As the final buzzer sounded on the Red Wings’ Game Six victory over the Colorado Avalanche, I clincked a few buttons on my computer to post the game’s score on drwcentral.net and left my desk to celebrate with my roommates. While walking out the door, I glanced at a calendar, already anxiously awaiting Friday night’s Game Seven. At that point, my heart sank: My little sister’s high school graduation was scheduled for Friday night at 7:00 PM.
I quickly called home, trying to weasel my way out of the obligation. The Wings and Avs in Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals, surely that was more important. My sister, a Red Wings fan herself, agreed and said I only needed to stay long enough to see her walk. My parents disagreed, and I was stuck.
Much to my father’s disapproval, I brought a walkman to graduation, planning to listen to the ceremony only while my sister was speaking.
In Detroit, Karen Newman began “The Star-Spangled Banner” only seconds before it began at the graduation ceremony. The first speaker stepped to the podium just as the puck was dropped.
Before he was done speaking, I leaned forward to my step-mother and whispered, “One – zip, Wings.”
By the time my sister began her speech, “Dear Diary,” the Wings were up by four. The crowd at the graduation, most of which, like myself, carried some sort of radio, was buzzing.
During the first intermission, a woman slid over to me and asked, “Who scored that last goal?” By that point, I had stopped paying attention to the goal-scorers and was celebrating the fact that I was not missing a nail-biter, that my Wings were going to advance.
“Dear Diary,” my sister had said, “today we graduate.”
She forgot to add, “Dear Diary, today the Red Wings advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals.”