That’s probably what Matt Niskanen was thinking when Jenlo and I held out a box of Cocoa Puffs for him to sign.
Just like Caitlin posted the stories of obtaining my Christmas present, I’m here to present to you the stories of me and Jen’s day.
Jenlo and I made our way to Stars practice on this chilly day (I think the high ended up being, like, 40 or something), to watch our team practice and obtain Caitlin’s awesome gift. We ended up there wicked early, so we stood outside in the cold and smoked cigarettes for about fifteen minutes, and then watched our team go. Practice was fairly uneventful – nothing special, just the regular old thing. At one point, Jenlo noticed that someone was FEEDING Russian a PowerBar or something, and commented that she would be afraid that he would bite her fingers off. I’m certain this will lead to tons of jokes, because we definitely made jokes about it all day long.
It was the typical Stars practice – quite a few laughs throughout a hard skate. Post-practice, only about 15 people waited for autographs. We took our place at the very very end (as in, at least 30 feet from everyone else), so we could smoke as we waited (we’re bad people).
Scary Jere came out first, as he’s recovering from sports hernia surgery. Apparently he was doing some shopping at the StarCenter. Jenlo gave him her Christmas card, and he said “Thank you, merry Christmas” to us. Thanks, Jere.
Next up? RUSSIAN. The original plan was to get him to sign the box of Cocoa Puffs, but we chickened out when Jenlo gave him her Christmas card and he looked at it in fear. Also, Russian is a little scary, although I’m sure he’s a very nice man. Jenlo got a picture, and she looks genuinely afraid in it. No joke. We laughed for at least five minutes after the incident.
We didn’t ask many for autographs – in fact, the only people we asked for autographs were people vital to the Great Caitlin Gift Experience, and Midget, to sign Jen’s jersey. We mostly just handed out cards, and got a couple of pictures (I’m now the proud owner of a photo of myself and Mr. Mojangles!). Marty Turco was the most awesome person ever. He was all “You guys, it’s freakin’ cold out here.” Which, well, yes, it was. We had some camera difficulties (namely, that mine wouldn’t work), and so he stood there with his arm around me for like a minute. I love you so hard, Marty Turco. Poor Mike Smith gave his key to the garage to some guy, and ended up stuck outside the door for a couple of minutes while he waited for the guy to come back out.
Matt Niskanen was the first to appear that was vital to the Great Caitlin Gift Experience (known heretofore as the GCGE). I, in my total Happy Meals love, couldn’t speak for a minute or two. I held out my jersey for him to sign (he totally had his hand on mine to hold the jersey in place so he could sign it, and I’m normally not That Girl, who is all “OMGOMGOMG HE’S TOUCHING ME”, but Matt Niskanen you’re so rad). He signed it, despite some initial Sharpie difficulties (turns out the silver Sharpies don’t work so well on the jersey fabric), and then Jenlo held out the Cocoa Puffs.
He looked from me, to her, back to me, and smiled. “What?”
“It’s for a Christmas present!” Jenlo and I replied in unison.
He grinned and was all “Okay! Where should I sign?”
“Wherever you want.”
He signed on the little blue part that has a Really!Excited!Kid! on it, and then Jenlo said (probably really nervously, I was too distracted by Pretty!Niskanen), “Could you write ‘Haha I stole these’ on there somewhere?”
Matt looked up and was a little taken aback, but laughed anyway, and again, asked where to write it. Like it’s really complicated or something. We said “ANYWHERE!”, just excited that he’d write it at all. I then asked him for a picture, which he agreed to, and we posed and took a fairly cute picture – I have pictures with Stars players where I look better, but it’s cute enough. It’ll do.
On the back of Brenden Morrow’s envelope, Jenlo wrote “Please do another ‘On the Ice’ video, because it is hysterical and you are awesome”. Unfortunately, Jenlo made the mistake of handing Brenden his card with the back of the envelope facing up. He was reading it as he walked away, and laughed. Oh, Morrownator, you’re so awesome.
Jenlo got a picture with Chris Conner, but his eyes are closed and his mouth is also closed, which is a shame because he didn’t have his teeth in, so he really WAS a gap-toothed little scamperer. Jenlo looks less frightened in that picture than in her picture with Russian, which surprised me a little.
Antti Miettinen was totally on board with drawing a picture for us. He asked what he should draw, and we were just thrilled that he was even entertaining the idea of drawing something for us that we said “ANYTHING!” He chose to draw…Well, you saw it. He was really nice about it.
Poor Jussi Jokinen had all this stuff in his hands, and walked out with Loui Eriksson, who didn’t hold any of Jussi’s stuff for him! Come on, Swedish Fish. Anyway, we got Jussi to sign the shirt, and he looked at us a little oddly, but wished us a merry Christmas after we gave him his card, anyway.
All in all, I’d consider it pretty much the best day ever. Oh, I got another photo with Mike Smith as well. I’m determined to get one where we both look decent, and don’t look stoned/drunk/idiotic.
EDIT: I would like to mention that Les Jackson, the interim co-GM of the Stars, told Jen and I that we were “damn good fans” for standing out in the cold for almost THREE HOURS to meet the players. If Jussi hadn’t taken so long, it would have been shorter.