That darn bear!
For nearly two months I'd been waiting for the right opportunity to get a video clip with my phone of Everett's Ben Betker and Austin Lotz doing their postgame celebration, thus having a video to post alongside the story I would eventually write (it ran in today's paper). But there were problems. I tried to get video from my spot in the press area earlier in the season, but found that was a little too far from the action. Therefore, I needed to get a closer vantage point.
But for Betker and Lotz to do their celebration the Tips needed to win, and in the second half of the season wins became harder to come by for Everett. Then in order to get to that closer vantage point, I needed to leave the press box before the game was over. But I was only going to do that when the game was no longer in doubt, and Everett wasn't playing any games where the result wasn't in the balance right up to the final moment.
Then came Wednesday's game against Prince Albert. This was basically the last chance. I'd already taken the risk and penciled the story in for the following Friday, photographer Sofia Jaramillo had been prepped for getting the potential still shot, and I was just praying Everett would win. The Tips were running out of home games, and the following Friday was really the last appropriate opportunity to run the story. This had to be the night.
Then the Tips came through for me like champs. Everett, for the first time since early January, had a comfortable lead in the third period. With 3 minutes remaining the Tips led 5-1, and I knew this was the moment. I raced down to the ADA seating area in section 118 and staked out my spot, which was a perfect vantage point for capturing the celebration. Everett won, the players gathered at center ice to salute the crowd, and I saw Lotz and Betker slowly start to skate to their positions for the celebration. It was going to be perfect.
And then disaster!
Standing on the boards on the Everett bench, waiving a Silvertips flag, was Lincoln, Everett's mascot. It was almost as if he was intentionally trying to thwart me, positioning himself the way an offensive player would position oneself to screen the goaltender. Betker and Lotz came together, and somehow Lincoln managed to waive that flag exactly in front of my phone's view.
All those months of planning and preparation, undone by a guy in a bear suit.
Anyway, the above is the resulting video (note the exasperated cry in the background, and no that wasn't a curse word). You can still sort of make out what they're doing. Sort of. I guess.
When exactly is bear season?
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