With apologies to Keith Olbermann: we have found the worst person in the world, and they live in Chicago. It’s not easy to ruin the very special Winter Classic, especially for a Detroit fan, but it happened to a 14-year-old boy when someone claiming to work at Wrigley Field walked off with the boy’s once-in-a-lifetime souvenir.
(Artist’s depiction of the victimized child.)
Kalan Plew rushed rinkside to see his Red Wings leave the ice after the game, and maybe even get a high-five. But he caught Henrik Zetterberg’s eye, and the Wings winger gave him his stick. As the boy sprinted to show his father, someone dressed as a security guard told the boy he couldn’t have the stick in the stadium, and he could pick it up at the customer relations office. You can guess what happens next: the man just walks off with the stick, which is probably on eBay as we speak.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
Plew was with a group from his youth hockey league (aww), and the group could only manage to get obstructed-view seats (awwwww).
As he left the stadium, a man dressed like a security guard told him to hand the hockey stick over, he said. Plew said the man told him he was not allowed to have the stick if his parents weren’t around. The man took the stick and told the teenager he could pick it up at the stadium’s customer relations office. Plew said he ran to his dad, who was just a short distance away. Together, they went to the ticket office and then to another office inside. They were told there was no hockey stick with Plew’s name on it. “I was so excited to get it,” said Plew, a die-hard Detroit fan. “Then to have that guy take it away. …”
This is dangerously approaching kicking-the-crutches-from-under-a-freezing-orphan levels of villainy.
Just what happened remains unclear. Cubs spokesman Carl Rice said the stadium has a policy that requires fans to check large items like bats and hockey sticks, which are not allowed in the seats. In such cases, the fan is supposed to be taken to customer relations, where he or she fills out a form and is given a ticket to retrieve the item after the game. Rice said the policy would not have applied in Plew’s case because the game was over, and the teenager was outside the stadium when the hockey stick was taken. Rice said he does not believe a Cubs or NHL employee took Plew’s stick. “He should have been able to walk out of the stadium without problem,” Rice said. “The question is whether somebody stole it.”
We do have a happy ending, however.
Red Wings spokesman John Hahn said the team will try to fill the void. “Sometime this week we’ll get another stick from Henrik and send it to him,” Hahn said. Hahn said his office spoke with Zetterberg, who said he remembers giving his stick to a young fan. “Henrik gave a kid a stick, and somehow it got taken away from him,” Hahn said. “It’s unfortunate, and we’ll make it right.”