Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday morning homily XXV

I don't know what's happened over the past few years, but there seems to be a growing sense of entitlement among today's younger hounds. They want to know where visiting NHL teams stay. They want to know the best times to hound. They want you to identify the players.

The only problem, though, is that they want to make the least possible effort to get the most number of autographs.

In a word, I'm afraid, they're lazy. Harsh? Yes. Honest? That, too.

Sorry, newbies, but life doesn't work that way. Bosses demand we show up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and know what we're doing. Mortgage and credit card companies want to be paid -- on-time. If your spouse or child wants something special, you work extra to make sure they get it.

Most of the Hockey Bay hounds I know work fulltime jobs or operate their own businesses. Some are husbands. Some, like me, are fathers. We all find the time to do the homework of our hobby, even if it means long strings of 18-hour days. It's called reality and, sometimes, it's brutally honest.

Twice over the past few days, I've answered requests for team information, namely where a team was staying, by asking two young hounds, who have received more than fair share of information from me, to find out for themselves and report back to me. My philosphy is simple: Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.

Well, one thought I was kidding, until I reinforced my original response with the message that stated otherwise. Want to know something? I've yet to hear back from him. The other, who showed up for the Blues without a Sharpie (a cardinal sin if there ever was one), at least made an attempt to find out, or so he told me. Funny thing, though. I found the team by asking for the same player he did.

Now, this is not an indictment of an entire generation. And, perhaps, these are isolated incidents. But, in my old-school world of collecting, the exchange of information or assistance needs to be a two-way street. I don't mind helping people who help me. Sounds fair, doesn't it?

Bottom line, kids, it's all about the effort.

The end is in sight

With the Tampa Bay Lightning's season headed down the tubes, the realization that the 2008-09 hounding campaign will end in about a month is becoming crystal clear. It's hard to imagine that the time has passed so quickly. It seems like only yesterday that I was sweating my tail off at pretraining camp hounding in Brandon.

Since then, it's been a blur -- loading up on such Western Conference luminaries as San Jose's Joey Thornton and pals, Colorado's Paul Stastny, Dallas' Mike Modano and Chicago's Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, as well as such Eastern Conference counterparts as Boston's Patrice Bergeron and Cam Neely, New Jersey's Martin Brodeur and Brendan Shanahan, and Tampa Bay's Vinny Lecavalier, Marty St. Louis and Steven Stamkos.

No complaints, though. We've still got another month, or so, left in the season and seven teams, including Rick Nash and the Columbus Blue Jackets, headed our way. It's time to finish strong.

Effort, I like to believe, won't be an issue. Not for me, at least.

5 Big Sigs

I didn't have the best week of fulfilling these weekly goals, so I'm going to bench myself for a good week or so. Really, the Lightning are away on a road trip.

But, if I had the opportunity to travel, this is what I'd hope to add:

~ Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson on the Senators team helmet;
~ Ottawa's Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley on the Team Canada jersey;
~ Ottawa's Pascal Leclaire on Senators and Blue Jackets pucks;
~ Toronto's Tomas Kaberle on a Toronto St. Pat's card;
~ Florida's Steve Eminger on a Panthers puck and the team helmet.


Collectible Sigs said...

I totally agree with you. Their are hounds in LA that been doing this for longer then I have and I NEVER have problems finding out where teams stay nor the practice schedule. Yet, they ALWAYS seem to call me all the time to give them information. IT bothers me that I always seem to provide information but never get information back. I feel your pain....

Drew said...

I partially agree. I have no problem helping out a new hound early on-- there's not a whole lot of info out there on how to get started in the hobby. But once you've been doing it for a year or so, you're on your own.

There's a guy in Boston that I still help out from time to time via texts and facebook messages. He's been hounding for a year and a half, but we work a lot of 50/50 deals, so I figure that's the price I pay in getting a few autographs for my own collection: give up some unsigned stuff, help him find where teams are, and when to go, and I get some stuff back signed.

But if there's nothing in it for me, too bad, you're on your own.

Collectible Sigs said...

Drew - I guess I can agree with what you say. Sometimes though it can bite you in the butt. For instance, we just got the Canucks in town, I was the only one Sundin signed for. If I was to help someone else, that 1 autograph that Sundin signed for could've been for that new guy, possibly. If it was someone out of town, I think i would be a little more friendly though as well...

Anyhow, always looking to help others if others is willing to help me out.. Any takers on the EAST COAST??