Saturday, November 19, 2011

Long Time, First Time. I'll Hang Up and Listen. A Sports Radio Advice Guide...

I want you to know something. I only like the beginnings of things. I mean, who wouldn't? Who wants to deal with funerals, kissing Martha Plimpton or melted ice cream? Not me, not me.

I can' t be the only one? Who hasn't "accidentally" hit the reset button on Pitfall a million times or rewound the scene where Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman get into the cab for the first time. Sadly, for the same reason.

I guess that's what I love and hate about sports radio in Vancouver. Every show begins with such promise, a pristine, unscripted world waiting to be populated with the thoughts and machinations of the hosts. Of course, it usually only lasts about 5 minutes until that pristine world becomes the broadcasting equivalent of a chocolate fountain set up in Caligula's bedroom.

It's an obvious problem alright. The Canucks are the only show in town. Oh, excuse me, the only show in town that matters. Yes, I know we have the CFL, and soccer, but let's face facts, the Canucks are John Oates to the rest of the sports' Daryl Hall. Sure, they're professional teams, but all they do is sing back up and clap their hands.

The thing is, sports radio has 10 hours to fill, and there's just so much dissection of the Canucks a guy can take. So, to fill up some of that time, the callers have their say. No, really. Now, this may sound like the Algonquin round table. A civilized discourse among peers as they trade pithy bon mots around a few glasses of tawny port, but instead it usually ends up turning into the last five hours of Ho Chi Minh City, and there's only room on the helicopter for your wife or hooker.

Look, let me just say it: You're going to embarrass yourself. But with this helpful primer, maybe you won't be one of these guys...

  1. Little Miss Obvious - You like to take up valuable bandwdth by subjecting the audience to such revelations as; "...fighting is part of the game," "...the power play has to get going," "...Luongo needs to have a better start" "Cupcakes are just gay muffins..." You're the same guy that likes to point out continuity errors in movies or asks for the nutritional information at Arbys. Tip... You're at an ARBY'S! You use airquotes for no reason and your email signature has some kind of quote in it. There's more than a 90% chance you've paid for sex because your last girlfriend left you after you stopped her naughty schoolgirl fantasy halfway through because she wasn't writing "Do Me" in whipped cream on her stomach in the approved MLA style.
  2. The Expert - You like to take time out from your high pressure job to call in and give some advice about the topic of the day. "I'm a male nurse so I think I know a little something about Sidney Crosby's concussion."  Where else is this even permissable? Are there people calling up Meet the Press with things like "Hi, I'm part of a puppet regime in a small Central American country, but I've just made the leap to dictator ruling with an iron fist, so I think I know a little something about genocide." You're the guy who passes out his business card at parties or talks about his SAT scores 15 years after the fact. Without a doubt you have spun the time you stood next to Alex Burrows at a urinal into being his best friend. You even have pictures.
  3. Played the Game Guy - Your claim to fame is calling in and letting the audience know that the reason Luongo's play has been subpar as of late is because he's just not thinking the game correctly. You can say this because you played goalie in house league when you were 7. You've got a jersey with your name on the back. Wait, you've got your nickname on it. No, wait.. you've got a home jersey with your name and an away jersey with your nickname. You put ketchup on most of your food and when the "butter" scene comes on in "Last Tango in Paris" you scoff that margarine would have been the better choice.
  4. One Sided Crazy Trade Guy - I'm not sure how you've managed to find the time from your lucrative Nigerian Letter email scam or flat hose infommercials to call in, but you've managed to figure out how the Canucks can get their hands on a guy like Evgeni Malkin for the low price of a couple of 3rd liners and a pick. You're the kind of guy that hands out one tic tac or doesn't add a tip when you're out with a group. At some point, you've replaced your roommate's Coke with generic Cola.
  5. Halcyon Days of Yore Guy - You like to call in on your Jitterbug or corded phone to let us all know how sports were when you were a kid. "These guys don't know how good they got it. In my day, the players were always dying of the consumption and the Kaiser was constantly drafting us into service." You scoff at things like visors and kevlar neck guards. When you watched hockey, sometimes a Bengal tiger would get loose on the ice and kill 3 or four of the players. You're obviously, confused, alone, possibly under the impression you were calling a Bea Arthur sex line. Either way, your grandkids need reminding of how you fought for their right to get lower back tattoos.
  6. Coach Coacherson - Coach Coacherson coached "Played the Game" guy. He likes to call in to let everyone know that when a player is not playing well you need to bench him or if you need a goal you put your scorers on the ice. If you want to prevent a goal you need to play defense. The TV Guide crossword was tailor made for you. You're the reason they put pictures of the food on menus at chain restaurants. You explain the plots of "Three's Company" to innocent passersby. "In this one, there's a misunderstanding among the roommates over something they've overheard."
Some smaller quibbles:

  1. The hosts are always good. They were good the first time they answered the phone, and they're good now. Stop asking.
  2. "Remember that time we met at the game/remote/parole hearing and I said "Woooo-hooo! and Canuck's are number 1" Remember me? No. They don't.
Follow me at @steveintheKT I'll hang up and listen...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Running Goalies Today. Enslaving Mankind Tomorrow!

Mrs. Reimer,
If you’re reading this, then I’m already dead.  I should know better than to trust room temperature seafood in landlocked states.
For years, we’ve always felt something was always amiss with the relationship between the NHL and the Boston Bruins, and now we know we’re not just raving lunatic fans.
My dearest Marlene, I’ve finally managed to connect the dots, and what I’ve found has confirmed our suspicions all along; there’s a super secret shadow cabinet controlling the NHL. I’m not sure how high it goes, or to what they hope to accomplish. (… the breakdown of western society?  A new world order where we all wear the Minnesota Wild 3rd jerseys? I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW!)
Be careful! TRUST NO ONE! Take the accompanying evidence to Mike Milbury at Hockey Night in Canada. He’s got a good, logical head on his shoulders; he’ll know what to do. Remember, trust no one. My God, look what they’ve done to Tony Gallagher!
Marlene, I love you, I lov……

Vancouver Police Report
Date: February 1, 1993
Reason for Dispatch: Officer Williams called to residence of Dobrivoje & Snezana Lucic on the occasion of their son’s 5th birthday party. Apparently, Gil Stein the president of the NHL had thrown himself off the rooftop after screaming… “Milan, Milan, up here Milan. This is all for you…”
After canvassing several attendees of the party, it is in my opinion that Mr. Stein’s death was a suicide.
Mr. Stein’s office mate, Mr. Gary Bettman will assume the role of NHL president.

July 3, 2003 – Intercepted Email from Delta IceHawks
Lucic, continues to make excellent progress. We have had an unfortunate setback, not making the Coquitlam Express on the first try out, but I have taken the necessary steps to ensure that he will make the team. Darcy Rota has his sights set on a large puck moving defenseman from Alberta, but he is about to meet with an unfortunate accident on an outdoor pond.
Unrelated, do we really need the dogs with the glowing eyes? I mean , they’re freaking us all out. It’s already bad enough you keep sending Pierre McGuire to watch over him.
June 6, 2006 – From the personal journal of Jeremy Jacobs
According to the prophecy, it has come to pass. On the 3rd week of the summer solstice, when the moon drips with blood, in the city of hemp, a team from the east will rise and take HIM into their fold.
We’ve done all that is necessary: the human sacrifices, the pentagram under the ice, and the summoning of the demon, Chara for his protection Nothing can stop us.  Also, If  you could live up to your end of the contract, and make us more relevant than the RedSox, that would be great. OK, uhhm, maybe the Celtics? No? What about the WNBA? Boatshows?

Intercepted Emails from Gary Bettman to Colin Campbell
“…Colin, the time is nigh. Do not disappoint our master. Send out the appropriate emails to your minions, I mean, referees, and ensure that the Bruins are not to be touched.  Even that “fake artist” Savard. He’ll get his….

Don’t you see what’s happening Marlene?  I’ve been to the NHL offices in the Vatican, and I’ve spoken with Father Ciccarelli. There are no records of Milan Lucic’s birth. The hospital he was born in was consumed in fire, and I can’t prove it yet, but a mysterious elbow keeps appearing on all the pictures I’ve taken of Marc Savard.
Marlene, protect yourself, take whatever precautions are necessary to get this information into the right hands. So many people have given their lives to bring this evil to the surface. Don’t you see it, Marlene?
The hits by Chara, the boarding calls gone unpunished by the league, My God, they’ve even won the Stanley Cup!  The Stanley Cup! Granted, the silver of the Cup burns Brad Marchand’s skin, but nonetheless…
Marlene, if you’re not convinced about Milan, then this last piece of evidence will convince you. Take care my love…
Transcript of Audio Captured from Ryan Miller’s Helmet Mic
(grunting, fabric rustling) “**ck you Lucic, Get out of my crease, dick. Get off me, what the **ck? Bull**** you weren’t pushed. Get off of me… What the hell? What’s that on your scalp? Are those 6’s? Hey, ref! REF!! I think Lucic is the antichrist!”

Intercepted Cellular Phone Call from TD Arena in Boston
Chiarelli: He knows! Ryan Miller knows! He saw the sign, he’ll ruin everything. He’s already blabbed to the referees. What if he gets a “between the benches” segment at the period break?
Bettman: We control the referees. They’ll say nothing. Now is the time to unleash Milan’s wrath. Whisper “Destroy his motorbike and throw it in the lake…” He’ll know what to do.

Godspeed, Maureen! Godspeed!  
Follow me on Twitter @SteveintheKT and for God’s sake, be careful!

Sad Kesler vs. Brooding Vampires - Tale of the Tape

If there are any brooding teens at your house, then you know that this Friday is the release of the new, Twilight, Gay Vampire movie.
Look, I know very little about the franchise, but I’m not going to lie to you, it is way, way down on my list of sullen vampire movies to see. I don’t want to be a total curmudgeon, but when did vampires become pissy teenage girls? Where are the ninja vampire hunters? Where are the ninja werewolves fighting the ninja vampires?
I haven’t been this disappointed in the undead since, Brad Pitt turned Kirsten Dunst into a vampire. Sure, I can forgive the centuries of absolute evil, but creating a Kirsten Dunst that cannot die? Unfathomable!
I’ve not seen a lot of the Twilight series, but the whole franchise looks like an “Abercrombie and Fitch” catalogue had a baby with Morissey’s lyrics. Here’s what I do know, possibly environmentally aware, bi-curious vampires, (definitely Euros) are being hunted by shirtless werewolves in Seattle.
Big deal! We all know that when it comes to being legendary and shirtless in the Pacific Northwest, it’s all about two words: Ryan. Kesler.
Shirtless Ryan Kesler versus the “Sad-pires” from Twilight

Sadpire: Sparkle in the sunlight.
Kesler: Abs don’t look airbrushed under Roger’s Arena lights.
Edge: Kesler

Sadpire: Live off a diet of blood drained from woodland creatures.
Kesler: Ice chips and Mark Recchi’s finger.
Edge: Sadpires

Sadpire: Usually, travels in a pack, inflicting horrible evil upon the human world.
Kesler: Flyers signed him to an offer sheet.
Edge: Kesler

Sadpire: Has a telepathic connection with Bella.
Kesler: “American Express” line lasted two games.
Edge: Sadpires

Sadpire: Forbidden to trespass on ceremonial Indian land.
Kesler: Teammates need to be aware when the camera comes out.
Edge: Kesler

Sadpire: Can only be killed by beheading.
Kesler: Labral tear still acts up in the rain.
Edge: Sadpire

Sadpire: Allergic to silver. Will cause burns and disfigurement
Kesler: At night, when no one’s around, puts on his Olympic medal and cries.
Edge: Sadpire

Sadpire: Will never know the sweet release of death.
Kesler: May finish his career in Columbus.
Edge: Sadpire

Sadpire: Has been feared and hunted throughout his life.
Kesler: Still refuses any contact with Alan Ladd.
Edge: Kesler

Follow me on Twitter @steveintheKT. I twinkle in the moonlight.

Can Ovechkin Beat Gretzky? What about, Batman?

I’ve always considered myself a rational sports fan. I make no bones about being a lifelong Canucks and Penguins fan, and I would let Peyton Manning do terrible things to me in a stall at the airport, but overall I watch most games with an objective eye.
That’s why I’ve never steered into the world of sports statistics. I think for the most part, to the fan, they’re meaningless. Sure, for the player and his agent, they may mean something at contract time, but I think you can gauge how good a player is or isn’t’ by just watching him.
I don’t need to know Alex Semin’s time on the power play or his shooting percentage to know that he’s an immensely talented player who disappears for large chunks of the game, and then when you’re about to write him off, he lazes through the offensive zone and puts the puck in the back of the net like no one else can.
The same goes for hockey arguments based on numbers. You can project, calculate, and massage the data all you want, but I can pretty much tell you that there are certain records that will never be broken; case in point, Wayne Gretzky’s career record of 894 regular season goals.
The NHL as it stands now has allowed for rule changes to increase more open ice, and as a side effect, more offensive chances. But, is it enough to get a current player to 894 goals?
Wait; let’s narrow down our argument a little bit. This is better; Alex Ovechkin won’t beat Wayne Gretzky’s 894 goals.
Yes, he’s electric. Yes, he may be the most talented player in the NHL. Yes, he brings fans, players (on both teams) and media to their feet every time he touches the puck, but he’s still not beating Gretzky’s record.
As of today, Alex is sitting on 307 goals lifetime, and he’s only 26 years old. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say he plays until he’s 40.
Sidenote… Of Sergei Fedorov, Alex Mogilny & Pavel Bure, all noted Russian goal scorers, only Fedorov, played until he was 40 in the NHL. Fedorov has the most goals by a Russian born player at 473.
That means that Ovechkin will have to score an average of 42 goals a season in order to beat Gretzky by one goal. Currently, he’s on pace for 37 goals this season, a small increase from last year’s 32 goals in 79 games. Here’s why it’s not happening…

1.      Ovechkin’s focus has switched in the last two seasons from “put puck in net” to “What, there’s a defensive zone too?” While not an early frontrunner for the Selke, Ovechkin has been more responsible in his own end, and been more than fine to distribute the puck rather than take it from end to end.

2.      Ovechkin’s time on the ice has gone down. Ovechkin has taken the criticism of him being on the ice too long as one of the factors of the Caps not being able to finish in the playoffs. As a result, Ovechkin has spent less time on the ice. And when you’re on the bench, you’re not scoring.

3.      Physical play, good!  Injuries bad! – At this point, Ovechkin has escaped any significant injuries, but it’s only a matter of time until he’s out for a prolonged period of play, because he plays the game with a lot of physicality. He’s willing to hit, and be hit. A lot of people talk about Ovechkin’s elusiveness, but I see him taking as much contact as any other star player on any other team. Eventually, the rhythm is going to get you. And by rhythm, I mean Raffi Torres.

4.      You can’t take it with you. Ovechkin’s still in his prime, but will he be able to score over 40 per season as he hits 35 plus years? Gretzky’s last 40 goal season was at age 30. As he gets older Ovechkin will have to adjust his game to play more on the perimeter, and with more finesse. Is that something he can do?

5.      Lean on me. Currently, the Caps are one of the top contenders in the NHL, and have done well with drafting and free agents. The problem is, they’ve done well with drafting and free agents. With the NHL cap the way it is, some of those players will eventually leave for more money. Will the Caps always be able to ice a contending team around Ovechkin? I doubt it. You’re asking for a team to be very good for the next 14 years. Who do they think they are, Detroit?

6.      “Everyone needs money. That’s why they call it money.” A less important point, but a point nonetheless, Of the 3 Russian snipers mentioned previously, not one of them finished with the team they started with, and left their teams disgruntled. Will this be Ovechkin’s fate? Will it affect his goal output? 
OK, I’m going to need a shower after this. And not a regular kind, this has “Silkwood” written all over it. I hate stats; they’re the crutch of the non creative. But I’m not going to lie, I’m not a fan of Ovechkin either. and I’m tired of listening to the cronies out there (You know who you are, Pierre Mcguire, and Joe Beniati) talk about how we’re watching the greatest player in hockey. I would offer that Ovechkin is barely in the top five.  Oh, who’s my top five?
1.      Sidney Crosby
2.      Pavel Datsyuk
3.      Henrik Sedin
4.      Alex Ovechkin
5.      Corey Perry
Alright, have at it… I’m sure you have opinions.
Follow me on Twitter @SteveintheKT I’ll be tweeting well past my prime.

Kneel Before Rod - Puppies Dressed as Bunnies Edition (Don't be a Dick)

This might be more of an indictment of me than you, but I’m just going to say it. If you don’t like sports, or can’t talk about sports, there’s a more than 90% chance we’re not going to be friends.                
I really don’t think I’m asking for much. I’m not asking for you to recite the balk rule or run down the compensation for signing a restricted free agent or anything, but I definitely don’t want to hear that story about your Sister mistaking trail mix for oatmeal again.
Quite honestly, I live by a lot of rules. I’m not apologizing for it, but I think that’s’ what separates us from the animals. Actually, I take that back, I like to think there’s some pretty progressive zebras out there that kick other zebras out of the herd for talking about last week’s, Entourage.  
Here’s three other things I believe strongly in…
1.      If you order your steak anything but medium rare, then we have nothing in common, I’m also positive your favourite Spice Girl is the chunky, blonde one. Also, you shouldn’t have a favourite Spice Girl.

2.      If you’re going to have a show in which you rebuild a guy using bionics, then you better be fighting a Sasquatch and or Fembot every second episode. It’s just good manners isn’t it?

3.      People like to complain…

What’s my point? Here’s my point. No one ever interrupts “Brad” down at the Keg to let him know the ribs were exceptionally well done tonight. Nope, whether it’s commenting anonymously on a Facts of Life fan blog (It’s always about Blair’s cousin…) or waiting on hold for 45 minutes with a local radio station just so you can tell the host, “Man, Luongo really needs to work on his rebounds.”
Anyways, I’ve already tuned you out, and I’ve got my own complaints about the game we all love so much.
1.      Banging the Glass Guy. Are you trying to startle the player? Do you think he’s going to look up and comment on your tribal bicep tattoo, and in doing so cough up the puck? Are you the same guy that taunts the lobsters in the tanks down at the local seafood shack?  Are you still mad that you and another guy showed up at the arena in matching flat billed Yankee’s caps set jauntily askew? Are you living off the royalties of your Great Grandfather who was the first guy to honk his horn as a way to meet women?

2.      “Standing Up When the Puck Goes in the Corner Guy” – No one exemplifies the belief that everyone gets their fifteen minutes of fame more than this guy. We’ve all seen him, the puck goes into the corner, with the TV camera following suit. This guy stands up and puts his hands over his head and yells to let you know he’s at the game. There’s an extra bonus if he’s got his cell phone in his hand, because, you know, there’s a group of excited onlookers waiting at home to see Dave on TV. You’re obviously not satisfied with being featured on those Amber Alerts.

3.      Fake Erudite Boyfriend Guy – Now, this is not a friend or a relative of yours because if it were, you could easily put some sodas in a pillowcase and beat him to death when he chose the 2nd period to talk about why he doesn’t have cable and how football is a working man’s game and how he chooses to spend his time reading to the blind. No, this guy is always the dick who accompanies one of your wife’s friends and sits on your sofa in his fedora and skinny jeans and will try to convert everyone to veganism.

4.      Drunk by the First Period Guy – Look if anyone supports functional alcoholism and sloppy drunkards, it’s me.  I love these guys. I love taking pictures of them passed out in fountains or with a dead hooker a la Senator Geary in Godfather II.  But, I abhor a guy who gets drunk before the game barely starts. This is the guy who will put his arm around you during your team’s opening drive and talk about getting a monkey or wishing he’d finished college or that we should all open a bar together.

5.       Knows Too Much About Sports Girl – Sometimes, I want to feel sorry for her like a clown with a tear on his face or a carnie that will never know the embrace of true love.  But that quickly fades after she tells me for the 8th time how to calculate E.R.A.  Look, I’m a traditionalist. I expect my lesbian porn to be between two schoolgirls and or cheerleaders that have been naughty and or sweaty.  I respect you as an equal. I think you should be paid equally for doing the same work as I do but you”re quoting statistics and player names sounds exactly like you talking about why you own yet another pair of black pants.

6.      Novelty Jersey Guy – Look, there’s a reason you don’t see any “Hitler’s #1” foam fingers”, they’re in poor taste. The same goes for jerseys with the number “69” or something lewd on the back of them. First off, you’re a grown man, so why are you wearing a jersey anyways? If you’re over the age of 13, and you’re still busting out a jersey to wear to “support the boys…” it’s time to put down the controller, leave your, Flock of Seagulls cover band and take out the nose ring. 

7.      Newly Engaged Guy – Remember what Chief did  when McMurphy got lobotomized? Exactly, just don’t’ throw my ceramic nacho sombrero through the window; my wife will have my ass.  

8.       Fantasy Hockey Guy – I don’t like this guy for the same reason I am not a fan of drug cartels or mercenaries.  Just sit on the couch, watch the game and eat your hot wings. Don’t stand up and fist pump when Jeff Skinner scores a garbage goal with the Hurricanes down by 5, because that means you beat “Rusty Klesla Coils” in the office pool.  That’s like cheering when Kennedy was shot, because you really have a thing for pillbox hats.
Follow me on Twitter @SteveintheKT. You know what, if you're going to talk about your diet, forget it.

NHL Game Night - Pop O' Matic Bubble Included

I’ve always been more intrigued about the details. I mean, it’s pretty safe to say that we (the human race, a few enlightened Sleestaks) all expect the same big picture things. Right, we all want peace, an end to poverty, to be with people that are intrinsically good souls. It’s very seldom we’re looking for someone who wants to control the weather or puts the heads of his enemies on pikes outside of his house as a warning to others.  That’s exactly why you never see Stalin at speed dating.
What’s my point? My point is this: when it’s all said and done, it’s those tiny idiosyncratic ticks that make us who we are for better or worse.
I apply this same idea to my everyday life. It’s impossible for me to sit through, Star Wars and not wonder why there’s a significant lack of signage around the Death Star. Really, you’ve got a huge bureaucracy living and working on a moon sized satellite, and there’s not one “Karaoke with the Fett” sign-up sheet, or a first aid diagram showing you how to do the Heimlich Maneuver on someone being “forced choked.”
I guess that’s why I’m such a fan of party games. I love being able to use all the useless nuggets rattling around in my head for good, (…and access to unlimited spinach dip). 
Everyone loves, CLUE or Charades or Jenga. As a matter of fact, the party game business is a multi billion dollar a year industry. And that doesn’t even include the money raked in from settlements in Pictionary related crimes of passion.
So, it’s only natural that as revenues in some markets begin to shrink, the NHL is forced to examine other streams of revenue. According to my sources (Mom) the NHL has entered into an exploratory beta testing stage of NHL themed board games.
Lucky for you, I’ve got some of the mock ups:

John Tortorella Mad Libs. (Obviously, it’s for mature audiences)
You Mother_________ can just mind your own God_________ business. This whole game has been a huge pile of horse __________ , and the referees are _________ holes.

Don Cherry, Unabomber or Cocoon. – Each card contains three quotes. Each team has 60 seconds to decide which quote was made by lovable fusspot, Don Cherry, postal system enthusiast, and lover of hoodies, The Unabomber, or the disturbingly erotic, Cocoon.
“Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful. They hate white males, they hate rationality, they hate the West because they are strong and successful.”
“I’m being ripped to shreds by the left-wing Pinko newspapers out there. It’s unbelievable. One guy called me a jerk in a pink suit.”
“…you work all your life, you pay taxes, you’re a good citizen, and what do you end up with? A tight rug.”

Todd Bertuzzi’s Sorry – Each player takes a turn giving a tearful apology for something they’ve done. The winner is the one that’s not named in the pending civil suit.

CLUE – NHL Edition – In this reimagining of the popular board game, you take on the persona of one of the  characters suspected of killing Mr. Body. Was it Matt Cooke in the TD Garden with the Sharpened Elbow Pad?  Or, was it Sean Avery in the Garden with his hurtful words?

Alexi Semin’s Battleship – You apathetically call out a series of letters and numbers. Not really caring if you hit something or not. To be fair, you don’t even know what the big deal is with Battleship. You know that you’d rather be playing, “Connect 4.”

Don’t Blow Your Top – In this version of the “fun for all ages” game form the 70’s, each player takes turns guessing what the discipline will be for  various cheap shots throughout the league from the last 3 seasons in the NHL. Every time you get one wrong, the tie on Brian Burke’s neck gets looser. Don’t be the one that makes the tie come all the way off, or Brian will “Blow. His. Top! (Brian Burke not included)

Sami Salo’s Operation – Careful to remove just the right parts (all) of everyone’s favourite Finnish defenseman. Don’t hit the sides, or you’re going to get buzzed. “Careful, Butterfingers!” Also, the box is huge!
Honestly I hope these games really catch on. These are way better than my ideas for NFL themed board games. Well, better than my idea for, “Ray Lewis’ CLUE” where you just go around the board pretending you didn’t see anything. Got it!
Follow me at @SteveintheKT I’m more of a Pop-O-Matic bubble guy, but I’m cool with your dice.

Friday, November 11, 2011

What Happened, NHL? We Used to be Cool!

“Are you there God? It’s me, Michael.”
What happened, NHL? We used to be cool. Where did it all go wrong? Don’t you remember? It’s us, the Canucks; the lovable losers. The roommates who know how to make a bong out of leftover produce and duct tape.  Why do you hate us?
Have you already forgotten about all the fun we used to have? We were that heavyset girl with Tina Yother’s nose and crippling Daddy issues.  We’d show up at your place, falsely confident on the back end of a swing through Columbus and from huffing ether. You’d hang five or six on us, make fun of our jerseys, and kick us out before an actual contender came to town.
And for awhile, we were happy with the “arrangement” we had. I’m not trying to burden you, I’m not. It’s just that in those days, I was rebelling against something. I’m just not sure what it was?  I mean, everyone’s different right, NHL?  We all have our self destructive streaks. Some people get liquored up on Bartles and Jaymes and join an autoerotic asphyxiation chat room, while others trade for Robert Nordmark or draft Libor Polacek.
I guess I just wanted more. I was tired of being the laughing stock of your league. And that’s saying a lot. I mean, Barry Melrose, really? It’s like Richard Marx’s hair had a murder suicide pact with David Byrne’s suits. And, I’m still not sure the rash that glowing puck gave me has cleared up.
I guess, what I’m trying to say is, I don’t know when it all changed.  This morning, I Googled “Most Hated Team in the Universe” and the Canucks were at the top of that list. (Actually, I Googled, “Most Hated Miss Teen Universe” first, and now, I’m on some kind of “watch list” but I’m not blaming you for that.”)
It’s not my fault we finally started putting it together. Draft picks starting to develop; free agent signings that made sense. Hey! We won’t be the pushovers that we once were, and we deserve to go from Talia Shire in Rocky to Talia Shire in Rocky IV.
I’m not going to apologize for that. We’ve earned the right to be happy. And if it means being the most hated team in the NHL to do it, well, I guess we’ll live with that too.
You know what NHL? You’re just jealous! Don’t think I haven’t noticed the passive aggressive attacks on us. The phantom calls, the unbalanced travel schedule, the “It’s complicated” under “relationship” on Facebook.  Oh, and can you tell Mark Spector to stop calling us in the middle of the night and hanging up. We have call display. Thanks.
Yeah, sure we’re not perfect. I mean, yeah, maybe we “embellish” a little bit. OK, sure, we dive; a lot. I mean. A LOT! Seriously, you’ve seen us, right? I mean we go down faster than Veruca Salt after a year in Juvie. But, I just like to think that’s part of our charm; like finding a quaint Bed and Breakfast in Amish country with a working butter churn, or a cocktail waitress without aspirations to strip.
And Yes, I will be the first to admit that our fans can be hypersensitive and prone to blatant acts of stupidity, but in their defense, those garbage cans and windows had it coming. “Stupid windows, thinking they’re so great with they’re smooth edges…”
I will put our fan’s passion up against any other city’s fans in the entire league any day of the week. Except for Monday through Friday, because we’ve got a thing at the office, and then my boss has tickets and we get to the rink late, and I‘m in my suit, and we have to talk about the Greek economic crisis with these clients from Macau, but seriously… Any! Other! Day! Of! The! Week!
Canuck’s fans are there to support the team no matter what the outcome. Sometimes, we’ll look up from our iphones 6-7 times a night when #22 passes to that other guy. You know, the guy? The guy!?
Oh, and I love how the rest of the league seems to call our players dirty. Maybe you haven’t heard but Matt Cooke plays for Pittsburgh. Oh, he was a Canuck? Really? When? OK, well what about that “jerk,” Raffi Torres? Oh, Canuck too… Wow! Uhmm, OK, so we’ve had some players that play the game on the edge. You can’t win without those types of guys. And if it means, you’ve got to hit a guy and refuse to fight, or bite a guy in a scrum, or complain to an official to do it. Well guess what, NHL? We’re not afraid to take on those challenges.
Look, maybe we deserve some of the hate. After all, we’re one of the best teams in the league and being hated is a sign of respect. A badge of honour that says, “Hey, we’ve arrived…”
So, you know what, NHL? You can hate us. You can write about our whiny fans, and diving players, and our goalie’s bipolar playing style all you want. Because remember this. Our name is on the Stanley Cup and yours isn’t… “What? Really? Ah, come on! When did that happen?” 
Uhmm, so you know what, NHL? You can hate us. You can write about our whiny fans and diving players and our goalie’s bipolar playing style all you want. Because remember this, NHL.   Our name is on all those divisional banners hanging from the rafters. So, uhh, yeah, at least we got that going for us.   
Follow me on Twitter @SteveintheKT.  I like the beginning of things.