George Parros: A pirate's life for me
The beastly road trip is over. It is 2:45 a.m. Eastern Time and the plane is growing more and more quiet. It’s a five-and-a-half hour journey back to California. We’ll most likely find our beds about 3 a.m., give or take, and then it’s off to practice in the afternoon because there is no rest for the weary. We have back-to-back games coming up at home this week so we need to shake off the plane legs and get to the rink to prepare for Detroit and L.A. These games are too important.
All in all it was a good road trip though. The team had a few chances to further gel together. In Atlanta, we all watched the football games together and had a team meal at a local restaurant. Tampa Bay was also enjoyable. We got a big win on the ice against Jeff Halpern (a fellow Princeton Tiger) and company. Our game versus the Lightning really took a backseat that weekend to something else that was going on in Tampa: Gasparilla. People of all ages dressed head-to-toe in pirate gear overran our hotel lobby. There were groups of men donning Teddy Roosevelt Rough Rider costumes and droves of women dressed as wenches and swashbucklers. It was all part of the Gasparilla celebration which is annually capped off by throwing the mayor of Tampa Bay into the water from the deck of a modern-day pirate ship. Needless to say, there was plenty of good people-watching and entertainment provided by the event.
When we arrived to the hotel for our pregame meal yesterday afternoon, we were greeted by Herschel Walker, NFL legend, Apprentice All-Star, and now most recently, MMA victor. He had a one-sided bout in the octagon the night before and was staying in our hotel. He came to our meal to wish us luck and was a totally classy guy. You have to respect someone at his age having success in the MMA world as a newcomer. It’s pretty impressive, I think! The game versus the Florida Panthers wasn’t the prettiest game either team ever played, but we got the win we needed. The building was incredibly humid and hot, but Hillsy held on for a shutout. We come back with a 3-3 split in games and we’ll take all the points we can gather. We look forward to seeing everyone at Honda Center and hope to continue to climb the standings.
-- George Parros
The Times is pleased to have Ducks enforcer George Parros blogging for us on the ups and downs of the NHL season.
Photo: Some of the sights of Gasparilla. Credit: Tampa Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau.