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Coyotes and Predators

Saturday
February 19, 2011

"Twitter lets me hear from a lot of people in a very short period of time."
-Robert Scoble

My long-form writing has been minimal as of late, save for my work on Draft King. It's a strange thing, but any time I think about writing on here, I think I should be writing on Draft King instead, and invariably I get distracted or pulled over to working on a Draft King article. Or, alternately, I find myself condensing thoughts or stories into 140 character snippets on Twitter.

Note: I hate the 140 character limit. I understand why it is in place, but it's much more fulfilling to be able to write a bit longer on my Facebook updates. That pales in comparison to the fulfillment I get from writing on here, but it's a quick way to get the word out about my doings to friends and acquaintances.

The downside to Twitter, and even Facebook updates, are that posts in both cases are a snippet of information that quickly disappears. That's not to say that a post in either case can't come back to haunt a person, but it's different. And there is value to those short posts, make no mistake, but comparing a Twitter post with a website article reveals a night-and-day difference. There is no comparison.

One thing I like about all that I've written on here is my ability to relive events from my past. My memory is usually very strong, but details fade over time for even the sharpest people. Part of why I brought back the online columns (which I had outright pulled at one point because I was tired of having to go through and remove the names of people who no longer wanted to be mentioned on here) was because they contain the little details and side stories and minor characters who can easily be forgotten over time.

I told my girlfriend Stacy tonight about having seen Cee-Lo Green in concert while we watched the NBA All-Star Weekend gimmick events that we recorded on the DVR while we were out at dinner and then at the Phoenix Coyotes/Nashville Predators hockey game (more on that below). A rather bloated-looking Cee-Lo was performing the radio edit version of "Forget You" as part of the show, which spawned the conversation about me having seen Cee-Lo open for Ludacris in 2003. I thought for sure that I had told Stacy about it, but she didn't recall it.

So, to find her the link to my write-up about that, I turned to Google. The answer was easy to find by using a simple-but-effective Google search string: 2003 Ludacris site:loupickney.com. With that I found myself drawn into rereading a story that I had read plenty of times in the past. To point, it made the short list of my Counting Down column from 2006 that chronicled the most memorable events from my five-year run in Tampa, but I found myself having forgotten details that I wrote about in tonight's reread.

The weekend trip up to Jacksonville with my buddy James was a good one, but there were little things that I forgot over time. Like the blonde chick who tried to hit James in the balls, or the party in Callahan with the Everclear-soaked fruit: those details would have been lost forever had I not preserved them on here. It's also interesting to read things from the perspective of a single twenty-something, a vastly different outlook than I have today.

Stacy and I went out tonight as a deferred Valentine's Day celebration -- our third together. It's no coincidence that my volume of writing on here fell off considerably after Stacy and I started dating in November 2008, in part because I was "out of the game" so to speak. This site in many ways was a wonderful outlet for me to express frustration and also to share stories for friends of mine who, in their own words, told me that they found themselves living vicariously through my experiences.

But I don't have that many wild stories to tell anymore. That turn of events has been disappointing for some, but that's life. How long was I supposed to keep the hustle going? And, for all of my wild adventures, I had plenty of dark comedy moments, particularly as it related to my dating life. Most of that I brought on myself, primarily because charming women wasn't a skill that came naturally to me. Usually I found myself caring too much too soon about a given woman, which is one of the worst things a guy can allow to happen to himself.

My relationship with Stacy is wonderful, and I connected with her from the first time we met like no one else I've ever encountered. She gets me, and moreover she tolerates me when genius turns into madness or when I find myself in one of my dark moods. Part of what makes her such a fantastic Texas Hold 'Em player is also what makes her so great as a girlfriend: she can read me amazingly well. We have a ridiculous amount in common, and we've been together long enough to develop our own sub-language of inside jokes and subtle references, which is bested only by the vast catalog shared by my brother Matt and me -- and Matt and I had quite a head-start.

With Valentine's Day falling on a Monday this year, Stacy and I put off our celebration until tonight. We had dinner at The Sports Grill, a great restaurant that is part of the downtown Nashville Hilton and across the street from Bridgestone Arena. Our waitress was a free-wheeling woman named Dra, who entertained us with her quick wit and devil-may-care attitude. The food was delicious; normally I'm not a fan of green beans, but the blackened green beans that came with the chicken tenders I ordered were fantastic.

Phoenix Coyotes at Nashville Predators
This was our view of tonight's game.

From there Stacy and I made our way to the Phoenix Coyotes/Nashville Predators game. We had nice club-level seats with a great view of the action. In an interesting sign of just how far technology has come, I emailed my friend Pete Weber (the TV play-by-play voice of the Preds) to let him know that we were at the game. During the second intermission he wrote me back, saying the Preds would try to get two goals for us. It didn't happen (Phoenix won 3-2) but it was a very entertaining NHL game with a great atmosphere and a sold-out crowd.

Next weekend should be fun, as I plan to take Stacy up to Evansville for the final regular season Aces men's home basketball game at Roberts Stadium. Roberts is being replaced by a brand-new facility set to open this fall, a fact that had somehow managed to stay off of my radar until just recently. My buddy Lance Wilkerson, who I worked with from 1997-1999 at WEHT-TV, now works at the University of Evansville and does play-by-play for the UE men's games.

It's been many years since I've been in Evansville. There's not a good reason for this, not with it being a roughly three hour drive from Nashville, but next weekend that situation should be remedied. Most of the people I went to school with at UE no longer live there, and the majority of my friends and fraternity brothers from my run there are scattered across the country. But there are some old pals still there, and I look forward to seeing them and catching up on old times.


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