On October 13, 2011, Arron Asham put a Beagle to sleep. I was so excited, I had to make a shirt about it.
On October 16, 2001, I met with Phil Bourque and Arron Asham. This is the story:
I emailed Joe Bendel, from 970 ESPN, on 10/18 asking if he could get a tee I made to Asham. Joe told me that my best bet would be to attend a taping of "Along the Boards" on 10/21, which Phil Bourque will be hosting with Asham at River’s Casino.
So, I put aside my nerves, and attended the show last night. We were able to get to the back room of the Wheelhouse at Rivers Casino, 10 minutes before the show started. I went up to Arron and told him that I was a fan of his. I handed him the tee and told him he inspired me to make a design and shirt. He looked surprised, and then smiled, and asked if he could take a look at it. As he opened it, I said, “I know you apologized for this, but I thought it was awesome.” He took one look at it and started to smile. This was a wonderful reaction, because I was expecting a sullen, tough guy who might just think I am glorifying something that he had to apologize for, or think I was a creepy fan. The only thing that was going wrong at this point was some Miller Lite promotions girl was doing a half-assed job at flirting me into buying her beer. Arron was asking me questions, and this young lady kept interrupting him about contests and shitty beer. (I kept thinking about the irony of someone interrupting such an important conversation for me, as I gave a hockey enforcer a tee I made, which celebrated the beating of a pest). I threw out something about my wife, which made her leave, and I continued talking to Asham. Arron then looked at Bourque (Ole 2-9er) and said, "Look at this!" Ole 2-9er said, “That’s so awesome!” and started analyzing the shirt to a couple crewmembers. I was literally frozen at this point…I had been so nervous, drove down there not even knowing if I would get to talk to Arron, and expecting he and 2-9er to be annoyed with me… my pessimistic mind couldn’t believe such a great thing was happening…2 people, whom I enormously respect, like something I made in the basement. I was just so happy at that moment. I felt very proud.
Meanwhile, outside of my head, Arron kept thanking me, and telling me how cool the idea was. He seemed flattered. I asked for a picture and Arron immediately complied. I was still shitting bricks, and amusingly, Arron had to give me directions on how to do this picture. He said, “let’s get the shirt in the picture.” Arron grabbed it, I just stood there, and then he said, “You take this side of the tee”. I just said, “Right. Thank you.”
Bourque asked me how I made it. I began to tell them the actual printing and design process, at which time the show’s producer came up and thanked me for making the tee, asked if I would be interested in promoting the tee on 970 ESPN, handed me a card, asked me to contact him over the weekend, and told me the show was starting. What are the chances of that happening?!
I watched the show from the front lounge chairs in the little studio area they have in that bar. Most of the people were just hanging out and eating, so it felt like 2-9er and Asham were doing a show for me and about 6 other people. During a couple of the breaks (and as my panic settled), I would go up and talk to Arron a little more. He was SO genuine and nice. He was very interested wanted to hear what I had to say about t shirts and puck. He asked me about the creation of the tee, I told him the timeline of events, and how much I loved his actions that Thursday. I told him that I spent 9 hours just on the design, that I was proud of his role on the team, and I wanted to get the design perfect in hopes to represent the great things the fans and I thought of him. Arron said it was perfect. He kept smiling when I would bring up the Beagle fight…I could tell that he felt his actions were warranted (including his hand gestures), and he did indeed apologize due to pressure from management, agent, whoever. Bourque kept smirking during this conversation as well. During the show, Bourque mentioned Arron’s role as an enforcer on several different teams, at which point the Ole 2-9er and Asham both looked up at me. That put me on cloud 9.
At the end of the show, I went and talked to them both once more. Josh, the 970 producer, took a picture of Bourque, Asham, and I with his nice camera. 2-9er told me again that I did a great job, and that he liked my work. Asham reiterated that point, and said he would be wearing the tee around. I told them how much those words meant to me.
I left Rivers and went straight to Primanti’s in the Strip. I ate 2 ½ pastrami’s w/egg. My life was complete.
Check out the beating here:
* This design is printed on Anvil ring spun cotton tees. These tees are incredibly soft, comfortable, and flexible. They have a sliming cut, but not enough that it throws off the sizing. Bottom line, these tees will be among your go-to favorite tees.
For more detailed information, including sizing, check them out at Anvils website: