This is Bobby and Lori Pappert, pictured with the Henrik Zetterberg stick that Bobby purchased in a Wrigley Field bathroom after the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks battled in the Winter Classic.
As we reported last Friday, after reading about how 14-year-old hockey fan Kalan Plew was tricked out of the game-used stick by someone dressed like a security guard, Bobby Pappert of North Carolina went on a mission to get the Zetterberg stick back to its rightful owner.
According to the Chicago Tribune, which broke the original story, it's mission:accomplished as of yesterday. Calling it the "Miracle of Nice" (and we thought the "Funeral Burgers" was lame), Plew was reunited with the Zetterberg lumber, which actually arrived in the mail before the replacement stick the Red Wings promised him did.
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Two important footnotes. First, and just to finally clear up this lingering doubt, the Tribune's Problem Sover column showed a photo of Bobby Pappert to Plew, and "the teenager said categorically he was not the man who approached him and took the stick." Which of course means that the jerkwad that stole the kid's keepsake in the first place still hasn't 'fessed up.
Finally, our twisted minds prevent us from ignoring this line from Tribune writer Jon Yates: "Pappert, a Blackhawks fan, left the bathroom and proudly handed the stick to his wife." Did he, now?
Thanks to Puck Daddy reader Julie for the photo and the info.