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Glamorous? No!

by Paul Kukla /
DETROIT -- The glamorous life?


How is this for a daily schedule during the Stanley Cup Final?

Wake up around 7 a.m. in a sweat, realizing the air-conditioning unit didn't cool the room any lower than 75 degrees. Have a little breakfast and plan your day. 

Hop on a shuttle for a five minute drive around 10 a.m. and to cover the morning skate of both the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins. Write a few stories and jump on the shuttle to return to the hotel around 2 p.m.

Now you have about an hour of free time before the media luncheon (this may be your last meal of the day) then at 4 p.m. you hurry over to cover the Commissioner Bettman media availability segment. Oh yes, a few more stories are written and filed.

Around 5:30 p.m. you once again ride the shuttle to the "Joe" and settle in for the night, the night of the first game of the Stanley Cup Final.  Internet access? Check, bottled water availability? Check. Let more writing begin.

Some of the media work out of the media workroom area, basically situated in the basement of Joe Louis Arena with big, black curtains hanging from the ceiling with a sign attached to the curtain, Media Workroom.  In that area, numerous TV's are attached to the walls, with access to the hockey broadcast on either NBC or CBC.  Many will spend the whole night there, watching the game on TV while writing game stories and game updates.

Other media types will either watch the game from the traditional press box or from actual seats in the upper bowl that are designated for the overflow of the media.

Notice the word "I" is missing from the above details? That is because I do not consider myself as part of the working media. I just watched and boy did I watch.

Walking by me as I walked around the basement of the Joe were: Gordie Howe (my idol and I froze when I spotted him), followed by Ted Lindsay and I slightly brought my hands up a bit, just in case Ted wanted to throw an elbow my way.

Here comes Wings national anthem singer Karen Newman (hello Newman!), Colin Campbell, Mario Lemieux, Pavel Datsyuk and Game 2 referee Bill McCreary. There goes "Doc" Emrick and right behind him Ken Kal, the radio voice of the Wings.

I run into hockey TV personalities like Larry Murphy and Gary Green of the NHL Network, Scott Oake, Kelly Hrudey and P.J. Stock of Hockey Night in Canada fame. Basically, passing before my eyes is a who's who of the hockey world, everyone but Elliotte Friedman of HNIC, who I ran into about 10 times per game during last year's Stanley Cup Final.

Since I live locally, about 15 minutes away from the Joe Louis Arena, I am spending my night in my own bed. I arrived home at 12:30 a.m. Sunday and thought of those who cover our game, thinking they are either still at the arena or back at the hotel, filing another hockey story for us, the fans of this great game, to read.

Just imagine, this scenario is repeating itself today and will start all over again in Pittsburgh on Tuesday and Thursday. Not the glamorous life many think it is. It is hard work and the hockey media world deserves a standing ovation!  Oh yes, I am still pinching myself, this is only a scenario I only dreamed of.

I will return tomorrow, with more of my Stanley Cup Final observations.


Part of the working media
The Stanley Cup Final is the talk of Hockeytown

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