It has come to my attention that this will be my 35th post since I started this thing back in the playoffs last spring. While I've never been one to toot my own horn, (in fact I really can't stand talking about myself) I have to admit that I've grown fond of this little creation of mine. This whole thing started as a way to let out some frustration during a bad time and has started to sprout, just a bit, into a labor of love. God knows I'm not doing this to attract any sort of following...all you have to do is check out the number at the top of this page to see that! But in order to lead into what this article is truly about, I have to reveal a bit about my humdrum weekday life. So please bear with me.
I have two jobs, which is just barely enough (most days) to cover all the bills. I won't bore you with too many details, but suffice to say I've got quite a bit that I'm responsible for, so if working a day job and a night job is what it takes to keep things going, well then, I do it. Part of my day involves taking the Baltimore Light Rail to and from my day job. We decided as a family to do it that way instead of driving because it was just a better choice given the circumstances. Well, one of the small pleasures I'm allowed in my life involves taking my brain away and losing myself in a good podcast courtesy of the iPod that Mrs. Blueliner got me for Christmas one year.
Which leads me to Japers' Rink Radio. Over the past year, I've found hockey podcasts to be a fun and somewhat fascinating way to keep up with the sport. My very own hockey talk shows whenever I want, a great thing to have on long train trips. So of course I'm going to gravitate to anything my home team puts out. Around the time I started this blog, I was searching for more podcasts and especially something focused on the Capitals. I found Japers' Rink Radio. I was of course already aware of the blog, easily the largest and most prominent of all the Caps blogs. I pay homage and credit to them whenever I can as they provide great material and are the beacon for all us Caps fans and bloggers. I wasn't sure about the podcast, but I decided to jump in and hear what it was all about.
Five months later, it's a big part of my Monday morning routine. Mondays, as we can all relate, are no cause for happiness for most of us. The trick, therefore, is to do a little something special to break up the classic Monday blahs. So every Monday morning I climb into the train and put on the past weekend's edition of the show. For those who don't know, Japers Rink Radio usually broadcasts live nearly every Saturday morning, but is available through iTunes.
The show's genial hosts are Stephen Pepper, a regular contributor to the blog and Russell Waxman. They may not be the most polished on-air performers, but that isn't why I listen is it? Their love of the game and of the Capitals truly shows in every edition and therefore makes it fun to listen to. They also happen to know what they're talking about a good part of the time. Well this past edition of the show was so good, I listened to it not only on the ride up, but during work and on the ride back as well. And that's what I'm here blogging about now.
The featured guest was one Alan May, a former Caps player in the early 90's. Those of us who have followed the team for, uhh, a good while now remember him as the Caps feared enforcer. Yes, the guy who drops the gloves and beats the hell out of the other team's fighter. So after a brief introduction preceded by a discussion about the Caps' current injury woes, Alan comes on and just wows everybody. Japers Rink promised it would be "Ten pounds of awesome in a five-pound sack." Folks, I have say that it did not disappoint. Not by a longshot.
Alan May started off by imparting his knowledge of the game, both from a player's and a coach's perspective. Who knew he had such a grasp of the inner workings of the game? I'm kidding of course. Those of us who regularly catch the games on Comcast already know that he does one hell of a job on the post game shows breaking things down. In fact, I'd put him up any day against any of those folks at either Versus or that four letter network that doesn't like hockey anymore. But man, just the way he broke down how to block a shot by itself blew me away. I'm not ashamed to say I learned quite a bit from listening to him.
So then Russell got a chance to ask Alan about his days as a player and that's when, as good as things were before, everything really took off. Instantly I was taken back to my high school days in the early 90's with the stories that he told. I won't give anything away here--you'll just have to download it and listen for yourself. But I will say there's some good stuff in there about Caps legends Dale Hunter and newly minted Hall of Famer Dino Ciccarelli. Not to mention how then-GM David Poile kept the team motivated with an old trick that even Lou Lamoriello picked up on.
I didn't want it to end, I could have listened all day, but alas...most shows are about an hour long anyway, can't expect them to hang around all day I suppose.
I've collected a good number of hockey podcasts over the past month or so and I'm debating giving my thoughts on them as feature in the PowerPlay Point blog. This is because there doesn't seem to be much in terms of reviews that will help you decide whether or not to invest the time. Believe me, not all hockey podcasts are good as there are some stinkers out there. We'll see.
But in the meantime I'm happy with what I've found so far for the most part. So if you haven't already done it, give Japers' Rink Radio a try...you won't regret it if you love the Caps. I haven't.