We'll miss you, Owen
Aeros equipment manager and resident comedian Rick Bronwell continues his Aeros.com blog. Rick loves hearing from his fans...rather, Aeros fans...so e-mail him now!
Well fans, the final week is upon us. Writing to you from Milwaukee, and hope you can make it out to Toyota Center this Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Wednesday, we’ll have a tough game, flying back home day of the game to face Iowa at 7:05 p.m. The boys really appreciate the support on nights like that. Iowa sticks around for a Friday game at 7:35 p.m. – and the Aeros Hall of Fame Trading Cards are really neat. Sunday is the home “Fan-ale” – it’s Rally Towel Night too. Your last chance to see the boys until next October. And as an added treat, all orders placed this week by calling 713.974.PUCK gets entered into a drawing for lots of free stuff – Cirque du Soleil tickets and autographed Aeros merchandise among them. I really want to see that.
A sad thing happened to me two weeks ago, on Wednesday. We had to put our dog of seven years, Owen, an English Bulldog, to sleep. It was really Heather’s little buddy, he was more attached to her because he spent so much time with her with me being on the road. Heather waited with the kids and I stayed with him. It was one of the toughest things I’ve had to deal with in my life, up to this point anyways. It’s all a part of growing up and having animals. I wanted to put a shoutout and let you people know, and for him to know that we all love him and we think about him. We miss him every day. I hope he’s doing well wherever he’s at in Puppy Heaven. I’m sure he’s pooping on a cloud, somewhere.
Now, a look back in time.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Aeros Charities Celebrity Waiter Dinner & Auction. My table rocked! I heard they all requested Blogman. It was great seeing everyone out there. I know they’re going to make an announcement soon on how much money they raised – I think they’re still counting the cash that goes towards the Aeros Power Playroom on the 9th floor at Children’s Memorial Hermann.
Here we are. We’re in between periods. We’re up 3-0 on Peoria. I had to do a pair of skates this period. Matt Foy, he always seems to have to have his skates done. They looked good to me. During the Pouliot scrap at the end of the period there, both guys ended up with the other one’s stick. He came off the ice and said “Who’s stick is this?” So Donny grabbed it and ran to the visitors’ room, and sure enough their guy had Pouliot’s stick. With the Reebok stick deal, all the sticks are basically the same. You can’t tell whose is whose necessarily, especially if they have the same tape job.
It’s the second intermission. No one’s brought skates in yet, that’s a good sign. We’re up 4-2. It’s good. They won that period, but if we can win this period or tie it, we’re golden.
Editor’s note: Aeros won 6-3.
We’ve got a good week in store. Tuesday we’re home against Peoria, then we’ll practice in Sugar Land on Wednesday before going to Peoria. We have to fly to Chicago, and then bus three hours to Peoria. Kurt will come pick me up in their truck. The team buses back to Chicago on Friday night. I’ll stay in Peoria, get on the truck and leave by 4 a.m. and get to Chicago by 7 a.m. so we can get on the plane to fly to Omaha.
After that, it’s pretty easy. We fly back to Chicago on Sunday, and Milwaukee’s assistant, Phil, will pick us up with their truck and we’ll go to Milwaukee. We’re at the practice rink in Milwaukee on Monday. It’s a school’s ice rink, so we had to get an insurance binder on that. It’s kind of interesting. I learned something this week.
We’ll play Tuesday, and fly home early Wednesday morning for the game against Iowa.
A lot of feedback this week, not much else going on!
I read the blog, and love it.
Here's a question for a trained hockey equipment professional like you: my son plays high school inline hockey. There's no way to describe the powerful odor of a hockey bag after a workout. Geez - these bags and all the gear inside really stink. Put three guys in your car after a practice, and things are really ripe. How do you combat this odor control problem with a full team's gear?
A: Ron, you get Ravi’s first nickname. If you remember from the last blog, I’m going to give out nicknames to anyone who sends in feedback. Ron, you’re forever known as Otter.
You can always wash the gear in your washing machine at home. Use hot water, some bleach and some soap. If you do that once a month you’ll be ok, or when it starts to get ripe. You can put the bag in there too, unless it’s one of the one with wheels. Or you can take it to the laundromat and use an industrial machine. The only things you can’t wash obviously are skates and helmets. Pads, gloves, all that stuff you can do. Do not bleach gloves though, just hot water and soap. I use a little bit of spray and wash on the inside of the gloves too before you wash them. It takes the smell right out. Well, not entirely. Air dry them, the dryer will wreak havoc on the gear. You can also try Lysol in between skates. Just make sure you hang the gear up every time. That’s the key is getting it dry. It’s still going to smell. I use a Lysol type disinfectant in the skates – we have hospital grade sanitation spray. Not necessarily for the smell – that’s inevitable and you get used to it, but we do that for the germs.
We have a machine at Sugar Land we can wash gear too, for $10 a load. We’re still working on how we’re going to do it for anyone out there who wants to use it. So stay tuned. Alright Otter, rock on.
Q: Hey Rick! I enjoy your blog. Will you keep it up after the season ends April 15? We're really sad the season is ending and plan on going to see the Aeros play all three of their games that weekend. We'll stop at Bucee's on the way to San Antonio -- and probably on the way back too! I'm anticipating bad reactions to hockey withdrawal so I'm taking off from work the Monday after the last game to come to grips that there are no more games until October.
A: Linda – I’m gonna’ call you Oleo because of your last name. I appreciate you reading and enjoying the blog. It makes me feel good to have people actually read this stuff. I’m sad the season is ending too. It kind of hit me on the bench the other day. April 15 it’ll be all over. It’s my first year ever not in the playoffs. I was a stickboy in Kansas City the last time that didn’t happen. I think we (Jerry and myself and the coaches) will go to Minnesota for their playoff run. We haven’t finalized that. I’ll still be working obviously, it’ll just be a lot longer between the time the guys check out and check back in. At the end of the year, you’re always ready for summertime, but after about a month of that, you’re ready to get back into it. Maybe we’ll see you at Buc-ee’s. Donny and I always stop. We can eat some jerky together. Take off work, but don’t get fired! You got it, Oleo.
Q: Hey…Finally back…I was having withdraws but I’m better now. I have a real hockey question believe it or not. Why, when there is a faceoff, does the ref throw one of the players out and another steps in???? I have watched them face off a million times and still can’t figure that out.
Goalies…and the strange things they do (from latest blog)…They are a breed of their own I hear. I like to watch Josh (Harding) during the National Anthem…he has his little routine he goes through every time. I have watched him so much I can follow along with him. The only problem with me doing that is the people on each side of me keep complaining when I turn my head first right then left and spit on them…..Guess I will have to stop that. Well back to work see you all next game. Thanks, Amee
A: Amee – Pru-Cru, you want to know about the faceoff. Mainly, there are a couple of reasons. The visiting team has to change first, and if they change late, sometimes they’ll throw the guy out. Also the visiting team’s center has to have the stick on the ice first – again it’s an advantage of being at home. The home guy can judge ahead of time. If the guy doesn’t have his stick down in time or if he moves too quick, the linesman will throw him out and put another guy in there. If the home team gets thrown out, it’s pretty much because they didn’t change quick enough, or they moved too quick.
Harding has the routine, pretty much everyone has a routine. You have to watch out about spitting on the people to your left, or at least switch it up and spit to the right. I’m sure people get jealous. Good stuff, Pru-Cru
I also got feedback from Mike in Orlando last week, with that beautiful dog, but I didn’t give him a nickname. I’m going to call him Spi-Doc – like spin doctor. I’m sure that will get Spi-Doc many, many women. Well, he’s married…but I’m sure he’ll get a lot of women flirting with him. It’s kind of like Spiderman, but it’s Spi-Doc – Freak Show Boy. Spi-Doc though for short.
It means so much to me to have people hear me out, and for me to be able to explain to people on questions, problems with equipment, etc. Any way I can help out, I’m here for any of you guys. Not just for the team, but for you guys too. E-mail us. We’ll speak the truth and get it real.
I got a couple feedbacks from people who said I looked angry when they announced my birthday at a recent home game. I appreciate all the applause, I really do. It was a little overwhelming, especially during a game. Heather was like “Wow, you are a star.” and I told her to be quiet. I appreciate all the well wishes, all the e-mails. It was something that makes you feel really good inside, to have people clap for you on your birthday, and everybody that supported Hold the Mayo. It’s a little overwhelming. I turned and looked at Donny and he gave me a smile and a wink. So I knew he did it, so I wanted to give him a dirty look, you know how it is when you turn 30. Oh boy I’m just getting older. I didn’t even know at first I was on the big screen. I was kind of lost. Thanks everyone.
We’ll see you next time. I’d love to do something over the summer too, once a month. Things that happen around the practice rink, or updates that we can let you guys know about. Also we’re working on the end of year equipment sale, sometime in May, probably around Memorial Day. Helmets, gloves, pants, any old equipment that we can’t use. Old practice jerseys, nameplates from Toyota Center. All sorts of stuff. We’ll keep you updated on that, too.
Ravi – Out.