Sunday, April 15, 2007

Week in Review: Hold the Phone!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The AMHL photographer reviews the features and phone numbers programmed into her new cell phone at the table as I jot this week’s events into my notebook.

For those not familiar with my job, I’m in marketing—the research, not promotional side—so I’m often on the phone. I enjoy the work, especially when I call Canada to insert hockey into conversations as I drum up business for our clients.

Much like a coach will mix up line combinations to increase production, one customer recently switched around the accounts my team had been calling. It was a wise move for the team; for the most part, we were tired of calling the same companies, but it meant that a teammate would get to call the Canadian companies that had been assigned to me

I’m debating if I should phone the client and request a trade.

Luckily, I have an outlet for my disgruntlements: Thursday morning hockey. Unfortunately, my Capitals finished this season on sour note, losing to the Panthers 5– 10. We had a 3–2 lead early in the second period but then imploded, leaving us with the Thursday division’s worst record.

The playoffs start this week, but I’m not panicking. Sure, the last-place finish means we’ll start the game against the first-place Bruins with a one-goal deficit. And we’ll be without our goalie. Anthony Bonfiglio—who, despite our dismal record, has been stellar all season—will likely miss the game for valid personal reasons. One goal in the hole and playing with a backup netminder. Plus, our star Canadian player, Steve Nicolle will miss the game. We’re doomed, right? Hold the phone! We trounced the Bruins in Week 8, 7–3, so I have hope.

I was confident about my chances of making my way onto the airwaves for the New England Hockey Journal Radio Show on Saturday. My wife, the AMHL photographer, shopped for photo frames in Framingham while I remained in the passenger seat, listening to hosts Mick Colageo and Matt Kalman turn—with good reason—on their linemate, Kevin Paul Dupont. Dupes, who has all season been a proponent of returning to what he calls “Neanderthal” hockey, had suggested that the NHL consider incorporating the shootout model to the league’s playoff format, at least for the first round or two.

With fifteen minutes remaining in the show, it was finally my turn to take a shot at the blasphemer. By this time, my wife and I had arrived at the cell phone store, where she was set to buy a new phone. She was inside the store and I was on hold, enduring the commercial break.

“And next up, Jimmy from Maynard…”

“Sorry it took me so long to call,” I said. I told them I was busy on other calls, like the one from the Neanderthal Hockey Association. A representative from that organization had called to relay a message to Dupes: his membership was revoked.

I heard the hosts laugh—just before the old phone started beeping. Disconnected! I didn’t get to tell them about the other fictitious call I received this week because, as I would learn a few minutes later, the cell phone salesperson inside the store had flipped a switch, alerting a satellite to disengage the signal to the phone I was holding.

Tune in to next Saturday’s show when I hope to pick up where I left off except that I’ll be using the new phone that my wife now holds.
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