My first Dad-chelor party while fun, did not live up to my "The Hangover" expectations. I went downtown Orlando in my Mickey Mouse shirt with my two best friends. We saw G.I. Joe, then had a few beers and went home. No Dwight Howard. No Alyssa Milano. No XL1067. No wild animals. And worst of all, no Appliance Direct guy!
As soon as I found out we were expecting a second child, I started thinking about Dad-chelor Party 2.0. Hopes were high that it would exceed the first one and at worst, it would at least exceed "The Hangover 2." What a let down that movie was, but I wont get into that now.
Fast forward to July 19th. The Tampa Bay Lightning announced they were playing a pre-season hockey game at the Amway Center in Orlando on September 21st. (Does that date ring any bells?) Bingo-Bango! Scene set for Dad-chelor Party 2.0. Dinner, hockey game, cigars, Church St. This may be my last child. My last Dad-chelor party. I have to live it up, right?
I invited a few friends and as luck would have it, my brother-in-law moved to Orlando the week of the announcement, so he was going to join us at the game too. It was all starting to come together. I prefaced the invitation with the following statement: Allison will be 38-39 weeks pregnant. If Allison is in the hospital giving birth, you're on your own, but if not, I'll be there.
Now to make the party Legen....wait for it.......Dary!
Just like with the first party, I wanted celebs and a radio station sponsor, but with a pregnant Allison, Ben and work occupying most of my time, I really didn't have time to plan or sign anyone up. At the last minute, I tried to put a list together of local celebs. Tiger Woods is local, but I don't think he would want to be affiliated with a party like this.
Another local celeb, who I've actually seen at Orlando Magic games, Chris Tucker. So we invite Chris for comic-relief. When you point to Chris, he lays down one of his classic movie lines.
- Fifty million dollars? Man, who do you think you kidnapped? Chelsea Clinton?
Now we need a radio sponsor to emcee the night. Jayde from XL1067 got a fancy Hollywood job and I think a husband (congratulations) so she's out. What other radio station could host? How about David Buffa and The Shot Doctor? Or even better The Dan Patrick show complete with the Danettes. They spend the day working in a "Man-Cave" and they are all about corporate sponsors. I think everything on the show down to the microphones and pencils are sponsored. They would be down for this manly idea right? Well, maybe not McLovin, but the rest of them for sure. Unfortunately, I never sent them an email about it, so we'll never know.
For what seems like months, FOX has been playing commercials for The X-Factor. So that got me thinking we need a singer. I had to go for one of my girls. Nelly Furtado, Carrie Underwood or Pia Toscano. Tweets to them were not immediately (or ever) replied to.
Now it's September 20th, the day before the game. No celebrity appearances, but it's all good. I can't wait for the game tomorrow night. Hockey, pizza and beer, NICE! What could possibly keep us from going out and having fun?
Abigail was born the morning of the hockey game. Since I had the tickets ay my house, I made arrangements for the guys to get their tickets so they could still enjoy the game without me.
Then something strange happened. Allison told me to go to the game. Really? Is this a trap? We were in Triage and Allison was telling me to go to the game. Mid contraction. Go! Have a good time. I'll sleep.
She asked the nurse and she said sure Daddy, go to the game. I looked at her and said, "Oh, you're in on this too? I see how it is. Girls sticking together." The nurse was reassuring. She said if something happens there are 10 nurses here to help your wife and your daughter. You'd only be in the way, go to the game.
My mother, my mother-in-law and a few other nurses were telling me the same thing. Go to the game. I said I would think about it, but I honestly wasn't planning to go. As the day progressed and I saw that both baby and mom were doing fine, I started to change my mind. Around noon I decided as long as mom and baby are good, I'd go to the game, but just the game. No dinner before the game. No drinks at all. At the first drop of the puck, I will have been awake for 37 hours with two 40 minute naps. The last thing I should have is a drink.
That's the plan. Uncle Steven came to the hospital to meet Abigail. We hung out for a bit then he left and we planned to meet up again at the game. Uncle Mark came to pick me up from the hospital to go to the game, then Uncle Dave brought me back to the hospital and came upstairs to meet his niece after the game.
I have been to lots of sporting events in my life. Too many to count. I was there when the New York Mets won the National League Pennant in 2000. I watched the New Jersey Devils raise the Stanley Cup in 2003 and now I've been to a game the day my child was born. I'm ranking those as my top 3 games and I'm saving that ticket.
The game itself was a lot of fun. As expected, the guys offered to buy me drinks, but I refused, so they bought me food instead. We watched the game and talked about my baby the whole time. It was awesome. I'm sure the people in front of us were tired of hearing about it, but they didn't say anything and I wasn't going to stop talking about my little girl even if they did.
In the end it all worked out. I got a healthy baby girl and even got the celebrity appearance after all. Chris Kirkpatrick of Nsync sang the National Anthem. He did a nice job. He's often the forgotten member of Nsync....um, I mean, stupid boy band! PLAY SOME SKYNYRD!!
The game was exciting. The Saint Louis Blues won 4-3 on a late goal by Adam Cracknell. I'm trying to get a picture, hockey card or puck signed by him for Abigal's Time Capsule, but no luck so far. He actually replied to a tweet saying he'd love to sign something for me and invited me to the fan fest, but unfortunately I couldn't make it to St. Louis that day, so the search continues. At the very least I'll order a puck online and put it with the game ticket in the time capsule.
I'd call Dad-chelor Party 2.0 a success. I still plan to take the guys out for cigars, but there is no date on the calendar yet.
Before I sign off, I just have one more idea to share with you:
Yeah buddy! I wonder if Katy Perry will still be wearing those leotards in 30 years. We'll find out. I'll start plugging away at the celebrity guest list now.
What a great wife I have. I don't know how many other wives out there would have forced their husbands to go to a hockey game. Thanks honey.