Two and a half hours to puck drop. An hour until we leave for the great swamp. I’m pulling out all of the stops, all of the swag, everything I can think of, do, or conjure up to send luck to the boys in red and black tonight. We’ll be there in person, look for us to the right of Brodeur, about one section over and 6 rows back of the net. We’re the ones asking the goal judge to only hit the magic red button during the second period (when the Devils are shooting toward us).
Pre-game lucky checklist:
T-Shirt: Czech. Pun intended. The proper undergarment is the foundation upon which all luck builds. Although I’m going to riffle through the Minnesota, North Dakota, and Team USA hockey shirts, just to send a little reiki energy to Mssrs Langenbrunner, Parise, Martin, Gomez and Gionta.
Sneakers: NikeID Frees, in red and black. I don’t care if it drizzles and my feet swim home, as long as we’re singing happily in the rain.
Cheer gear: Czech (flag). A small remainder from the 2003 playoffs. It has been waved, moved, furled, unfurled, lost, found, and stored in a mojo-protected energy-sealed area for three years. As Rafiki would say, “It is time.”
Chair of power: Power creates slapshots. Slapshots break sticks. Broken sticks make a nice Adirondack chair. I sit, and contemplate my navel, then discover it’s gotten harder to get up. Must lay off of the Little League snack bar treats.
Evil Eye Avoidance: Hockey News cover shot of Elias and Klee is turned over, avoiding all ken-klee-a-horas.
Sharpie Kingdom: Scribed goodies from Pandolfo, Gionta, Gomez, Langenbrunner, Parise and Madden, neatly arranged around the Adirondack chair of power. Or something like that. I touch them like hockey mezuzot and hope I don’t get hit by lightning for such thoughts.
Food: The official Meadowlands dinner of chicken fingers, french fries, and soda, washed down with ice cream and a pretzel. It’s 38 steps from our seats to the concourse, so we’re getting some minimal exercise to balance out the calories.
Jersey: 1999 vintage Koho Devils red jersey, washed so many times the embroidery is starting to warp and pucker. As long as it fits after the required lucky eating regimen, I’m wearing it.
As I go in search of socks, I check out the Madden signed page from ESPN: The Magazine and realize it’s a picture of Mad Dog chipping away at the Carolina goalie, in a game the Devils won. At home. Hugely coincidental. Hugely prognostic. I’m not turning away any reasonable semblance of luck or good feelings right now. The word “fan” is a diminutive of the more SAT-caliber “fanatic”. How appropriate.