Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Banner Night

by Dan Davis

Hi, everybody.  First post on Lisa's blog, so let me say that I'm honored.

Regarding "Lisa's Finest Hour:" Many of the details of that particular night in October, 1985 have been lost to time, but the legend remains.  And even though I'm not honestly sure that Lisa and I have ever discussed the events of that evening in our 22 years of marriage (up until this week), it still feels like yesterday.

The University of Denver hockey program was emerging from a long period of apathy and slumber, and 1985-86 was a good year that would eventually land the Pioneers in the NCAA championship tournament (not yet called the "Frozen Four").  Early that season a group of us, DU students all, headed south to Colorado Springs to the old, small, low-ceilinged, smelly Broadmoor World Arena for a game against arch-rival Colorado College.

In Lisa's rendering of the story, she and I went down in separate group buses.  The Lisa legend actually begins on the trip down from Denver.  She was in possession of the most precious gift in the life of a college student:  valid ID as a 21-year-old, so on the trip down, she takes up a collection from her fraternity friends -- of which I was not one -- somebody convinces the bus driver to stop at a liquor store and Lisa makes a beer run (or was it wine coolers?) for the assembled masses.

In my rendering of the story, the two of us arrive arm-in-arm in a romantic, horse-drawn carriage, but whatever.  I was still short of 21, so the part about the valid ID and the illicit beer run was probably true, regardless.

Lisa and I both agree that, independent of how we got to the game, we did end up sitting next to each other.  In my version, it was by design.  In her version, it was more likely an accident.

That year, my roommate Greg and I had taken to spending our disposable time (which was abundant) and income (which wasn't) on creating enormous banners for the old DU hockey "barn".  The two of us created a phenomenon, via our most famous banner, that came to be known as the "Bleacher Creatures".  And OK, we'll take ownership of the giant "CC S****" banner that revived (created? doubtful) the famous cheer, but we plead the 5th on the dead squid and the frozen chickens launched onto the ice from the balcony following Pioneer goals!

For the CC game, though, we outdid ourselves.  Or rather, the mother of Greg's bride-to-be, Karen, did, creating a large, professional-looking banner in the Pioneer crimson and gold.  Man, were we proud of that banner!!

As the game gets underway, DU scores a goal and we're cheering and waving the banner like crazy, when suddenly there's a rustling in the seats next to me.  The banner's been snatched by a group of hoodlum CC students who are half-way across the arena before any of us knew what hit us!

So, I turn to Greg and ask him what we're going to do.  He's perplexed.  I turn back to Lisa, and...


I look down toward the ice, and there she is, marching after the hoodlums with the determination of a mother about to tweak her son's ear and call him by all three names -- you know the look?

By this time, the hoodlums are back in their seats.  So Lisa walks into the "belly of the beast," right up to the offending fan, looks him straight in the eyes, and says, "My friend's mother worked hard on that banner.  I want it back!"

To which the shocked fan looks at his buddies, looks back at Lisa, shrugs, and says, "OK". 

And hands over the banner.

Of course, by this time, the 3,000+ fans have turned their attention away from the game to watch the drama unfold.  Lisa walks back across the arena, alone, victorious, banner in hand, to a standing ovation (probably even some CC fans among those cheering).  The hockey team, obviously inspired by her heroics, cruises to victory over the Tigers. 

Or maybe not.  None of us actually remembers who won the game.

As we file out of the arena and back to the horse-drawn carriage, I can only remember thinking the same thing that probably half of the young men who made the trip down were thinking:

THIS is the woman I'm going to marry! 

Seven months later, I did.

H/T: Old friends,Greg and Karen, who e-mailed us the above pic of THE Banner, of distant and happily-remembered fame.


Laura's Husband said...

Hands of the BEST "How We Met Stories" EVER.

Laura said...

Actually, my husband didn't leave that comment, I did. I did not realize he was signed into the computer. However I'm quite sure he would love the story too.

GrandmaK said...

Indeed one of the best ever stories I've heard!!!! Yep, Lisa, you are a determined woman when you have to be!!! I just knew it and validated in this story!!! God bless you both!!! Cathy

Paul said...

Ahahah! I LOVE This! (nicole by the way) Dan awesome job telling this story. I lauged the whole way through. :) And good for you Lisa!

SQUELLY said...

Such a great story Dan and Lisa! Thanks for sharing it!

MightyMom said...


Soutenus said...

WoW! What an awesome story! I laughed out loud and now I HAVE to share it with my family (minus the beer run because of my 10 year old LOL)
My 21 year old? She gets the whole story!!! I am still smiling.
You know, Lisa, I knew you had it in you. I am shaking my head in wonder at the whole scenario . . . . How cooool!