[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry from Thomas weeks, who had a remarkable uni-related encounter on the streets of New York last week. — PL]
By Thomas Weeks
I’ve always been a fan of hard work. For that reason, the only two NHL players whose jerseys I own are Adam Graves’s and Jed Ortmeyer’s.
I don’t need to tell you anything about Graves, but you might not know too much about Ortmeyer. In five-plus seasons, he’s scored 15 goals, but he’s a hard worker who kills penalties and never gives up. He was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism in August of 2006 but returned to the Rangers lineup just four months later. The following season he was a finalist the season following his embolism for the NHL’s Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy, given for dedication to the game. He’s also been honored by the Rangers by twice winning the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, for outstanding commitment and hard work on and off the ice.
For these reasons, I purchased a Jed Ortmeyer #41 Rangers home jersey. He even signed it for me, at an event for Rangers advertising sponsors that I happened to get tickets for. This has been one of my favorite jerseys to wear to Madison Square Garden.
After wearing my Ortmeyer jersey to last Thursday’s Rangers/Devils tussle, I was walking out of the Garden when I was approached by a group of Swedish tourists. They spoke in half-broken English, but I barely made out one of them saying, “I would like to trade my sweater for yours. My name is Ortmeyer.”
He was wearing an authentic Frolunda Indians sweater (the team Henrik Lundqvist played for before he was drafted by the Rangers), with sponsor patches and all. I had no second thoughts. I took my jersey off right there on Seventh Ave. and handed it to a complete stranger. We thanked each other in our own languages and draped our new sweaters over our heads.
Like Jed Ortmeyer, I too pride myself on hard work and making good decisions. I hope I have made that man named Ortmeyer as happy as the man named Jed Ortmeyer made me.
Culinary Corner: Paul here. I was down in Baton Rouge last weekend, working on an ESPN story that you’ll be hearing about shortly. Most of my “research” involved spending Saturday afternoon tailgating with a bunch of LSU fans. There was a ton of food — chicken, shrimp, pork chops, three kinds of sausage, blueberry pie, etc., etc. — so I was surprised to see that someone brought along a pack of Oreos. Seemed like overkill.
And yet, and yet. As we cooked throughout the afternoon, it occurred to me that the Oreos seemed a bit lonely in their sterile plastic package while the rest of the food was basically having a party on the grill. Why not let the Oreos join the party? Why not indeed. I took two of the cookies out of the package and placed them on one of the grills, where they fit in just fine. Then I put the lid back on the grill and went to find myself another beer.
About three minutes later, the Oreos were hot and slightly soft, and the creme feeling had developed a nicely caramelized edge. I tried one of them — deeeee-lish. Sweet with a smoky undercurrent, mmmmm. I offered the second cookie to one of the other tailgaters and rushed to put a few more Oreos on the grill.
Soon I was being hailed as a genius, and we were running low on Oreos. Which just goes to show that anything tastes better when it’s fresh off the grill.
Membership Update: Birthday boy Scott Turner just whipped up a bunch of cool new membership designs. In addition to Dan Bardin’s Blackhawks Winter Classic throwback, shown at right, this batch also includes two orange alternates — Orioles and Dolphins — our first Kansas City Scouts design, and Ed Westfield Jr.’s odd choice of infinity as a uni number.
Uni Watch News Ticker: Virginia Tech will be wearing this orange-centric outfit for tonight’s game against UNC. … I’ve written several times about the pinned-on uni numbers in the 1934 All-Star Game (if you want the full story, begin here and then go to the “Cold Case File Revisited” section of this column), and now Don Sherman has come up with some photos I hadn’t seen before — look here and here. … Good white-at-home article here (with thanks to Craig Friday). … Faaascinating article about an old Negro Leagues stadium in New Jersey here (major thanks to Baroness Karen McBurnie). … Good breakdown of NBA team names backstories, with some swell photos to boot, here (with thanks to Tom Griffith). … Excellent piece on the mud used to rub up baseballs here (with thanks to Matthew Keegan). … NHL.com is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Jacques Plante wearing the first goalie mask with a series of articles on mask history. The first installment is here, and be sure to check out all the additional multimedia links — good stuff (with thanks to Michael Blinn). … The All Blacks have been told to cover up their tats for a match in Japan (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). … Super-cool optical illusion on display here (nice find by Kirsten). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Great home movie footage from a 1952 WVU/Wash. & Lee game — with both teams wearing solid-color uniforms — here. … Dylan Buell‘s local coffee shop held a dog costume contest. One guy had a dog named Tressel, so he dressed him as Jim Tressel, and another guy dressed his dog as a Maple Leaf (here’s the view from the other side). … Utah will be wearing black uniforms this Saturday (with thanks to Chris Buttgen). … New hoops uniforms for South Carolina. There’s some video footage of the new designs in action here. … Zak Koval has spotted a little bracelet being worn by Lamar Odom and Luke Walton. Definitely not a Livestrong. Maybe titanium? Anyone know more? … Amazing behind-the-back football pass here (with thanks to Brandon Creeger). … Dozens of cool old Phils/Yanks photos in this slideshow (nice find by Douglas Hirschman). … Scott Turner notes that the base of the “P” decal on the Phillies’ batting helmets extends all the way down to where the brim meets the rest of the helmet. Never noticed that before. … As many, many readers noted, Cliff Lee was once again squatchee-free last night. … The Heat retired Tim Hardaway’s number last night.