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Vapor Tales

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... It's Making a Cup of Tea

Recently, I heard something that reminded me of a video I watched in one of my design classes in college. The video is about procrastination. It’s wonderfully done and makes me laugh every time I watch it. The refrain is “making a cup of tea.” Often, when somebody utters that phrase, "making a cup of tea," I’m taken back to this video and laugh a little inside. I’m also very self-conscious when I make a cup of tea, particularly when I do it prior to writing an article, scanning or editing photos or beginning a major design project.

I don’t fall victim to every activity on the list, but I can relate to more than one and I’m willing to bet just about everybody can blame the delay of something important on at least one included item. I just wanted to share this video because I never forgot it and … hang on … be right back. I have to color-coordinate my shelves and get this pen to work.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Rangers > Bruins

Almost 10 years ago, some time after I had advanced to sports editor of one of the two student publications I ultimately managed. I atteneded a conference in New York City. It happened to take place over St. Patrick's Day. Let me tell you, experiencing St. Patrick's Day in New York City is special. I loved the parade and the city was alive, but I made by far my favorite memories that evening when I was fortunate enough to attend the Rangers-Bruins game in Madison Square Garden. Below is a column I wrote for the ensuing issue. I thought I'd post it as a reason good enough to celebrate any day, but especially on St. Patrick's Day. On this night, the Rangers clobbered the Bruins, 7-0, and on a day celebrated by Irish everywhere, this ice surface was plenty bloodied. Along with the scoring and penalty summaries from the game, I posted a screenshot of the actual page that ran in the March 26, 2007 issue. Also posted is a video of Ryan Hollweg's pre-game jig. Perhaps that gave the Rangers the bit o' luck they never needed to best the bears. As always, Go Rangers!

What’s up

As part of a the trip, I was able to hit the Big Apple. In doing so, I attended both a New York Rangers game and a New York Knicks game. We’ll call it a dream come true.

To experience a professional sports game in New York City means much more than simply witness sports on the East Coast.

The city

New York City—sports town extraordinaire and home to eight professional sports teams from five different sports.

This city is blessed with passionate fans. They can be either a player’s best friend or worst enemy and keep even their best athletes accountable. Consider A-Rod an example.

The Big Apple is the archetype of a complete sports city. People navigate dangerous sidewalks, cross cab-filled streets and brave the disease-ridden subways to pay upward of $80, in the case of the Rangers, for even the worst seat to support their teams.

The Garden

On top of Pennsylvania Station, on the corner of 7th Avenue and 32nd Street is one of New York City’s most famous buildings, Madison Square Garden. Opened in 1968, the Garden can seat more than 18,000 people for basketball games as well as hockey games.

Ticket in hand, I stood, centered in the mob of fans who arrived on time, waiting for the security guards to announce what all of us already knew, 6 p.m. had come. The barriers were removed and like a herd of buffalo, we rushed the turnstiles.

I was somewhat familiar with the layout of the building after attending a Knicks game the night before. I knew the general direction in which I needed to travel. Even though I already watched a game in the building, the reality of where I was hadn’t yet set it.

It was not until I was seated, reading the Media Notes and thumbing through the program, sniffing that unmistakable stench of beer and my foot-long hot dog to the tune of a pre-game documentary of Ranger left wing Brendan Shanahan on the Garden’s massive scoreboard screens that I started to realize what I was about to do.

One look up at the division, conference and league championship banners mixed with the retired jerseys of Mark Messier, Mike Richter and Patrick Ewing and the realization was finalized.

The fans

In addition to being a die-hard Rangers fan, I support the Spokane Chiefs. Hockey runs in my blood and it often bothers me to hear the fans in Spokane discuss the sport.

The difference between being a loud, ridiculous, hockey habitué in Washington and New York is noticed almost entirely during the breaks in the game.

The Ranger regulars, who put up $80 a game, know a considerable amount about the sport itself in addition to players, lines, stats, standings and injuries.

The Spokane Chiefs spectators, particularly those who secure the $8 tickets for the nosebleeds, are lucky to know the name of the flat, funny-looking, black cylinder after which the players chase.

Let’s just say I didn’t hear any people in New York discuss American Idol with their significant others through the inconvenient disruptions of a hockey game, nor did I suffer through any confident ignoramuses misexplaining hockey to their clueless companions of choice.

The game

At 7 p.m., the crux of my evening, trip and month began--St. Patrick’s Day Saturday in the famed Madison Square Garden, NHL hockey represented by the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins and anticipation leaking from the crowd in the form of sporadic “yeahs” and “woohoos.”

The National Anthem was sung. The starting lineups were announced. The Blue and White mob which ruled the seats surrounding the ice readied itself for war and then it happened.

The puck dropped.

New York ran all over the Bruins. Ranger left wing Sean Avery finished the game with a goal and three assists. He was a fight away from a Gordie Howe Hat Trick (a goal, assist and a fight in one game).

The 5-10, 185-pound forward led the NHL in penalty minutes last year, finishing with 257. It was his career high for points in a game. When a team’s penalty guy has a four-point game, good things are sure to come.

Ranger center Matt Cullen and right wing Ryan Callahan had two goals each. Callahan, one goal from a hat trick and one assist from a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, was playing in his fourth NHL game and hadn’t previously scored a goal. (NOTE FROM TODAY: Callahan went on to captain the Rangers for years and score many, many more goals.)

Starting goalie for New York Henrick Lundqvist made 30 saves for his fourth shutout of the season.

The Rangers are one of the few teams in the NHL to meet at center ice after each home game and raise their sticks to the fans as a thank-you.

Lundqvist came out after he was announced as the game’s first star and launched his stick into the crowd.

With that, the 18,000-plus fans and my friend and I proceeded to file out of the Garden. I can’t even imagine a better St. Patrick’s Day. Go Rangers!

New York Rangers

All We Do Is Bend, Twist, Flip, Jump and Win

As an alumnus to both Boise State University and The University of Texas at Austin, I closely follow Bronco and Longhorn athletics. Ashley and I both follow Duke basketball and football as well and had a lot of fun at Cameron Indoor and Wallace Wade Stadium during our stay in North Carolina.

Once in a while, one person or team finds itself on a great run and if I am able, I like to create a special post. When Duke was prepping for one of its bowl games, I put up a short post. When Jordan Spieth really started to turn it on, I posted a few photos I took during a round preceding the presentation of one of Texas’ two NCAA championship trophies for golf. I posted a photo or two after the Longhorns won their first championship in volleyball in more than 20 years and right now, I'm thrilled to honor Boise State’s gymnastics team.

As of this moment, Boise State is the one and only undefeated team in the country. This, following a 196.575-194.575 win over Michigan State. The 10-0 Broncos have opened a lot of eyes and deservedly so. The Broncos have one meet left at home three days from now and can extend their record to 11-0 before the MRGC championships, NCAA regionals and NCAA nationals. To anyone in or around the Boise area, if you can, go support the Broncos and keep it going through the rest of the season!

Below are a few photos I took from one of the three gymnastics events I photographed during my time at Boise State. These are from a while ago so I’m sure these ladies are lawyers and mothers and finishing their second doctorates by now, but they helped establish the foundation on which the current, all-star cast is performing.

Boise State
Boise State
Boise State
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