If I Were A Hockey Player…

I was wondering who would finally tag me with this meme, started by Jes. It turned out not to be the beer and rum swilling offseason compatriots of mine, but rather, a couple bloggers up in Eastern Conference of Canada. Thanks Sherry and E. Cards and flowers will soon be coming.


Hockey Team: Colorado Avalanche (come on, you knew it), Drafted originally by the Boston Bruins, traded to the Avs for the Bag O Pucks, end of career comes in the CHL playing for the Colorado Eagles, where I stay one year too long, and everyone takes pity on an old man.

Number: 5

Nickname: TL, Tapesy, Asshat, Shower Curtain, Tape “Killer” Leg

Position: Defensive Defenseman

Linemates: John-Micheal Liles, or Sherry

Rounding out the PP: I only kill the penalties, beating them to death with a large stuffed animal won in a Whack-A-Mole game against Ian Laperriere , then cutting their hearts out with a spoon (it’s dull, you twit, it’ll hurt more), and J-S Giguere (who is traded to the Avs for Theodore and a Bag O Pucks).

Job: Stopping the 2-on-1 against, clearing pucks, working the corners, hip checking.

Signature Move: On the 2-on-1, being unpredictable to the offense.

Strengths: Good backwards skating, working alone when necessary, wrist shot, backhand pass, laughing at opposition.

Weaknesses: Wrists, no slapshot (see:wrists), can’t fight (see: wrists).

Injury Problems: See: wrists

Equipment: Last player in the NHL to use a wooden stick. When asked about it in the media, has stated, “Hey, the damn thing never breaks. See?” At which point, the stick was brought down hard on the bench at my locker, and shattered into a thousand pieces. Much laughter followed. I buy another one for $20.

Nemesis: Joel Quenneville, Donald Brashear

Scandal Involvement: Was accused of turtling in fights, seeing as how I would never win one. Not one. Turns out I’m just really bad at it, and in an attempt to save my bacon, I would “lose my balance”, fall to the ice, taking the other player with me, and essentially end the fight. My good name would be restored when Derek Boogaard confirms that I hit like a little girl in a church outfit on Sunday.

Who I’d face in the Stanley Cup Finals: New Jersey Devils. After a hard fought battle, the Avs win 3-0. After the game, in the handshake line, J-S Giguere looks Brodeur in the eyes and says, “Now you know how it feels, fucker.” I shake hands with John Madden and tell him he has the head of a Tonka truck. Madden cries as he leaves the ice.

What I’d do with the Stanley Cup after our victory: Take it home and recreate the De Niro in Taxi Driver: “You talkin’ to me?” Cup becomes my best friend.

Hockey Night Part 3

Yes, another hockey night script. These are little scenes, written in the style of Aaron Sorkin, of Sports Night, West Wing, and Studio 60. Enjoy.

EXT. HOCKEY ARENA
The team is loading up on a bus to go from the practice facility to the arena. DAN is coming out to the bus, but TED intercepts him.

TED
Hey, wait. We need to talk.

DAN
So talk.

TED
Have you seen your card?

DAN
Card?

TED
Yeah, your card.

DAN
It’s not my birthday, so I don’t know what exactly you’re talking about. What card?

TED
Your hockey card.

DAN
No, which card?

TED
Upper Deck Be A Gamer came out today. Did you see it?

DAN
They sent me a picture to approve, so yes.

TED
But you haven’t seen the card yet?

DAN
I haven’t held the actual card in my hand yet.

TED
(takes out a card and hands it to DAN)
Here

DAN
Yeah, this is the picture I saw.

TED
Look at the back.

DAN
What? What’s the…
(beat)
Five-eleven?

TED
That’s what you needed to see.

DAN
I’m not five eleven.

TED
The Upper Deck trading card company seems to think so.

DAN
I’m six-one.

TED
I know.

DAN
And this came out today?

TED
Yeah.

DAN
Aw, man.
(beat)
Who else knows about it?

TED
Well…

COACH
(from the bus)
Ted, you and the midget get on the bus!

DAN
Oh, no.

TED
I told him you guys prefer to be called little people.

DAN
I hate you.

TED
Don’t hate me, hate the Upper Deck company.

DAN
(yells at bus)
Really sensitive, Coach.

COACH
(yelling back)
Don’t forget your stepladder!

DAN
This is going to be a long day, isn’t it?

TED
For you, maybe.


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All Star Blogging

Since I’m watching the All Star Game, and popping around the blogs, I thought I’d put up my two cents. Jes is live-blogging the game, and Kukla’s has an open thread going. All Star Blogging. It’s just a fun night of hockey, or at least, it’s supposed to be. Here goes:

How long was the opening? I get it, we love our pomp and circumstance, but that was so long.

Lindy Ruff was shown smiling. It looked so wrong. That is the hard hitting investigative reporting I get watching Versus.

Rail Cam = Suck Cam. That thing is further behind the play than Malkin cherry picking the Youngstars game last night. What we need is TheoCam. What is TheoCam? This is from the HFBoards (originally posted by me):

TheoCam. Sits on a baseball hat, has a great view of the neutral zone, and doesn’t move very often (stares straight ahead). This camera is expensive to operate, but has the ability to make other, less expensive cameras look better. Includes a three month warranty, no money back guarantee, but can be returned to the store for half salary cap credit.


What the hell is Chuck Norris doing on an ASG broadcast? Oh, yeah, promoting his new fighting show on Versus. Freaking ridiculous. This is why Vs. looks like amateurs. If the league doesn’t say anything about that to Vs about that, forget any hope of credibility.

Who was the DJ at the start of the game?

First impressions of the new uniforms: They look silly in their pads. Mostly in the shoulder going into the arms. It looks like the players will have a hard time raising their arms much.

The outtake reel of the Alex O commercial was great, and could have been even longer. Funny stuff.

These refs suck! (I kid, I kid)

Brian Rolston is upping the Versus budget by hitting Marty Brodeur’s wireless mic with a slap shot. Good sound people know, always make sure the wireless mic is secure. I learned the hard way.

Brodeur is getting lit up. The Devils should think about trading him. (HA!)

I think Brodeur’s mic pack made more saves then he did. Let’s go , West! (doesn’t really roll off the tounge).

OK, someone at Versus may have severely misjudged the audience of the NHL fan in the US. We have a live country music performance by The Wreckers. If I didn’t want to turn off the game before, I do now. Horrid.

I do like the stage that floats down from the ceiling. They should do that in Nashville every few games. It is a music city.

Eddie O is forcing the point with Bettman. But, as ever, Bettman puts the happy spin on everything happening in the league. The sad part is, I agree with him on not making the scheduling change until after the 3 year cycle. Otherwise, that makes things even less fair than they already are.

Great quote from Turco after a goal for the East: “Hey, can you guys celebrate somewhere else?”

Turco is cracking me up. He sounds so calm, and at the same, a dry sense of humor. He is making this period really fun.

Damn, sounds like Turco’s mic has either fallen off or been sweated out. See, another connection between the NHL and musical theater.

There’s your controversy. Turco said, close to the end of the game, that if he let one in, he would get the win. And then, he let one in. Did he ho it to get the win?!?!?! (probably not, but it will make for some fun ribbing).

Briere wins the car, which makes sense, as he had 5 points in the game. I would give it to Turco, as he saved the broadcast from the boring Versus doldrums.

For as little as people care for this game, I had a good time watching it. Yesterday’s skills competition was a snoozer, I agree, but this was a good night. Now, if you will excuse me, I’m going to watch the end of the Colorado Eagles vs. Laredo Bucks game. Two points on the line, ya know.


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New Jerseys: Still Waiting

The NHL has introduced the new RBK EDGE jerseys and equipment system. Aside from having too many capital letters, boosting the price, and putting out this ridiculous site to promote them, I still have no clue what to think about them. I still haven’t really seen them.

There are flashy pictures around, with Sidney Crosby cut and cropped into a “cool, hip, what the kids like these days” background. There are pictures of them on mannequins, like what you would see in Macy’s. The “Frozen Moment” right now has the Eastern Conference jerseys hanging in the dressing room. (I’m not posting those pics, due to my ignorance of the legal permissions to do so, so make with the clicky linky)

What I have yet to see is the jersey in action. Nor have I seen the tuck-it-in-to-the-hockey-pants Rebook says they are designing for. So still, judgment has to wait.

I also will have to use my judgment, and not the players, since the marketing gods have seen fit to coach the players on what to say and how to behave. I can understand, since the NHL is a business, and getting the paying customer to cough up the cash (and plenty of it) for the new look jerseys is a cash cow (just ask Buffalo, who have had supply/demand issues with their new jerseys, even as the fan reaction to the new logo was very negative).

What I really want to do is see the new jeresys up close and personal, even try one on. I want to feel what the new fabric is like, what a “faster” jersey really means. And I want to see if I look good in one. Because you know, what else really matters? If they are tighter fitting, I may have to start doing some sit ups, or never buy another NHL jersey again.

I hope that this isn’t the Alamo for hockey jerseys. The cry going out, “Remember the Nike Swift.” Yep, war is hell.


NHL.com has a few articles with pictures.

EDGE aims to add extra protection

There are some serious lines in that article that can be pretty funny taken out of context:

“I think the biggest adjustment will be in the pants,” said Lidstrom.

OK, and

Sidney Crosby worked extensively this summer with Reebok officials to fine-tune the pants.

Right. I think that should be a marketing line for the HLOG. Sidney Crosby fine tunes the pants, HLOG goes crazy.

‘And it looks good!’ (in which the NHL tells us what we want, and AO and other players hit the buzz words and talking points.


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Jersey: 2004 All Star Game

Was this the last great All Star Jersey?

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All Star Front

Of course, this is the Joe Sakic All Star jersey. It scares me a little to own it, because, of the four jerseys with Avs players names on them that I own, Super Joe is the only one who still plays for the Avs. This was from the 2004 All Star Game in Minnesota, where Sakic won the MVP of the game, and a new car (Dodge Dakota).

The funny thing is, in 2004, the NHL was trying to show off it’s history, and get back to it’s roots by having vintage jersey designs and a retro look to the All Star Game. Then, at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, they had jersey designs based on older national teams (1920 for Canada, 1932 for the US), and even gave the refs a retro jersey design. At this years All Star Game, they will be unveiling the new jersey designs, which are supposed to be tighter fitting and of different materials. From looking to the past to forgetting about it.

The jury is still out about the new designs, until a good hard look can be taken. Some who have seen the jerseys up close are saying that there is an over reaction to the new jerseys. But what do they expect? Did they not see the dreadful “swift” jerseys at the Olympics? They were beyond ugly, and the first time I have seen breathable be a direct synonym for cheap. I would be scared as hell if that was what was coming into the NHL. I would have to change the name of this blog to Pucks and Hockey Love. Not going to happen.

All Star Back

Of course, I love the look of this jersey, but hate the look of the Eastern All Star jersey. Why? The colors. That damn thing is Red and White. You figure it out.


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Old Man Ranting

The other day, one of the bloggers I complemented posted a comment that said I was “sort of becoming the patron saint of aspiring internet hockey writers”… Nothing like that to make you feel old, eh? I thought patron saints were supposed to be dead, or bald. OK, fine, I’m bald, but that doesn’t make me old. I was looking in the mirror today, which is always dangerous, and saw more grey in my beard than dark. That isn’t true, there is still more dark, but the grey is more like silver, so it stands out in the light. It glints (has glint? glinters?) . To that blogger, I will take it in the complementary spirit it was meant, and cry curled up in a ball in the corner when nobody is looking.

Still another blogger was visiting Denver recently, and said how we were the mid-30s independent hockey blogger. We were something unto our own. We are the old men drinking at the bar, looking at our game with humor and Czechvar colored glasses. It was pretty funny, and it stuck with me. He also said I was “well respected,” which was designed to make me feel better about blogging for other hockey bloggers. At least, that’s what my sitemeter says. If I were blogging about a Canadian team, or anyone other than the Avalanche, that probably wouldn’t be the case. This team’s fans don’t expect anything but the closed lipped treatment. Still, well respected. Wow. I’d be flattered, if I weren’t feeling like the demons were creeping up…the age demons.

Patron saint. I thought that was funny after I had my midlife crisis it created. If there is anything I pride myself on, it’s that I run this blog ad free. I have had a few offers to put ads on this blog, but have ignored them. Aside from the fact that they were gambling sites, and it would feel weird to put gambling ads on a sports site, I don’t want to be beholden to the ad dollar around here. If I decided to give up tomorrow, I have no one to answer to, other than the other bloggers who read this site. They might notice for a day or so, but I could go off into the world with a clean conscious. I did find it strange that only gambling websites have asked to advertise here. It makes me want to hug Pete Rose or something, or maybe Jeremy Roenick. Sports and gambling. What a slippery slope. If you have read any of my predictions, you would know not to bank on my recommendations.

The independent blogger is at a crossroads, which I plan on ranting about soon. I have been thinking a lot about the state of the state that I threw my hat into this past off season. When two points could mean the shrug if the shoulders, and the loss of a defenseman could be seen as something with impact over the course of the season, rather than in the immediate.

I’ve been thinking about going on tour again recently (for those of you who don’t know, I work in musical theatre, and have been on tour all but two years since 1998). Living the touring life is nothing like what it used to be, and probably not like what you think. It can be fun, and it can be difficult. It’s sometimes the best of times and the worst of times, all wrapped up into one. And it makes it difficult to be a hockey fan. Aside from the fact that you sweat your ass of when touring through Texas in a hockey jersey, your co-workers just don’t understand you. But it can afford certain opportunities, like driving from Charlotte, NC to New Jersey to see Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals because it was held on a Monday night (14 hours there, 12 hours back) because you just say how cool it would be, ebay has tickets, and your girlfriend thinks it’s a great idea. I would have never gone to so many games in Lowell, or seen the Worcester IceCats, or gone to the AHL All Star Game during the lockout, or the Beanpot in Boston. Touring, of course, would mean changes to this blog, for better or for worse. Last season, I went to 50 games, most of them in the low minors. I wish I had this blog then, but instead, I just jotted down some notes, and did nothing with them. Damn…

If I were to be sort of like a patron saint (which I am not, nor do I see myself as), I would tell the independent hockey blogging community to hang tight, and own what you do. Put your personality into your blog, and into your writing. Piss all over convention, make people mad if you want, make them laugh whenever you can, and tell the world what you think, not just what happened. Don’t be afraid to shout from the rooftops what you believe in, and even if the world doesn’t respond, you can wish them the best, grab that beer and hot dog, and take your seat in the rafters to take in a game. And then write some more. You are the voice of hockey right now, and you are doing it because you can, not because you have to. The old vanguard is dead, it’s voice has atrophied, and you have the power once only given to a few. You took it, rather than wait for it to come to you. You are the ones who are giving an interesting voice to the sport that is panned in the “press,” “ignored” in America, not done well enough for Canada, and is bigger than all of us. Hang in there, even if you feel no one is reading. Sitemeters don’t give you passion. You aren’t aspiring, you are doing.

Of course, what do I know. I’m just an old man. Ranting.


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Jersey: UHL All Star Game

With the NHL All Star Game coming up, I thought it would be appropriate that I post a few All Star Jerseys.

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UHL All Star

This is the jersey from the 2004-05 UHL All Star Game. While most of the US was toiling in hockey limbo, I was in Boston, with college hockey, nearby AHL teams, and a few odds and ends around. The UHL All Star Game fell on a Monday, so Meg and I got to attend. We made the trip up to Glens Falls, NY, and stayed the night in the same hotel as the visiting players, just a short walk to the arena. Downtown Glens Falls is small, but it has it’s charm. A little brew pub sits across the street from the pool hall, just down the street from the local coffee shop, which is across from the arena.

The All Star Game featured two games. The better attended of the two was the first, featuring the UHL Commissioners team versus the Adirondack Red Wings alumni. Now, here is what you may not know about Glens Falls, the UHL, and the local team, the Adirondack Frostbite. The Frostbite are (were, actually. They folded this past season) owned by Barry Melrose. Melrose also played for the Adirondack Red Wings, and has a home there. He bought the team with co-worker Steve Levy when it was in financial trouble. Melrose is considered close to sainthood around there. Melrose played for the Adirondack team that night, and some ESPN personalities were on the Commish’s team. I can say that Darren Pang was pretty good in net, but John Buccigross couldn’t play for crap. Whenever I hear about him skating, I remember this game, and usually chuckle.

About the jersey: The pattern on the bottom is from the Adirondack Frostbite jerseys. The Frostbite used to be called the IceHawks, but it was changed (it must have been a bit confusing when they played the Rockford IceHogs). The mascot is of a bear, which I never did fight. The skate lace was added by me, because I love the look. I love lace up jerseys, but the wimpy laces that come with them just don’t cut it. The shoulder patches are still pretty stiff, but I’m sure they will get there.

Shoulder

That is one angry looking bear. He must be angry because he is so cute.

Oh, and just so you know. My favorite place to see a game is Glens Falls. I don’t know why, but it’s true. Too bad there isn’t a team there this year.

Dear Versus, That was Better…

But only a little. You still have some work to do.


That is all.


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Dear Versus, You Suck

Dear Versus,

Can you tell me what the hell you were thinking?

If your broadcast of tonights Sharks vs. Avalanche game was a tryout for my Drunken Hockey Blog idea, you may have won the top slot in the lineup.

There were two main problems with the game:

1) The look.
At the start of the game, the ice was blue. Everything white was blue. Then it was yellow. It didn’t get better until the third period. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t seen that many games from San Jose, but it was very distracting. Maybe it was good that I was distracted, because I was getting a headache from what I thought was a shaky cameraman. Then I figured out that the game looked pixelated. Did you see how the boards looked on an angle? It made Blues Clues look Hi-Res. Parts of the ice looked like it was in a heat wave. If you need any pointers on how hockey should look, call the CBC, NESN, or even Altitude.

2) Your Announcers.
Could your announcers even act like they care about the game? Stories, anecdotes, everything but calling the game. The only time they called plays in the first, and most of the second, was when the crowd reacted to something. Want an example? Between TV timeouts in the first period, the play started off talking to John-Michael Liles and his dad. Fine, that’s OK, but it kept going and kept going, then the on air team talked about other stuff until Peter Budaj made a huge save, which got a small mention, and then they talked about other stuff until the next TV timeout. One save is it for an entire segment of play. Doesn’t that seem a little sparse to you? If your on air team doesn’t care about the game, how are we supposed to care? They don’t sound engaged in the game, they sound like they want to be at the bar talking hockey. They couldn’t even pronounce the player’s names (Wolski is pronounced with a V, Stastny is not Stostny). And someone tell John Vanbiesbrouck he needs to let the other guy talk some.

You guys are supposed to be the pros, and tonight you looked terrible. Your camera work has improved considerably, and you fixed whatever was wrong with your audio from last season. But tonight, you took a few steps back in other areas. The good news is the situation is fixable. The bad news is, you will not entice any new viewers with the performance you showed tonight.

Considering how important you are to the sport of hockey and the NHL, please take this as a reminder that hockey fans do care about the job you do,

Tapeleg


Team Blogging

Some days, I get a little jealous. I look around at the blogosphere, and there are some really fun team blogs out there. There are the “Battle Of” blogs (California, Ontario, Alberta), and there are regular blogs written by several people (Hockey Rants, for instance). It just looks like so much fun. I can picture the bloggers now, driving around in their 70s red hotrod with racing stripes, calling each other cute nicknames like”Starsky” or “Hutch,” eating ice cream sandwiches and solving crimes. Ah, to be part of a team.

I guess the ultimate team blog is the HLOG (Hockey Ladies of Greatness). According to their sidebar, they currently have 20 members blogging away. And they still have room for more. They throw out topics and discuss, bounce around ideas, and still have content for their regular blogs. Crazy. And it’s good blogging. Now I’m really jealous.

Having someone to bounce ideas off of must be the shit. In the off season, I had a great time bouncing ideas off of Zanstorm and Hodge of Waiting for Stanley. When there wasn’t much going on in a given day, they could inspire me to do something fun (like bobbleheads). Earl Sleek was another one to help keep me going in what seemed like the longest off season ever. But now, we have all run off to our little corners of the web, to cheer on out teams, and occasionally run into each other in an intersection.

I had the idea months ago to create a drunken hockey blog. Call it something like Drunken Hockey Blog. It would be a team blog, where you could post whatever you wanted, but you had to be drunk to do it. Raging debates about what the best hockey beer and hockey liquor would rage (Ha! Rage twice!). Smack talk would degenerate into “you suck!” Best of all, you watch your team, drink throughout the game, and then post. I, of course, would post pictures of jerseys I have spilled alcohol on, and describe each beer stain. You have to give your qualifications for posting (how many drinks, and of what kind), and you have to post about hockey, but other than that, go for it. Most importantly, you would have drunken bloggers to bounce your drunken hockey thoughts off of. There are plenty of candidates for such a thing, such as this guy, her (scroll down to see what I mean), them, these guys, this woman, this one, and diffidently him. It might even get this guy away from his video games. Think of it as an entertaining public service. It could help prevent something like this.

Now all I have to do is develop a USB Breathalyzer. You are too sober to post to this blog.

Sharks play the Avs on Versus soon. I’m off to the pub. I’m too sober for this game.

Please, blog responsibly.


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