Monday, 25 November 2013

Selanne To Connelly

If you're looking at that photo, you probably recognize Mr. Teemu Selanne in the suit. Mr. Selanne is, of course, an NHL superstar, having suited up for the Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, and is currently a member of the Anaheim Ducks. What you might be asking, though, is who is this Ryan Connelly guy and why is Teemu holding a sign with his name on it? There's a good, albeit short, story that goes along with this, so it's time we get you introduced to the man better known as "RyCo".

Ryan, seen to the left with his beautiful fiancée Jocelyn, is the man who Selanne is greeting with his cardboard sign. Ryan is a die-hard Pittsburgh Penguins fan and a man I am proud to call a friend. He's a fantastic human being, a passionate sports fanatic, and has a man-crush on Teemu Selanne. Yes, you read that correctly. While we poke fun at him for this man-crush, Ryan has an immense amount of respect for the Finnish Flash and wears it proudly on a number of Selanne jerseys he owns. In other words, it's kind of his dream to speak to one of his hockey idols.

So how did Teemu Selanne end up holding a Ryan Connelly sign? According to Ryan, it's a case of a friend looking out for a friend!
"My brother Travis has a buddy Andy who is really good friend of the family. Andy works at the airport and has a coworker that's an autograph hound. He caught wind of the autograph guy going to try to get some Ducks autographs, so Andy held him up for a moment, long enough to rip off a piece of cardboard, write a funny message to me, and have Teemu hold it up for a picture.

Doug and I went to the Penguins-Ducks game and were having a few beers during the pre-game in the Captain Morgan club when I received a text from my brother. By that time, he had already printed it out on an 8x10, intending it to be a surprise. Travis was way too excited, though, and couldn't help but send the text.

Doug and I were beside ourselves! We just couldn't believe it! How cool, right?!? I always thought a pic with and athlete is the tops, but when you're not present an autograph seems like just a scribble on a paper. Well, this is one of the COOLEST ideas I've seen in a while! So much cooler than JUST an autograph, and the picture is already earmarked for my office wall!
Pretty darn awesome, I must agree! And I happen to be a little envious that Ryan has that picture posted on his wall. It will undoubtedly be quite the conversation piece!

Ryan also does some pretty cool stuff on his own just to show off his sports fanaticism. The image to the right is of Ryan's wall, and he put that logo there! Ryan also is working on a Pittsburgh Pirates logo to go along with that Penguins logo, but I am seriously impressed with Ryan's artistry. It takes real skill for a painter to get a logo right in a reproduction in paint and Ryan, unfortunately, is no painter. So how did he put this Penguins logo on his wall so accurately without spending hours in an art studio?

Here's Ryan to explain the process, and I have conveniently linked the pictures he sent me to make it easier to see what's he is explaining.
I measured the area, scaled up a logo to fit, and gridded it off in 11x17 sections. I printed those sections to PDFs, ran them down to Kinko's, and had them print me off the various PDF sheets needed. I then measured, taped, lightly traced, and then "colored" in the lines. Just as easy as that! I really like using Beher paint sample size portions. Cheap, but effective!
Very effective, I must agree! Fantastic work, Ryan! Again, you find me jealous in looking at your work, and I may have to commission you to fly to my place once I'm done with my man-cave setup!

All in all, Ryan is a great guy and I'm happy to see him get a fantastic gift from his brother. The Teemu Selanne picture will hang proudly in Ryan's office alongside his amazing Penguins and Pirates logos, making it an office that most sports fans will want to emulate!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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