Friday, April 1, 2011

Hockey, Twitter friends, and the "Big Cubano"

Since this blog was created to help me train my focus, I've planned some activities to work on it. I'm calling them "exercises in focus."

One of my first ideas was to pick a player at every Hurricanes game and track that player through the whole game. When he takes a shift, I will follow everything he does during that shift. When he is on the bench, I will watch what he does until his next shift. The benefits are many. In addition to training my concentration, the one-on-one time with a player would help me get to know him better. Maybe he sits quietly on the bench waiting for his next shift, or maybe he yells and encourages his teammates while he is on the bench. Also, watching one player from start to finish would give me an idea of what a game is like from that player's perspective.

The first player I picked was Jamie McBain. He's a great, young defenseman who has a lot of potential. Well, I didn't get to focus on him, because he got injured. My shiny blog can't already be a jinx, can it? I decided to try again a few games later. About ten minutes into the first period, I realized that I hadn't picked a player. Some focus!

In the second period, the visiting goaltender is at our end of the ice, and I like to see the designs on their masks. Al Montoya had something on the back of his mask that resembled the cigar smoking ghost from the Ghostbusters movie. Shiny Thing! Now I was focused; I had to find out what it really was.

Al Montoya, view from my seat

After asking everyone sitting around me if they could see what it was, I decided to ask the experts on Twitter. I've worked hard to make connections with every NHL team, so I knew the expert on the Islanders is @dani3boyz. She replied to my tweet right away with an explanation and awesome photo from the Isles Flickr feed.

The back of Montoya's mask. The Big Cubano. #isles
The Big Cubano picture from the Islanders' Flickr feed.

This is just one example of why I love Twitter. Some people don't understand Twitter, and it's a hard thing to explain. It's more than just sending thoughts into cyberspace. It's about real interactions, and great sources of information. The connections and friendships I've made would never have happened without Twitter.