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Huge thanks to everyone who showed up to the blog gathering on Saturday. You guys are way too cool and way too kind. I had a blast and can't wait to do it again. It was neat to be able to know the people behind the various handles - and opinions - expressed on RI over the last two years and you guys could not have been cooler or more welcoming.

Big props to Nate in the PDX for being the brains behind the operation, and I believe I can speak for everyone that a good time was had by all (at least the parts I still vividly recall). If not, I'm sure we'll hear about it in the comments. In the end, sure, triple-fisting beers on a 95-degree night out in right field might not have been the best way to go. Yes, that second Five Guys burger was perhaps overkill as well. But, hey, that's how I roll on the rare night I get a free pass.

Again, thanks to all of you guys for being so passionate about this little corner of the internets, and let's do it again.

Randoms: Had more fun watching the US National Team last night than I had in a long, long time. What a performance. The effort and work ethic alone was admirable, and to their credit this group reversed its face from the woeful timid effort at Wembley 10 days ago. Complete turnaround. Deserved to win that game against a very strong Argentina roster. Landon was a manbeast, loved the play of both outside backs (Pearce and Cherundolo) and Freddy had some moments of brilliance off the bench. At one point there were two Terps - Edu and Califf - and a kid from Montgomery County (via Ghana) on the field in US shirts against the best team in the world. Pretty cool. And Sam's Army brought the thunder. What an atmosphere. Appeared the US fans more than held their own. Wish I coulda been at The Swamp for that one ...

Memo to any struggling NHL franchise: Do whatever it takes to get Jim Nill (longtime assistant GM) and Hakan Andersson (head of scouting) out of Detroit. I am amazed the Red Wings have been able to hold on to those two guys for so long, and the ability to go all out to do so in a testament to what a first-calls organization they have. GM Ken Holland and team president Jimmy Devellano are the very best, and they remain an ubber-franchise despite not having a high draft pick in like 15 years. Spent three years covering the Red Wings from 1997-1999 and have nothing but respect for the way they go about doing things. They are a model for others to follow, regardless of the sport ...
We'll see if Portis and Springs are back for OTAs. Skins on the field at 11 so I'll get something up as soon as I can get a headcount. It's already ridiculously hot out there. Yikes.

By Jason La Canfora  |  June 9, 2008; 10:53 AM ET
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