By this much - Shawn Loughlin editorial
Last week, as Scott and I frantically laid out the Barn Dance Campout and Jamboree special section (alright, not frantically, but not exactly calmly either), I was reminded of the idea of best laid plans.
Best Laid Plans isn’t just a poorly-reviewed Reese Witherspoon movie (the great Roger Ebert gave it one star - ouch) that I remember from my DVD jockey days at Rogers Video (while I don’t remember seeing it, I feel like I see the movie poster in my mind’s eye every time someone uses the term) it’s a saying. If I were to use it in a sentence, as if I’d been asked to do so by one of those annoying spelling bee kids, it would have something to do with mapping out something very important, only for things to get too complicated and spin out of their orbit.
As Scott and I completed page after page, we had a plan and things began to change and they continued to change and, right up until the very edge of deadline, they changed again and I began to think about those best laid plans. (Again, that’s not a reference to the movie that holds a rating of 43 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, which is seven percentage points worse than Sudden Death with Jean-Claude Van Damme, in which he has to save a stadium full of people from a terrorist explosion and stop a few shots as a goaltender for the Pittsburgh Penguins in game seven of the Stanley Cup finals. But it is 10 points higher than Double Impact, also starring Van Damme as identical twin brothers that involves someone being crushed by a forklift. And let’s not even get into Double Team at 11 per cent, which brings together Van Damme and basketball rebounding god Dennis Rodman, though it’s very close to a time-travelling Van Damme’s Timecop at 42 per cent.)
Basically, it’s an idea we’re all familiar with. Things don’t always work out the way you think they’re going to. I’ve become very used to this idea now with two kids under three at home. Even trying to schedule a phone call with a friend or slip over to a neighbour’s for a drink requires extensive planning, just about all of which is usually moot shortly thereafter.
One that came to mind recently was the day of Ryan O’Reilly’s Stanley Cup parade in Seaforth after he won the final game of the season with the St. Louis Blues and brought Ernie Phillips’ pride and joy back home. Denny was still here at the time and we both went to provide extensive coverage and ensure we could be in two places at once. We had been granted access to the pre-parade meet-up at the Seaforth fire hall, then there was the parade and the gathering at the arena with O’Reilly and people were able to get their picture taken with the Stanley Cup (the very prize the Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks jockeyed for in 1995’s Sudden Death - though that game doesn’t actually end despite going to, you guessed it, sudden death overtime).
Denny was at the fire hall and I had staked out a high perch at the municipal office for the parade, while Denny would follow the parade to the arena. Once at the arena, firefighters gave O’Reilly a ride in the bucket truck and we were there to chronicle all of it.
Then, in the arena, we took a breather, not just to sit down, but to take a spin through the pictures we’d taken in the stands near the entrance to the ice surface. Our heads were down when O’Reilly carried the cup right past us. It almost hit my shoe. There are no pictures from that close, because we didn’t get them.
Plan all you want, you’ll still luck into (or out of) some of your best opportunities. No more Sudden Death references - I promise.