Nashville - When his plane touched down in Nashville a tired and weary PredJoe looked around as if to be expecting a welcome committee. There was none there. No signs. No banners. Nothing to welcome him home after months in Russia trying to live his dream as a hockey blogger.
"It was something I had to try or I would regret it the rest of my life," said an unshaven PredJoe. "When Radulov went to Russia I felt a calling. Something primal in me called me there. Not sure what it was but it could have been the vodka."
Now that Radulov is suspended by the Predators and he seems intent on staying and playing in his native land PredJoe was forced to make a decision. Stay and continue to work as a Vodka vendor at the arena where Radulov would play or return to the states and attempt to revive his blogging career. The choice was simple.
"I woke up one day to the sound of my roommate Sergei mixing a vodka and orange juice and I knew it was time to go. This was no place for me. I was done," said PredJoe.
While PredJoe continued to blog while in Russia he never was able to get published or to find internet access anywhere. To make ends meet PredJoe worked as a vodka vendor at the arena. "We no think we make mistake when we hire PredYosef. He had big head and strong body. We know he pour good vodka," said Ufa executive Yiri Kachkayev. "Now we know he just another weak American looking for his dream in our country. He is quitter!"
It was not a good life for the young hockey blogger. Not the romantic Russia he longed to live in. Not the fairy tale he saw he and Radulov living out together. PredJoe now finds himself back home and looking ahead to the next chapter in his life.
"I will begin blogging again. I hope that my readers come back to me. They were so loyal to me and I hope I can regain their trust. I just want to write about hockey," said a tearful PredJoe as he climbed into a waiting car and drove off.
Stay tuned...it's gonna be a great season!