Before my buddy Mix and I went to last night’s hockey game between UMass-Lowell and UMass, was I aware that I wanted a bobblehead of Connor Hellebuyck?
Since I am neither a Winnipeg Jets fan (where he’s having a good year), a UMass-Lowell graduate nor a member of the Hellebuyck family, the answer to that would be no, even though I had heard of him.
But that was before we saw they were going to be available, and then of course we wanted one. I even knew where I’d put it in my sports room — on top of one of the bookcases.
If either of our wives had been with us, they probably would have rolled their eyes at the silliness of it all, but that’s why boys’ nights with Mix are — being silly. (After last year, we knew we’d have fun, but we were back to my house by 10 and the strongest thing either of us drank was a soda. Wild and crazy guys we are not.)
But there must be something about giveaways that are silly for adults; at Yankee Stadium last year, we saw a lot of adults hankering for W.B. Mason toy trucks, and I don’t think they were all for children and grandchildren.
As for the game, other than the 8-3 UMass-Lowell win (helped by two empty-net goals) it probably wouldn’t have appealed to Hellebuyck’s sensibilities, but it would have fit right in with the Jets’ forebears in the Smythe Division during the defense-optional 1980s.
It made for a fun watch.