I have been all over North America with the Coyotes throughout the years. I have seen just about everything that you can possibly see, but a trip here to North Carolina in January of 2000 still ranks as one of the strangest experiences of my career. Imagine being home from school for three days because of a snowstorm, but you aren't 12 years old, and you aren't home! You are in North Carolina. You are trapped at the Embassy Suites Hotel. They have run out of food. They are running out of beer. And you are losing your mind...
I remember waking up at two o'clock in the morning and looking out the window. There was snow. Lots and lots of snow. Nobody knew what was happening.They were asleep. I turned on the TV and all the local stations were broadcasting live. This was an epic snowstorm in these parts. I opened my window, and scooped up some of the "white stuff" as we used to call it back in Rochester, and made a snowball. I opened my door and saw then Coyotes scout Tom Kurvers sitting at the hotel bar with a beat reporter for the Arizona Republic.
I launched a snowball from four stories above them. It was a direct hit. Game on.
The rest of our stay is a blur. Memos from hotel management were slipped under our doors alerting us on the status of the storm and our provisions. Practices and the game being cancelled and rescheduled and cancelled, again. A 36-hour card game. A venture into the frigid cold to Sam's Club, where I was asked for my "Sam's Club Card." This after walking for almost an hour in the snow.
There was a service station up the hill from the hotel. We made it there one day. The only thing left for purchase was chapstick. (I chose Carmex. Better aftertaste!)
I have saved this radio feature on my laptop for eight years. I still laugh when I hear it, because if you listen carefully, you can feel the lunatic fringe creeping into our collective thoughts.
Ever see "The Shining?" Todd Walsh recalls the Carolina blizzard of 2000