Oscar Roadtrip: Behind The Scenes
Following up from my previous post about being behind the scenes at the Prudential Center, we were lucky enough to play host to a very special guest February 4th, 2013. Everyone that traveled with him called him Oscar, but most people know him as the Academy Award, and the Rock was just one of the stops on a brand new venture being called the Oscar Roadtrip.
The award show aired Sunday night, but for 20 long days leading up the big show Ben Gleib and Angie Greenup would drive across the country in an RV with an actual Oscar filming bits for the Oscar Roadtrip. The second day of the trip was the best day in my opinion, but I’m a little biased because that was the day I got to see Oscar in Newark New Jersey. And it happened to be a Devils v. Rangers match up on top of that, because we all know how exciting those games are. Maybe I even stole a picture with him real quick, but I couldn’t get any information out of the little guy about who’s winning any awards this year so don’t bother asking me either!
It all started with the usual call out looking for a General to help cover an event at the PruCenter. Except this one was big and they wouldn’t say why, and it was requested that someone with experience in these kinds of events was available. Just coming off the first event and blog about being behind the scenes, I was picked for the job. I walked in through security at the employee entrance not entirely knowing what was going on, and I walk upstairs to meet with PR Manager Kerry again where she introduced me to Ben and Angie, as well as their road crew. Ben has a built-in connection to the Devils by being part of long time fan and NJ-native Kevin Smith’s SModcast network, but I did my best to not let it show that I already knew who he was. Angie was a big time hockey fan, hailing from what’s commonly called Hockey Town USA, Detroit Michigan, but more on that later.
We moved to the Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office suite to have a little more intimate encounter with the whole crew. And of course, the Devils Alumni were brought in, along with NJ Devil and the Devils’ Dancers. Grant Marshall was ever the charmer, hanging out and swapping stories with the Oscar crew while showing off his Stanley Cup ring. But Ken Daneyko looked downright star struck around Oscar! I hadn’t known this before, but apparently he’s a big-time movie buff. He relived tales of his past acting career (he appeared on General hospital) and stories you’ll never hear me repeat about his time with the Stanley Cup. I have to say this, every single person who held the Oscar said two things: 1) Is it real? and 2) Wow, it’s heavy. I can say with full knowledge, it’s not easy to hold for too long. I have no idea how some of these acceptance speeches last so longing holding that thing up. So while Grant, Ken, NJ, and the Dancers took pictures, Ben and Angie started talking with several of them about different experiences and all kinds of hockey stuff. Turns out Angie might have held a little grudge since Kenny’s Devils beat out her Red Wings in ’95!
Next up was a trip to the Bud Light Goal Bar, where there was a filmed interview with Ken while he was getting ready to do the game coverage with the MSG network, but that would be an entire blog post itself. Following the interviews, we found a perfectly sized jersey for Oscar to don. It may or may not be a drink insulation device, but it fit our golden companion like a glove. Before we could take pictures and talk about it the crew called the Academy to get it approved. Seriously, they had to call back to Los Angeles on the spot before we could put the jersey on Oscar. It was a tense few minutes, but in the end we were told this would be the first article of clothing Oscar ever wore officially in public! I don’t know the truth behind that for sure, but it was quite the experience as a Devils’ fan to see Oscar wearing the red and black. Everyone now was relocated out of the MSG crew’s way to the Acela Club Restaurant Ledge, and you might have seen Oscar hanging out watching the Devils beat up on the Rangers if you were at the game.
During intermission, Angie Greenup had the ride of her life with Oscar when they were taken out on the Lawns By Yorkshire Zamboni! I told you guys last time that lead ice technician Nick Kryshack was a hard worker, and he was all business while Angie and Oscar where on his machine. Okay, that’s not really entirely true, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen Nick do anything but smile out there. There’s a Youtube clip from the Oscar Roadtrip channel with the events of the night, so you can check it out for yourself. Everyone was cheering while Angie did laps of the playing surface, showing off Oscar in an almost identical way to players taking the Stanley Cup around the rink. Hopefully one day soon, right Devils fans?! Until then, the Oscar is definitely the coolest trophy I’ve seen on the Prudential Center ice.