.
The second period ended.
No Deb, no beer.
Jack and I were still thrilled to have seen Deb Kaufman, and when she ran by again at the beginning of the third, we felt like old friends.
"Deb! What's up!"
"So- Am I getting that beer or what?"
"Yes! I'll definitely get you one!"
And that was the last we saw of her.
Deb Kaufman, I have been a loyal fan for many years, but now- now, I am shocked and stunned at your betrayal. You steal a guy's seat, spill his beer, promise to replace it, not once but twice and then don't come through?!
As President Andrew Jackson once said in 1883:
"LET NO MAN INTERFERE BETWEEN ME AND THIS PERSONAL INSULT!"
Deb Kaufman, I am owed a beer, and goddamn you, I will have it.
To paraphrase Ahab, Aye, American Hockey Fans; aye, my hearties all round; it was Deb Kaufman that spilled my beer; Deb Kaufman that brought my bottle of Miller Lite to the dead, empty stump I held in my hand last night!
Aye, aye! it was that accursed Deb Kaufman that razeed me; made a poor pegging lubber of my beer for ever and a day! Aye, aye! and I'll chase her round Good Hope, and round the horn, and round the Norway maelstrom, and round perdition's flames before I give her up!
And this is what ye have shipped for, men! to chase that Deb Kaufman on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till she spouts black blood and rolls fin out!
Or you know, at least until I get that beer that I am owed.
Deb Kaufman, behold the face of the man you wronged.
J'accuse, Deb Kaufman.