Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Draftland: Day Two

The first day of the draft was politely scheduled at 4 PM (7 PM EST). But since Day Two lacks the same pomp and circumstance, it started at 10 AM. Srsly? Plus, we weren't staying in LA, so we had to factor in driving time, showers, interminable LA traffic, and the fact that I am in no way a morning person. Miraculously, we made it to the Staples Center early... and promptly had our hearts broken by the security guard at the door.

Guard: "Ma'am, you can't bring those in here..."
(Soph and Jess look, horrified, at their bag of snacks, which contains... Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes!)

Yes, those heartless bastards made us throw out our Tastykakes! Don't they know that nothing goes better with Phillies baseball LIFE than a Tastykake? That the Flyers are motivated to shoot on net SOLELY because they score for a case of Tastykakes?! Thankfully, this nightmarish beginning was not indicative of Day Two as a whole. We just forged ahead, kakeless.

Compared to Day One, Day Two was deserted. We could sit pretty much anywhere in the lower bowl, so we snagged seats about fifth row that afforded a lovely view of the Flyers and Sharks' tables. (Finishing 28th and 29th overall really worked out well for us!) Day Two began with the customary roll call, and then Doug Wilson made a beeline for the Flyers' table. He and Homer are quite touchy-feely; perhaps this is when they reached a handshake shoulder rub agreement for the rights to Nabby? They were actually chatty all day so maybe something else is in the works too...?

There are some key differences between draft days one and two, namely that teams don't come up to the podium anymore; they announce their picks from their tables. A team rep then meets the newly drafted player (if the young lad is in attendance), gives him his jersey, and escorts him to the team table. Then, there's lots of handshaking, and the next team makes their selection. So Day Two trucked along at a pretty impressive clip. Even when things slowed down, the moderator was there to keep everyone moving. Teams only have a few minutes to make each pick, and the moderator would alert the team when they were approaching the time limit. Usually, with some helpful hint like, "Please go ahead [insert team name here]," which pretty much translates to "Hey fools, TODAY!!!" Only once did we hear a team (Pittsburgh) get legit reprimanded because they'd surpassed their time limit: "Can I have your attention, Pittsburgh? Please make your selection!" I'm like the slowest person ever, so this is just one more reason why I'd never make it in the NHL!

By the end of the third round, the Flyers finally had a pick! And actually kept it! With the 89th pick, they took Michael Chaput, who we will obviously love forever and ever. (Or until he starts partying it up in Sea Isle. Nahhh, apparently, that's not even a dealbreaker.) He was actually there, so we made sure to document his introduction to the NHL:

When teams aren't being prodded to make their picks, their reps start wandering the floor. We spotted a lot of familiar faces, such as Brian Burke, Craig Ramsay, Steve Yzerman, and Scotty Bowman. Never has getting coffee, apples, and cookies been so entertaining! After awhile, our magnetic personalities (surely, that's it) began wooing people towards us, and our section became THE hang-out spot. Mike Babcock wandered up into our section with an apple. Darryl Sutter jumped over the boards to chill in the first row of our section. Homer and Joel Quenneville held court right in front of us.

Probably not chatting about the Finals, as there was no bloodshed

Um, and then some dude named Doug Wilson came and sat directly behind us for a spell. You know, the usual.

Eventually, we took time out from our busy schedule of being creepers to go on a hockey card shopping spree! That's right, they had booths set up out on the concourse, which spelled bad news for us (um, and our bank accounts!). One booth was selling packs we'd never seen before: ones that promise a real Sharpie'd autograph in each pack! Soph was intrigued and kicked things off with a Mason Raymond auto! Encouraged by that find, I tried my luck and got... Patrick Kane'd. Thanks, salt in the wound. We soon pieced together that, if you bought three packs of cards and opened them at the Upper Deck booth, you could get some free, Draft-themed card sets. Obviously, we grabbed our remaining packs and made a beeline for that booth! (Free cards?!) Mine were pretty lame, but Little Miss Lucky got a limited edition double autograph rookie card featuring Evander Kane and JVR! All the guys at the booth were super impressed, though one clearly missed our Flyers' attire as he pointed at JVR and gushed, "He's really good! He was just in the Finals!" Oy. But then he redeemed himself by telling us that apparently, when JVR came to do the photo shoot for this card, they had mispelled his last name on the jersey he had to wear. The Upper Deck booth was just a wealth of knowledge! And we got two Draft packs for our troubles! For the most part, those cards were boring (Crosby, Ovechkin, the usual suspects), but we later made good use of one card by playing the Flyers' fan equivalent of Old Maid: Secret Cindy! (We basically started hiding the Crosby draft card in each other's luggage, to cause quite a scare. Without even being a willing participant, Pops ultimately lost, as he found the card lurking in his duffel bag after Soph had left. Curses!) BFFs + hockey + awesomeness = a perfect Draft weekend!

Annnnyway, don't be deterred by the fact that it took me like a month to finish posting about the Draft... it really is an amazing good time. Hockey, cards, celeb sightings... what's not to love?!

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