Saturday, June 3, 2017

Stories Behind The Sock: The Media Edition

Lately I've been going back through the old "sock photos" - pictures of Penguins, coaches, management, media and anyone else who we wanted to get a picture of holding the sock that Michelle happened to be knitting at the time - and I thought it might be time to share them again.  As much as the pictures themselves, the memories of the cool, funny and awkward encounters have really stayed with us through the years.

Today's installment was inspired by a tweet about being "elite" and I replied that the person must be elite because they are in the "ring of sock holders".  And so I present you with members of the media holding the knitting of the one, the only, Pens Knitting Lady.

Sorry Josh :(
I know the tweet was about you and your excellent sock pic, but this category can start with none other than Dan Potash.  He isn't the all-time leader in number of socks held, but he is a two-time sock holder and was the first "human" to get a sock pic, shown above.

Sorry again, Mr Yohe.
Without this guy I probably wouldn't even be a Penguins fan. That's a story for another post, but let's just say I was stunned to get to meet Mike Lange at an open morning skate in Raleigh.  Mike and the Canes broadcaster did a Q&A and then mingled with fans.  He was more than happy to pose with the sock Michelle was knitting for me.  Wow.  Thanks Mike.

From here I'm getting lazy and going in no particular order.
Pierre stepped up.  When the yarn started flying (over the glass, in this case), our favorite (other than Bourque and Errey) between the benches broadcaster not only caught the sock (or socky, as Pierre would call it), he really drove it on net with this excellent sock pic.  Plus any time you can get a sock pic with the team warming up in the background, my friends, you're doing it right.

Wow, who doesn't miss Grover?  Thankfully he's still around on twitter and blogging.  I like to think he has partly inspired a generation of Pens fans who selflessly give their time to spread the knowledge with their fellow fans.  He took time out of a break in the Pens postgame show to pose with my sock.  I wish Mike Lange was here to do the play-by-play of the encounter because this was real bang-bang action. Bob had the sock no more than a few seconds but still managed to put up what is one of the top five sock pics of  all time.

How about that Steve Mears?  Congrats to him on heading back to Pittsburgh next season!  After a Pens win everyone is happy, especially first time sock holders.

This is pretty rare.  I'll need to consult with the PTML historians but this could be the only double sock pic on record.   Rob King and Jay Caufield during a break in their postgame show. I forgot what a great pic this was. It's legendary! Well done, guys!!!

Bob Errey is the all-time sock pic leader at three, mostly because the first two were terrible!  It ain't easy shooting through the glass sometimes.  But Bob was a trooper and agreed to a third attempt on his way in for the morning skate.

We bumped into Steigy on a cold February night in Buffalo.  Let's just say he was 'cool' enough to pose for a pic.  I mean, it was pretty slippery out that night and he could have gone down hard, though obviously not as hard as Hobey Baker. Congrats to Paul on a great broadcasting career!  He and Mike Lange were important parts of my early years as a Pens fan.

He wasn't in the media at the time but he is now, meaning this Brent Johnson pic makes the post by a technicality.  It was freezing and icy after the morning skate, so a lot of the players stopped for the poor, few, foolish souls who were out hoping for autographs (it was so yucky out the professional autograph seekers weren't even there!).  Beej posed for a sock pic and also signed the photoshop I made of him in a gunfight against DiPietro.  I'm going to maintain the sanctity of the sock pics post and refrain from including it here.

Not only is this great as sock pics go, the timing was really special as it was the night of the first regular season game in the new arena.  We spotted Katie on the red carpet and the picture tells the rest of the story.

The through the glass photos are tough but the Ol' Two-Niner was up for the challenge. I'd go on about Phil Bourque but I'm getting tired.  Needless to say the dude is all-time.

Hey, it's Elliotte Friedman!

Another classic from Potash, this one during pregame at MSG just two days following the Pens-Isles brawl on Long Island in 2011.  One of the few downsides of a long playoff run is missing out on seeing Dan.  I'm sure he's enjoying it as much as we are!

Well, that was a lot of fun for me.  Hopefully you enjoyed seeing these pictures again or for the first time.

What's that?
Another picture?
The one from the tweet that inspired this post?

Oh, that's right.  Now I remember.  After that open morning skate down in Raleigh, we took a walk around the building to see if maybe the Pens would walk out and sign autographs.  That didn't happen but we spotted none other than Josh Yohe.  Josh got to hold the same sock that Mike Lange's hands touched just a few minutes earlier.

See you next time from Nashville when we look back at another group of sock holders.  Until then..



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