Like Son, Like Father

I’m declaring my blog vacation over with a rare Saturday post.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year. I’ve just returned from an amazing experience at the NHL Winter Classic, played this year at my beloved University of Michigan’s stadium, the “Big House.”

A personal highlight for me was a chance to get out on the ice on Dec. 30 in a pickup game among the assembled media. Other than workers preparing for the New Years Day game, the gigantic stadium was empty, but it didn’t matter. I’m pretty sure I was as excited as this guy. Or this guy. I may or may not have kissed the ice before leaving. A friend was kind enough to take photos for me, producing some shots that I will treasure for a lifetime. Especially this one:

Neil at the Big House
Not a bad day at the office.

I just love this shot. It captures for me the sheer, unadulterated joy of skating outdoors in such an iconic venue. I was in heaven for the entire time we were out there. But there’s something else, too. Can you see it? Here look a little closer:

Neil at the Big HouseStill don’t see it?

How about here:

Neil at the Big HouseStill no? Maybe you need a refresher. I spotted it right away.

It’s a “smile you can see through his mask.” Like this one:

Ryan smiles through his mask at the NHL Winter Classic
Ryan skating at the last Winter Classic, in Philadelphia.

Like son, like Father.

Happy New Year.

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3 thoughts on “Like Son, Like Father

  1. What a treat that must have been. I will admit, I wondered if you were able to attend while I watched some of the game. I was just over the river in Windsor visiting family. It sure looked great on TV!

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