Blackhawks Convention Live

Guest post time!  (And Pants fixed her broken photos, sorry.)

Hi, I’m Jess! You may remember me from such WUYS guest appearances such as Up Close and Personal and Our Friends Party With the NHL. Pants and Chuck have once again let me take over their blog so that I can drop a little ‘Hawks fandom on y’all.

My latest mission? The Fifth Annual Blackhawks Convention!

If you haven’t been to Chicago, go. Now. I’ll wait… Did you LOVE it? Amazing, no?  It is stunning and I cannot wait to go back/move there one day.

Friend of the blog, fellow Blackhawks fan, Virginia-native and all around spectacular human being Carter was already going to be there as, by happy accident, the Convention fell on the same weekend as the half-marathon she was running (!). I BEGGED her to hook me up with an extra pass, even though I live nowhere near Chicago (It’s 691 hour walk. Thanks Google Maps!) and wasn’t sure I could make it. A last minute seat sale and a terrifying Hotwire gamble meant I was on my way to the great state of Illinois.

Carter and I, as featured on the Chicago SunTimes website.  Not wearing Blackhawks gear = ultimate party foul. #guiltyascharged

Now, it is well documented than I suffer from a severe case of Jonathan Toews-induced catatonia and therefore my memories of the weekend are a little bit fuzzy. I was really hoping that the Blackhawks would have posted the whole thing on their website so I could do this thing Mystery Science Theater 3000-styles, but I will try my best…

Disclaimer: People on the interwebs had way better cameras than I did. I borrowed a few, but I highly recommend trolling Tumblr…

Day 1

The Opening Ceremonies were kinda like boarding an airplane. It took forever to get everyone in their places, there was a brief message from The Captain, followed by a video that no one really paid attention to. But then, THEN, as the room was emptying, Toews came out to do an interview in the press area that was RIGHT BESIDE ME:

Captain Deltoids

As he was leaving, he walked past and shook a few hands. Instead of extending my hand like a normal person, I put my hands behind my back because I was afraid this would happen:

He was ushered off by his NSYNC-circa-2001 security entourage, but not before he said “Sorry guys, I gotta go!” His voice directly touched my ears. Did I say ears? I meant SOUL.

Friday night was “Second City” comedy/awkwardness hour, scene of the infamous Shawlberg strip-tease. They can Magic Mike all they want, but Tina Fey and Amy Poehler they are not. Personally, my highlight of the evening was Patrick Kane saying that he woke up that morning next to a beautiful woman and Carter’s hilarious NSFW commentary.

Day 2

There were memorabilia auctions, activities for kids and several rooms set up for Q&A’s. Personally, I parked my ass in the International Ballroom ALL day. The first must-see panel was “The Olympic Ideal”. Patrick Kane rolled in wearing the same clothes as the night before. Oh PKane, never change. There was a lot of “Blah blah, it’s an honour to play for one’s country,” but I do not remember anything that was said after Jonathan Toews spoke because he had sexy, husky morning voice and GURRRL HE LOOKS LIKE SUPERMAN:

Captain More-Powerful-Than-A-Locomotive

Next up was the “Behind the Scenes with Blackhawks TV” panel wherein my Life Hero Patrick Dahl, Director of Advertising and Game Presentation, revealed that he has ample blackmail footage of Jonathan Toews in his underwear (the use of “ample” was not an intentional pun.) The panel also included humiliating out-takes of their already humiliating BHTV featurettes which can be seen here and here. The fake moustache has scarred me, as the kids say, 5-evah.

Captain Bashful

Speaking of humiliating, during the Q&A a crazy fangirl tearfully sang a version of “Call Me Maybe” to “Jonny” asking him to sign her jersey. Let me tell you, Carter and I would have taken gold in Synchronized Cringing, Pairs, Long Program. The fontrum was palpable.

But I’ll allow it because we were treated to this:

The last panel was “Generations of Captains” where Jon put on his big boy clothes to sit at the grown-up’s table. This was actually my favourite panel because Stan Mikita is everyone’s hilarious grandpa and I have never seen Toews laugh so hard. Like, literally head down, pounding the table hysterical laughter. It was joy.

Captain Judging-You (Thanks Veronica for the amazing photo!)

I really did try to get his autograph! I’m working on it you guys, 5th time will be a charm…

Captain Sport-Coat-No-Tie

Day 3

At the risk of facing WUYS army court-martial, I failed to get Viktor Stalberg’s autograph. Let me explain. No, there is no time. Let me sum up. The convention employed an elaborate system of wrist bands and scratch-and-wins for pictures and autographs, and I am blessed with neither patience nor luck, respectively. There was a somewhat entertaining panel about social media in which I decided I want Jimmy Hayes to be my boyfriend, but other than that, it was pretty low-key and all was said and done by 1PM.

Hmm… what else?

  • Brent Seabrook is the ULTIMATE troll. His sarcastic slow-clap is amazing. I want to hang with him.
  • Patrick Sharp, like Barney Stinson, is INCAPABLE of taking a bad picture. He may never actually blink.


Best Q&As

  • Fan to Toews: “Are you gonna do a no-haircut season like Stamkos?”
  • Toews: “I dunno. It gets out of control pretty fast.”
  • Sharp: “Well, he’s not gonna have that hair much longer, so he better enjoy it.”
  • Fan to Sharp and Mayers: “Is it hard leaving your family during road trips?”
  • Andrew Shaw: “Yeah, it’s real tough leaving the kids.”
  • Dan Carcillo: “Especially when you don’t know where they are.”
  •  A mom, to Kane: “Can you tell my son that getting up at 4AM for practice is normal.”
  • Kane: “I was doing something at 4AM, but it wasn’t playing hockey.”

I know this was overly Toews-centric (sorry I’m not sorry) and I’m forgetting a bunch of stuff (I barely discussed Patrick Kane and his forearms!), but I don’t want to overstay my welcome. And one should keep some of one’s anecdotes secret, as one does not want to be a dreadful bore at cocktail parties.

Thanks again Pants and Chuck! You ladies are the absolute best and I adore you. XOXO.

We obviously adore you too, Jess.  And since you mentioned Kaner’s off-season arms project…

Oh, okay. One more smile.

Follow Jess for endless hilarity, and that time she took a photo of Stamkos & Skinner together just for Pants – @jfrancesw.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

  1. I know it’s kind of hard to believe, because it seems unfair to the rest of us, but Jess is pretty much this level of hilarity all the damn time. But clearly when I thought she was just quietly fangirling over Toews’ curls, she was actually PAYING ATTENTION. Which is hella impressive considering my recap would have solely been:

    Toews Superman curl.
    Kane forearms.
    Sharp face.
    Stalberg chest.
    The end.

    • I feel like this post didn’t fully reflect our true and undying love for one another Carter.

      • We seriously need a trip together, the three of us. Honestly it’s the only way to satiate my love for you both.

        • Carter is coming to us. She promised. Either to me and we all hit up Seattle or to you and we do the Stampede. Either way, shit will get real.

          • Pants

            Consider me as having invited myself.

          • Jess

            Are you kidding me? Absolutely!! Although, my “guest room” is my living room floor. I will make a special trip to Canadian Tire for air mattresses and sleeping bags for y’all.

  2. michelle Reply

    I’m gonna follow Jess, because this was great and she is just as hilarious as the rest of WUYS!

  3. The whole key to maximizing your experience at then convention is prioritizing and planning and a little help from your friends. By this I mean, avoid the autograph room if it’s going to cause you to miss a panel that you’d even sort of want to see. Plan out your day, so that you know where you need to be and when. Following around Jonathan Toews all day is usually what I do, and then if I have time in between I go and see the others that are on my list. It helps to have a friend who can save your seat between panels so that you can run downstairs and snag a couple of pictures of the guys you haven’t seen yet. It was my 3rd year at the convention, and I’ve pretty much got it down by now. I knew exactly what panels I needed to be at and where they were because I’ve got the Hilton layout memorized lol. The opening ceremonies are nice, but if you didn’t go to the Second City thing, you missed out obviously! Like you guys, I went to every Tazer panel on day 2, but also stuck around for Heavy Hitters and Chicago’s Most Wanted. There are some videos from Most Wanted up on the blackhawks site and they don’t begin give you an idea of how awesome that panel was. Andrew Shaw is so stinkin’ adorable, I want to keep him in my pocket! Unexpected highlight were Shaw and Brandon Bollig doing the WGN live broadcast downstairs, with Bollig teasing Shaw about his “Bieber-status” and pre-teen fanclub. The highlight of my weekend came when the next and final guest show up for the WGN live broadcast, Jonny Toews! I don’t remember much of what was said during the interview, but after it was done and because he was the last one, Toews decided to stop and sign for some of the people waiting. I was just lucky enough to be one of them! I was right at the front of the barricade and was holding out a puck with my silver marker. He signed 2 or 3 pictures and then went straight for my puck, only it was in my hand and so he had to grab my hand and hold it steady in order to sign it! All I could do was stare in awe of the absolutely gorgeous human standing in front of me, I’m fairly certain that my mouth was hanging open from the shock of Tazer holding my hand! I cleared out after that and blearily made my way back to where my friends were sitting, and the second I was back in my seat the hyperventilating began. Day 3 if I got up early enough, I had a little free time in my morning, so I decided to use it to get Viktor Stalberg’s autograph. When I got downstairs, the line to get into the room was so long, I was sure that I had no hope of getting that signature, but luckily I was wrong and I was in no problem. I made my way upstair riding on my Stalberg high and snagged a few pictures in the defense panel, and then joined my friends all the way upstairs for Savard and Olczyk, who had some great stories and a supersoaker battle! Finally, the panel we’d all been waiting for, the Twitter panel! The teasing and joking was great, and was a great finale to an awesome weekend! I took over 700 picture and 10 videos that I will cherish forever, and I can’t wait for next year’s awesomeness!

  4. Jess, I still think you should have tried to touch Jonathan.

    Who knows, he could have been like “STOP.” when the body guards try to tackle you and then he could have asked you out to dinner and then marriage.

    Or you could have spent the night in a holding cell at the Chicago Police Department while the WUYS offices try to pull together enough bail money by holding a bake sale.

    But you never know.

    • Pants Reply

      We’d definitely raise enough cash. Intern Jeff Skinner makes a mean snickerdoodle.

      • And who can resist a cute guy like Jeff in an apron?

        No one. That’s who.

      • I’m working my way up to a handshake you guys! I already have last year’s “incidental forearm graze” and this year I have “hearing him make direct words” so it’s really only a matter of time. Ask me again in 2026. I’ll for sure be at least a passing aquaintence by then.

    • “Asked you out to dinner and then marriage”… if all dates progressed in such a way, life would be so much easier.

      • But it’s Tazer. He’s mysterious and unpredictable… Kind of.

  5. I don’t care if I have to mortgage out my soul for vacation time, I am going to Chicago next summer!

    I can only hope that a year is enough time for Tazer to forget me as the girl who sat next to him at the blackjack table in AC and made inappropriate comments about Stamkos for an hour…and dropped all my chips because my hands were shaking so badly.

    • Pants Reply

      WHAT, DEB?! How have I not heard this story when it’s clearly the exact same thing that I would have done?! You need to email me immediately and possibly guest-post this spectacle.

      • Pants, I need your e-mail address so I can share my tale with you…

  6. MouthGuard Reply

    A fun read and hilarious photos. I have to say that even though he is absolutely, positively not at ALL my type, Captain Serious looks ever so much better with the longer, curly locks. This is a look he MUST keep.

    Also, am I imagining things or does everybody just look beyond sweltering? Like, literally sweltering hot? Was it a billion degrees in the meeting rooms? People look sweaty and the players look like they just finished morning skate…

    • It was actually pretty chilly, but I was dressed for the sweltering heat outside. And they were in suits under all the lights so they were probably pretty hot.

  7. Veronica Reply

    Yea…they were pretty hot!! But Jess is right, it was chilly in the room. GREAT article, Jess! I am so jealous you got close to him. I was trying to get his autograph when he finished the radio panel but once everyone ducked under the ropes and started attacking him, security rushed him away and he never made it down to my end. I’m kicking myself for not thinking of the idea to attack him first!

    I had a great time in Chi-town this year. Making the decision to stay at the Hilton was definitely worth it since I didn’t have to make the trek each morning and night back to my hotel. Plus it allowed me the opportunity to get a guaranteed autograph from a player. I got Patrick Sharp…he is gorgeous!!! I was excited to meet up with Jess on Thursday night for drinks. It was so fun meeting you! I hope you can make it down to Carolina this year for a game!

    If you have not been to the Convention, you need to go. It is truly a one-of-a-kind experience and you will have so much fun! I posted the links to my pictures back in the Sweet Chicago post. Feel free to download as many as you want!

  8. Amy Reply

    I flew out to Chicago from DC and it was so incredibly more than worth any costs that went into this experience of a lifetime.

    I really enjoyed hearing about BHC2012 from the viewpoint of someone who did more panels as opposed to sessions for autographs/pictures! Clearly, I missed out on the SC panel, if I had known I was gonna miss Shawlberg getting ladies all hot and bothered I would have given my pass to the Hull signings to my friend who didn’t win a pass! She and her bf were a few of the people he signed autogrpahs for on Saturday (I was in Shawzy’s autograph line and when they called me I nearly started crying b/c I missed MY hubby Tazer). Since it was my first time though I just wanted to meet as many people as possible, next time I plan on doing more panels/stalking Tazer wherever he goes. I met the rookie bromance on Saturday and they were both so nice, especially Shawzy (you probs saw the picture). They signed my shot glass. AND Shawzy signed the pic I got with him. Yes, it is getting framed (goes without saying).

    For me the final day was un-stinking=believable, I just about died. I went uber early for a Seabrook wristband, and while in line I heard about extra passs to the last two autograph sessions (one of which was Tazer and the other of which was either Hossa or Kaner so OBVIOUSLY I had to obtain a pass). I got a blue one for Hossa, and while in hi line I just so casually pondered aloud “I wonder if anyone would sell me a Toews pass?”. Well, it JUST SO HAPPENED that a couple behind me had been given an extra gold pass to Tazer’s session by accident and they were happy to sell it to Tazer’s #1 out-of-state fan and future wifey for the low low price of $20, even though I had offered all of my cash money ($47, in case you were wondering). I proceeded to give huge hugs to both of them and I’m sure they thought I was insane, but I didn’t care. I met Hossa and msot importantly the man I flew all the way from DC to see, and got my jersey signed. It soon will be framed. All was right in the humongous-big universe.

    I have pictures with all of these fine specimens.

    • Veronica Reply

      I heard about the extra passes after it was too late! If I had known that not all the Toews passes were handed out, I would have definitely tried to get one!

    • All my tears! One day… one day….

      • i’m still in shock that it happened. it’s gonna take a while to sink in…

  9. Pingback: The 21 Worst Things About Taking The Subway In The Summer – ViralBrains

  10. Pingback: The 21 Worst Things About Taking The Subway In The Summer - |