Today's featured guest is celebrating a birthday. The big guy is eleven (going on 16). I have had the pleasure of knowing him almost since birth and I was with him at a memorable Hawks game.
Last season, Laurie scored some great seats for a Blackhawks game against the Los Angeles Kings. The seats were on the glass, about even with a face-off circle.
We all had a great time, but Jake probably had the game experience of his life. Before the game, one of the Hawks flipped a puck over the glass right to Jake. He later flipped another for Jake's pal.
During the intermission, we all met Keith Carney, a former member of the Blackhawks who was their alumni-signer of the night. Carney signed pictures and pucks for us and posed for pictures, too. He was great.
On the way back to our seats, we ran into Tommy Hawk, the Hawks mascot. Laurie alertly snapped the picture. Tommy had some fun with the boys by placing his "wings" over their faces. (It didn't prevent this from becoming a 'Friendly Encounter' though.)
As for the game itself, the Hawks won 3-0. Pre-game, there was a celebration honoring Hawks Hall of Famer, Denis Savard. The United Center crowd was at a fever pitch throughout the night.
Jake's night of excitement did not end with the final horn. One of the Hawks staff called Jake over and handed him the broken stick used by Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.
Like I wrote, it was the game of his life. Maybe I have grown up a bit, because I was happier for him getting the pucks and stick than if I would have gotten them (and I am a memorabilia nut). It was great seeing his excitement and knowing he would remember this night always.
Happy birthday Jake. I hope the next year is full of fun and wonder!
Tommy Hawk having fun with Jake and Jake's pal in Chicago, IL-March 2010.