[Note from Frolic: Today, we welcome author Robyn M. Ryan to the site. She’s sharing her sporty bucket list with us and more. Take it away, Robyn!]
Not often you get the opportunity to actually knock a few items off your Bucket List (Sports Bucket List in this case). In November 2013, my husband and I headed to the Great White North (Montreal) to:
1. See an Original Six match in the Montreal Canadians’ home arena;
2. Watch Adopted Team, the New York Rangers, in person;
3. Study, gawk, suffer heat flashes watching gorgeous goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
The stars aligned perfectly for this trip. It’s nearly impossible to score tickets to see the Habs at home. Season tickets are passed from generation to generation. Flying from Atlanta to Montreal is rather pricey—and then there’s that issue of securing an affordable hotel. Serendipitously, an invitation to the Montreal/NYR game arrived from a business associate, airfare came courtesy of Delta SkyMiles as did a suite courtesy of Hilton Honors points. The perfect scenario came together.
Our seats were perfect—lowest level, on the corner, about half-way up the section, great view of the net that Henrik would guard for two periods. No need for binoculars. I worried a bit because I wasn’t wearing my Lucky Lundqvist Jersey—just couldn’t show disrespect amidst all that history. We settled in our incredibly great seats just as the starting line-ups were announced.
Shockingly, Henrik Lundqvist was not introduced as the starting goalie. Seriously? In one of the toughest arenas to play? Rangers’ coach Alain Vigneault (obviously clueless about this Bucket List weekend) chose to put rookie Cam Talbot in goal against the Canadiens. Really, the back-up goaltender…This night? This game?
And where was the King anyway? Not on the bench…not on the ice. What gives?
We located Henrik about half-way through the first period. We spotted what looked like a brave Rangers fan seated across the rink, first row center ice. Closer look—binoculars come in handy—Lundqvist was indeed seated on a stool just inside the glass where the visiting team enters and exits the ice.
Although this definitely looked like a “Time Out” Stool, we learned that the Centre Bell’s benches do not accommodate the entire visiting team, (i.e. back-up goaltenders). So those goaltenders perch clear across the ice from their teams. Do the goalies feel like they are in exile?
In the end, the Rangers won a 1-0 goaltenders’ duel. That rookie goaltender was flawless, and King Henrik was finally able to take to the ice to congratulate the team.
Win or lose, the entire evening was a magical experience, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even though we didn’t watch Henrik play, we’ll have other chances. (Unfortunately, we have no home games—or any NHL games in Atlanta. Both our teams jilted us for Canada).
The following is the “Bucket List” compiled 20…well maybe 30…years ago and updated occasionally. These are the sports-related things to accomplish before, well…you forget you want to do them. After checking this out, it looks pretty good. But, still have a bit of work to complete. Completed items in bold.
Attend World Series Game.—Go Braves!
Witness Braves winning World Series—1995
Rangers vs. Boston at MSG
Watch final laps of Tour de France from the Champs Elysees—2006
Georgia Tech win the Final Four
Duke Basketball (Games) at Cameron Indoor Stadium
Night Race at Bristol
Speed Weeks at Daytona
All Star Race in Charlotte
NHL Skills Competition/All Star Activities
Witness Dale Earnhardt Jr. win at Daytona/Talladega
Attend “Original Six” NHL match at the Bell Centre in Montreal—
Watch Hank Lundqvist in Goal at a Rangers game—November 2014 in Tampa.
NHL Winter Classic
Chicago Cubs win the World Series—Did that really happen?
Watch my hometown team win the Stanley Cup—Seriously impossible, with no prospect of attracting a THIRD NHL franchise to HotAtlanta
Bite the Bullet and self-publish the sports romance written about…forty-plus years ago…while attending UGA— On May, 2016: published first book in the Clearing the Ice Trilogy—This Piece of My Heart.
What’s on your Bucket List?
Four books followed the first, and the fifth is set to release April 30—Risky Move. Hockey romances all, the books follow a growing group of friends connected by the Tampa Suns professional hockey team. Other than the Clearing the Ice Trilogy, the books can be read in any order. This Piece of My Heart is FREE; Healthy Scratch (book 4) will be discounted to $0.99 in early April.
About the Author:
Robyn M. Ryan writes sweet and sensual sports romances. Chicago born, honorary Atlanta native, Parisienne at heart, Robyn is a proud 60’s Flower Child and a “fearless” barrier-breaker for female sports journalists and minor league “batpersons.” While in college, Robyn scored a PR internship with an NHL team during its first season. As a freelance writer, Robyn interviewed future MLB and NHL Hall of Fame members, published in a variety of print media. Wife, mom, PR professional, and finally, many years later, published author. Two Westie grand-dogs now run the household.
Risky Move by Robyn M. Ryan, out now!
She’s his brother’s nanny…and totally off-limits.
In an effort to escape her overprotective mother, Cassie moves to Tampa to decide her future and claim her independence. When she lands a job as a live-in nanny to adorable twin infants, she’s convinced she’s on the right track.
Until she meets her new roommate: Tom. He’s an off-the-charts gorgeous neurologist (are they even allowed to be that sexy?) her boss’ brother, and also her aunt’s best friend. There are way too many points of contact for them to take the risk…but Cassie can’t help but fantasize what contact with him would feel like.
Tom knows the stakes, but Cassie’s vibrant spirit strikes a chord in his heart and he can’t stay away. But just when they start to think they’re moving in sync, the unthinkable happens. Did taking the risk create a chasm too wide to bridge?