Going back to school is always such a difficult burden to bear as the summer dies its slow August death. The knowledge that academic freedom will soon disappear has a way of squelching enjoyment of the remaining hours, kind of how you just can't get excited about a Saturday morning cup of coffee on your porch when you promised to go help Blake move in an hour. Come on, Blake. You knew I would say "yes" when you asked, but you also knew that I was hoping to casually wander down to that restaurant with the cute waitress today and turn in another "found" wallet, hoping she would remember me from the last sixteen wallets I turned in. Not cool, Blake.
One of the things that television has taught me about going back to school is that it is actually exciting, too. It is exciting because you are impelled to go shopping, which is another way of saying that you have to spend your money earned while working to prepare for work that you actually have to pay for yourself. This may not sound exciting, actually, but that is probably because you are not shopping at the right stores. No, while you have been wasting time and money at Office Max, Staples and weird discount binder outlets, I have been spending all my money on the really important things: Dallas Stars merchandise.
Don't worry, I'm not paid by the team to pitch their stuff. (Although, look at me, doing this for free, clearly displaying my passion for it. One can hardly imagine how much more passionately I would work if I received a few bucks in compensation for my modest mongering, ha ha ha) No, I'm talking about the Tom Haverford level of Stars gear. I'm talking about the novelty pink Antti Miettinen jersey that made you stop all your friends when you're just about to pull out of the driveway to go to the game because you forgot to grab it from the closet for this one specific chance you'll have to wear it ever on Breast Cancer Awareness night. I'm talking about your lifelong blood pressure prescription pills stamped with the Stars logo. Things like that.
So, without further useless ado, I present to you, five must-have items on Ebay that popped up when I searched "Dallas Stars" and played with the filters a little bit. Please buy them all if you want, but you do not have to.
This is the most expensive of them all. First, here are the "$6160 of Extras": $30 per ticket, per game ($30 x 4 TICKETS x 44 GAMES = $5280 in total) to be used to buy food, drinks, and memorabilia at the fan shop. Also included is an Audi Reserved Platinum Parking Pass for every game ($20 X 44 GAMES = at least $880 in total value).
Ok, this isn't really merchandise at all. What a terrible choice for me to use to start this list. In fact, this is actually a listing for you to buy tickets that come with gift certificates to buy actual Stars merchandise. Or hot dogs.
Obviously this is more meant for some wealthy executive to use for occasional business excursions, especially since the seat is located at the top of the aisle. Perfect for leaving with 15:30 left in the 3rd period once your client starts yawning. Man, this is a lot of money. I don't think I can even imagine being able to.....wait.....FREE SHIPPING?! Why, hello there, Buy It Now.
Now, this doesn't exactly look like Official Dallas Stars branding to me, but I guess you'll have to see for yourself, rich person. I'll just let the description speak for itself:
Mouth watering jewel is this sensational trophy. These are rollover serial consecutive gems, practically unheard of. Truly the opportunity of a lifetime.
This is a good time to mention that DBD is not endorsing any of these items listed here in any way at all. We only recommend that you spend your money on critical things, like authentic jerseys with the fight straps.
Price: $4,099.00 to $4,461.00
This is a real steal right here. Not only do they offer the 9', 12' or 14' versions of this literal gaming platform, but this is etched with the Stars old logo and the NHL logo on the outside, while the actual main "place" part of the table has a color Stars crest there, just begging to have waxed pucks shuffled along its boards. It occurs to me that I know nothing about Shuffleboard. Wikipedia?
Shuffleboard, more precisely deck shuffleboard, and also known as shuffle-board, shovelboard, shovel-board and shove-board [archaic]
Whoops, stopped caring. Let's go to the description for this auction, which begins with the rather apologetic-sounding "We realize there is a consumer demand for a more upscale, high quality shuffleboard table. We wanted to find a company that was capable of producing the same high standards of quality and craftsmanship in their products as we pride ourselves on." I can only assume that this company recently suffered a horrible rash of consumer complaints when their puck-wax began to get all jammed up in the crevices of the table during what was surely a nail-biting match of average to above-average shuffleboard drama. This company, horrified at what they see as a negative customer perception of their play field and cabinet quality, is now on a Mission: Impossible-style mission to alter this view of their product. Did you ever watch the old Peter Graves Mission: Impossible series on TV? Give it a shot sometime. Beats the tar out of the modern adaptations, by the way.
Now we're talking! Here's an item you can buy for your new significant other in an attempt to display your effortless largesse when it comes to obscure sports-related memorabilia. After all, this isn't just an autographed "cell," oh no. This is a certified (probably) "Fine Art Lithograph with Mike Modano of the Dallas Stars signature. # 25 of 250 cells made. The frame has a scratch in the upper right corner (not on the front)."
Wow, only 249 other cells like this in the known universe. It's rarer than photos of Jonathan Cheechoo in a Stars sweater!
I suspect that the reason this lithograph/cell/thing hasn't sold for the past nine months is because the seller failed to mention that the actual picture above Modano's signature is TAZ WEARING A NINETIES DALLAS STARS SWEATER! Talk about burying the lead. Will somone please send Harold Hill in there to help get this gorgeous print sold already?!
From the description:
"Private Collection" --- I've collected Nesting Doll's from around the World for over 25 years ! I had to retire recently because of medical reasons, and decided to sell my collection, of over 2500 sets, on Ebay.
Well, I can't fault the seller for their inability to push these glorious dolls on one of us diehard Stars fans. After all, medically-induced retirement from Russian nesting doll trading is a tough fate for anyone to endure, let alone a 25-year veteran.
The best part of these nesting dolls--and seriously, why have you not bought these yet?--is that each one appears to be the same "player," which is to say, a combination of Gump Worsley, Mikhail Gorbachev and Ron Swanson. The dolls are also numbered on the back as 1,2,4, 5 and 7, with the goalie getting no number, which makes sense, given his amateur posture. That's no NHL butterfly goalie, folks! And lest your confidence fail in light of the questionable seller font choices, just take a look at the item condition: Used, "No Defects !" Yes, the seller is truly shocked at how well-preserved these treasures are, as also you shall be. These things would be called perfect, if "perfect" weren't an insult to their unimaginably pristine condition. These are the lowest-priced item on this list, so don't act like you can't afford them. You accidentally dropped twice this much money at the bar last week when you picked up the entire department's tab just to impress that new woman who works three cubicles over from you. You can pay $60 for the find of a lifetime.
Or you could buy one of these.
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Wednesday links are part of this complete breakfast....
Vernon Fiddler has been profiled by Mike Heika as a "bargain" and a "perfect fit." I did not see "Bieksa-ish" in there, but it is in our hearts. [DMN]
Tom Gaglardi's thoughts on the summer include some praise for Ales Hemsky as "a forgotten guy," which I tend to agree with. They're very different players, but Hemsky could have a Michael Ryder-type impact in that his numbers will usually be sneaky good, and no one will buy his jersey. [Stars]
Heika has a good assessment of the issue with blackouts, rights holders and NHL Center Ice. [DMN]
Tyler Seguin's "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" essay inlcudes "watching faceoffs," "hanging out with Michael Del Zotto," and "learning a bit more about the position [of center]." Look out, parallel universe where faceoffs in hockey are ultra-important! Also, I can tell you that Seguin played ping-pong, golfed, crowd surfed and signed some Stars merchandise while meeting people and making the awkward turtle with his hands upon this one fan's request. This is my life now, knowing these things. [THN]
Chicago is ready for everyone to start catching up to them in the SuperStats department, says the new managing editor of [Second City Hockey]
The rumors are rumored to be true: Darryl Metcalf, founder of Extraskater.com, has been hired by Toronto. Sigh. One day you're teaching Shanahan how to post videos online, the next day he starts giving jobs to every blogger in town. They grow up so fast! [Puck Daddy]
The New York Islanders have finally been sold to Jonathan Ledecky and Scott "Stop Asking if I'm Related to Him" Malkin, pending "N.H.L." approval. [NYT]
What team is going to be lucky enough to be unlucky enough to come in last this year, Sean "Down Goes Brown" Mcindoe wonders. [The Triangle]
These are cool. Hockey sweaters for baseball teams of the same region. Dallas really did take some cues from Chicago, didn't they? [Icethetics]
The most utterly preposterous way an International Hockey Championship could work. I think the NHL is beyond "challenging" Russian teams from the KHL. [Fansided]
Part 4 of the Hockey WAR search is up, with some really interesting graphs as well. Check out Dallas on those Power Play and Shorthanded goal charts. [A.C. Thomas]
There is renewed buzz about a pro sports team coming to Las Vegas, which has made repeated efforts to convince teams to come to Las Vegas in spite of having to be located in Las Vegas. [Las Vegas Sun]
The Todd Bertuzzi/Steve Moore civil lawsuit has been settled in "totality," per multiple reports Tuesday. [Sportsnet]
*VERY FUNNY ALERT* The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles, by Jon Bois. The best thing I can say about this is that if it were a book, I would set it on my coffee table. [SB Nation]
Here is a stupid video about the LA Kings throwing a big party. This helps you to hate them more because it is stupid and they are vile.