Sunday, January 08, 2006

Posted by Mark at 8:27 PM

Call Them the Mighty Jerks

Reunion with Former Cincy Ducks Leaves Much to Be Desired

Last week, some friends and I went up to Columbus to see the Anaheim Mighty Ducks take on the Columbus Blue Jackets. I was looking forward to being reunited with some of my boys from Cincinnati, like Ilya Bryzgalov, Joffrey Lupul, Chris Kunitz, Zenon Konopka, Vitali Vishnevski, JS Giguere, and others. Most of these guys had been very forthcoming and polite in their years in Cincinnati, many of them just here last year during the final year of the Ducks. I especially wanted to see Ilya and Giguere, as both I personally championed as they both replaced popular goaltenders in their time in Cincy and were not always appreciated.

Well, Ilya did not disappoint me. He cordially said hellow and engaged in small talk both times I saw him that day. He was his same old funny self. What was most appalling was that even though it was over 55 degrees, a vast majority of the players decided to take the bus rather than walk to the arena. Usually, players walk to the arena for practice and to the game when the weather is not too bad. Well, these guys saw fans waiting for autographs and just to say hi, so they went pathetically into the bus. Giguere was surly and didn't look at any of the fans as he boarded the bus. At least superstar Teemu Selanne waved to us and signed something for an intrepid child who ran up to the bus. Zenon Konopka was a jerk, as was Rob Niedermaye, and his brother Scott. Scott signed a card but looked like he wanted to kill you. I was gravely disappointed in this team, especially since intul recently they had an affiliation with Ohio here in Cincy. Kunitz was cool, as were some of hte other players.

In order to get some things signed, Mary sneaked into the hotel lobby beore game time. Teemu Selanne was very gracous with her and signed a couple of really nice cars. Giguere tried to bowl some small boy over trying to avaoid her, but he signed something. Total jackass! Andy McDonald, a former Cincy Duck, was very gracious and polite and signed my friend Jason's Cincy game used jersey. The Niedermayers were just as surly and rude. Former Ducks Todd Marchant and Tyler Wright acted like jerks in their former city.

For the first time, I received better attention from the Columbus team, even though they had to stop their cars to sign stuff. They were awesome. Special thanks to Adam Foote, Jody Shelley, Rick Nash, and Marc Denis for signing so much and being so great to talk to. Duvie Westcott was also great too.

Well, I resolved to root aginst anaheim and I was not disappointed. Giguere let the game winning goal go right between his pads, showing that his NHL-itis still does not insulate him from mistakes.

What was really the straw that broke the camel's back was seeing some other cincy fans holding signs during warmups saying "Ducks Like Rain", the Cincy catchphrase for last season. Well, the guys on the team virtually ignored these fans and made fun of them with the Anaheim guys rather than acknowledge their fans. So, I say, to quite a few of them, screw you! Good riddance!

Ducks lose, 1-0, and I gain new respect for the Columbus players, and new contempt for most of Anaheim's roster!