Last night, I had the opportunity to go to the Ted Lindsay Foundation Celebrity Golf Outing to Benefit Autism Research - the dinner part of it, at least - at the Wabeek Country Club over in Bloomfield Hills. Hey - it's not what you know, it's who you know and I can attest to that.
I went with my two brothers, my one neighbor, and the guy who had the four extra tickets. We ended up getting there super early, so we browsed through the 50/50 raffle prizes and the silent auction items. There was some pretty sweet stuff, but nothing that I said, "HOLY CRAP, I NEED THAT RIGHT NOW!!" ...Maybe the signed Lidstrom stick, but I didn't try.
After an hour of sitting around, waiting for people to show up [aside from seeing Draper leaving in his Range Rover as we were walking in], Ken Daniels walked into the room. Man, that guy is really short in person. By this time, there were a decent amount of people loitering around, having appetizers and drinks.
I swear I saw Henrik Zetterberg out in the hallway while we were waiting. We were sitting at a high table directly in front of the doorway and I'm telling you I saw the Zetterbeard. No one else was paying attention and he never showed up, but I'm telling you it was him! It's quite possible that he just hit the bathroom and left - a lot of the guys did that [Abdelkader for sure].
Then this tall, lanky guy walked in. Like, legitimately lanky. Awkward lanky. It was weird. And I couldn't stop staring at him because all I could think was, I know this guy. He's from somewhere. I should know him. I was staring at him for a good ten seconds when my brother finally says, "Oh hey, that's Mike Modano!" [By the time I finally got the courage to interrupt and ask for a picture, he had disappeared, and in the end he had actually left. I was sad.]
Mike Babcock came out of nowhere. He's always fun to see. And yes, he does actually smile.
Then Darren Helm and Drew Miller came in. My neighbor was freaking out because he loves Helm. They ended up disappearing, but five minutes later, we noticed them loitering at the other end of the hall, talking to each other with no one else around. So my one brother and I trekked over there first to ask for a picture.
They seemed a little startled at first, probably because no one was around them and then suddenly we were there being all, "HI. PICTURES?!?!" ...Okay, not exactly. But you know. Hockey players. You get a little excited to see them, but you play it cool. They were really nice about it.
Thanks for smiling, Helm. [and yes. There are a lot of stripes in this picture.]
Then it was the other brother and my neighbor's turn to go bug them. My neighbor got two pucks signed and was fawning over them the whole night [mostly to make us laugh, but probably for serious, too. I can never tell with that one.]
Right before we all were seated at our actual table, Ted Lindsay finally showed up. My oldest brother has been adamant about wanting a signed puck since we met him at church back in June [best sharing of peace I've ever gotten. Thanks, Ted]. I went over with him because I wanted a picture.
You all know Lindsay's legacy, his image, how he played, yes? He was nicknamed Terrible Ted for a reason. Maybe not as bad as Happy Gilmore trying to stab someone with his skate, but still pretty terrible.
That man is absolutely adorable now. He reminds me of my grandpa, whom I love to death. He's the only player where it doesn't feel weird to call him "Mr. [last name]." Come on, do you really want to say "Mr. Zetterberg?" You call him Hank! But Mr. Lindsay just rolls off the tongue. He deserves it, too.
My brother got a signed puck and when I asked for a picture, he had to shift his hold on the puck. Lindsay was all, "Oh oh! Be careful! That's still wet! You don't want to smear it!!" It was freaking adorable, seriously. And I apologize if I'm saying adorable too much.
As a sidenote, I also saw Ken Kal and Mickey Redmond. When Mickey walked in, it caused my brother to pretend to scream, "WHOO! MICKEY! LET'S MAKE SOME HAY!"
The dinner itself was delicious. And after dinner, they had an auction for four different items: two of them were different paintings of Lindsay that were pretty sweet, one was 32 rounds of golf at courses in Southeast Michigan, and the fourth one I would have bid on in a heartbeat if I had any kind of money.
It was a trip on the Wings' jet to the game in Chicago on October 9. A trip on the Wings' jet with the team.
Bidding started at $3,000. It was up to $4,500 by the time we were leaving.
Anyway. Shawn Burr did all of the auctioneer stuff and he is hilarious. He told a lot of jokes, one of them absolutely terrible that I can't even repeat on here in fear of offending anyone. But it had everyone in stitches for a few minutes afterward.
All in all, it was an unforgettable night. Even though there weren't many Wings players, I did get to meet a few and that is always fun. I can't thank my friend enough for including my brothers and I in these sort of gatherings.