Ima tell all y’all a little story. It’s short, it’s sweet, and it’s mine.
Late one night, many years ago when the RBC Center was known as the ESA and the Hurricanes hadn’t yet won more than one playoff round, I and a couple ladies that worked for Adam and Eve were hanging out in back of the RBC Center, waiting for all the players to roll out after a game. I don’t even remember who we were playing–I think it was the Islanders of all teams–and I don’t even remember their names, but I remember this.
It was late (like midnight), it was nippy and a little breezy and a tad damp, but because one of the women had a shirt that she wanted to have signed by all the players, I agreed to wait with her and her friend. One by one, the players came out and I told my two compatriots who each player was and what number he was. And the shirt got signed one player at a time.
Finally this big green Explorer comes rolling out and stops, and the window rolls down. Behind the wheel was a rookie whose English was kinda fair to middlin’ (more middlin’ than fair, really), but he was more than happy to sign the shirt.
“Can you write “She froze her ass off for you” on it?” the lady with the shirt asked. “It’s for my husband, and I want him to know what I went through to get this done for him.
“Sure,” the rookie said. And he wrote it as best he could–but since his English was more middlin’ than fair, it came out as SE FROZ OF AESE. We all thought it was hilarious at the time, and it’s still quite funny and brings a smile to my face.
That rookie was Josef Vasicek–better known in these parts as Joe, Lord of Evil–and he died in a plane crash this morning (US time) along with all but one of his KHL teammates. Of all the fan-moments I remember involving the Lord of Evil, the Night of the Frozen-Ass T-Shirt is the one that makes me smile most.
Rest well in the halls of your ancestors, Joe. Thanks for the memories.