So you've had a tough year. You lost the Gold Medal and your 3rd seeded team was upset in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. So what do you do to unwind after a long year of hockey? Why, you head to Los Angeles' hippiest burger joint with your beautiful actress girlfriend. That's what you do!
Ryan Miller or Jay Baruchel?
You make the call!
Regular Royal Half reader and personal friend, Jill, attended her first NHL hockey game on January 18th, 2008, a thrilling 4-3 shootout win over the Dallas Stars at Staples Center. Since then, her love for the game has grown. But imagine my surprise when I got a text last Friday saying that she just saw Ryan Miller eating lunch in West Hollywood. And then when tipster Jill sent in the photos… well I knew I just had to let her tell the story in her own words. Take it away, Jill!
"I was so happy when I was asked to contribute to The Royal Half because somehow I think this brings me one step closer to being a legitimate hockey fan. Truth is I’m more of a fan by association. When two of your closest male friends are diehard Kings and Sabres fans you have to take an interest if you want to spend time with them during the season. My first ever hockey game was the Austin Ice Bats (worst name ever and I believe they no longer exist) and since then it’s been a couple of Houston Aeros games, 4 Kings games and a few TV viewings at Big Wangs. My love of hockey really began when the Royal Half invited me to one of my first Kings game and the Kings scored in the final minute of the 2nd period, which meant that everyone in the Staples center won a free McFlurry! [EDITORS NOTE: If the Kings score in the last minute of the 2nd period... everyone at Staples Center gets a coupon for a free small McFlurry... at a McDonalds outside Staples Center.] With a Kings victory and a free ice cream treat in hand, I knew this was a sport I could get behind."
I didn't have the heart to tell Jill she can simply make her own McFlurrys (McFlurries?) at home.
"So that brings me to the reason of my story… Ryan Miller. I knew a little bit about him from my Sabres friend but it was during the Winter Olympics that I really took notice of him. Seeing him play for America in one of the most exciting hockey games I had ever seen was enough for him to win a place in my heart. After the Olympics I started referring to him as my secret hockey boyfriend. Yes, I realize that there are many hotter hockey players that I could choose from but when he got choked up because they lost the gold, I just wanted to give him a big hug and tell him he did his best."
SO you can imagine my surprise when this last Friday I was having lunch with my co-workers at The Counter (new, hip LA hamburger joint on Sunset) when who do I see, but Ryan Miller!! I was at an outside table and he was sitting at the counter inside. At first I kept thinking that he was so familiar that I must have gone to High School with him but then I realized it was my secret hockey boyfriend sitting less than 10 feet away from me!! He was having lunch with his pretty girlfriend (for those of you like myself who can admit to watching bad romantic comedies, she was in the movie Ghosts of Girlfriends Past as Matthew McConaughey’s assistant) so I did what anyone would do and borrowed my co-worker’s camera and took pictures of him through the glass. I felt like some creepy paparazzi guy but I knew my hockey friends wouldn’t believe me without proof, plus I thought it might give me some hockey street cred. He was all smiles, looking relaxed and enjoying time with his lady. And that is when it occurred to me that Ryan must be out of the playoffs! Poor Ryan – no gold medal and no Stanley Cup. But from the looks of it he’s not too torn up about it. He had a great year and earned my respect so he’ll forever be my secret hockey boyfriend."
Thanks to Jill for sending in the pics and re-telling her Encounter at The Counter with American Hero, Ryan Miller. If anyone else runs into Miller over the next few weeks in LA, please do be sure to send in photos… of his girlfriend.