Straight Hockey Boys

Our Allies – The Production Line – Takes as Well as they Give

We recently posted some loss thoughts from our pals at The Production Line – a Wings-crazed frat-house of a blog – on loss.  We’re both sitting with our sticks in our hands since our teams were eliminated from the Cup chase – the Caps less than heroically and the Wings with a dash of Frank Capra.

TPL's Rob "The Dish" Discher

Losing.  Ugh. 

It just sucks and there’s really nothing more that can be said. 

Except for the competitor, the gal who competes or the guy who just really watches hard from the seat, the one who dissects each loss – and even the just-victories – in forensic pursuit of cause. 

Find the cause, kill the disease, make the host healthier.

They recently went 5-on-5 with us about loss, valiantly tossing their thoughts and spleens in the wake of the Wings take down. 

And because we’re sportsmen, we went up with them for another 5-on-5 (which gets added to the list of “Hockey Lingo That Sound Gay But Isn’t.”)

Their probing questions, and our responses:

TPL: Your question to “the writing is too good…which one of you is gay?” …that question itself is about as gay as disco.  Why is it that all gay guys think if something is just a little TOO GOOD it has to be homo?  As reference: “that guy’s too good looking…must be gay; that house is too well put together…must be a coupla fellas that own it.”

PB: Hmmm…sensing some issues here.  Methinks the ladies doth protest too much?  Oh, we’re just joshing, don’t get your maxi hockey pads in a wad.  The serious answer is that in the olden days – when teh gayz weren’t all over the place on network TV 24/7 (except Paul Lynde and Liberace) – we felt a real need to work extra hard to prove ourselves.  Sure, everyone’s driven, everyone’s got their own dragons to slay.  But call a gay kid ‘fag’ and he may be inclined to work double-hard to sink that basket, ace that test, or match those carpet swatches.  If only to show you up.  Lesbians have their own issues, but particularly with the expectation that men will succeed and conquer…well, a lot of the older gay guys funneled their squelched sex lives into running faster, earning more, or at least being more witty.  Witness Oscar Wilde: would he have been 1/3 as funny as he was if he were straight?  No, he’d just be the drunk uncle that slurs out the same joke over and over.  And beside, we are just better at some things.  Like self-inflated introspection!  Anyway, the phrase isn’t “ gay as disco,” it’s “gay as a purse-full of rainbows”, Mary.

TPL:  I love the offseason because we start getting into the draft and all the offseason jockeying…moving players around, looking to swap out parts that didn’t work for ones that might.  What’s your biggest need right now?

PB:  The Stanely Cup.  Hahaha…no, we’re serious.  In the largest sense, until the Caps bring the Cup to DC, the seasons could be seen as failures by Caps fans.  That’s an absurdly high hurdle, but it wasn’t set there by the fannies in the seats (a la Red Wings) but by the owner himself, Ted Leonsis.  We’re now six full years into the Capitals rebuild with Ovechkin as the central pillar – like a tent pole, supporting the entire structure, including it seems the coaching and the other players.  As a strategy it may eventually work, like the Wings rebuild in the 80′s.  It took 10 years for Yzerman as captain to hoist the Cup overhead, and maybe Caps fans need more patience and less over-heated statements from Papa Leonsis.  But did the Wings hang everything off Yzerman?  Or Bowman?  I recall more team there.

And that’s the answer: we need team.  Yeah, we could niff-naw about shoring up our lines, our need for a more tenacious defense, or trades and free agent moves by Brooksie, Varly, or Sasha (to just get his Дерьмо together).  Maybe we needed a little less fidgety coach who can adapt to playoff hockey, or players who stick to a game plan which capitalizes where their natural strengths lay.  But that just feels like trimming the hedge.  Our biggest need right now: a team organization from top to bottom with everybody pulling in the same direction.  And to be honest, watching over the past few weeks, it’s pretty clear that the Caps didn’t belong in those final rounds – we never played with the intensity, physicality or grit that we’ve been seeing these other teams exhibiting.

TPL: Please complete this statement: If you offered Sasha on the open trade market, contract issues notwithstanding, in return you would likely receive ________.

PB: Ten bottles of Popov?  Drinks, dinner, a show and maybe something more than just a kiss goodnight?  A subscription to Glenn Beck TV?

TPL:Of all the things I loved about living in DC, the summer humidity there in the swamp isn’t one of them.  I instantly burned through a clean shirt and slacks (which I never wore, but just go with it) the second I stepped outside.  Related question – How goes your movement to get people to walk around pants-less as a means to cut down on dry cleaning (from both an economic and environmental impact standpoint)?

PB: Well clearly we’re making inroads on Capitol Hill.  HA!  But apart from the occasional “No-Pants Metro” days, it’s not looking so good.  As we write this it’s heading to 100 today.  100 with torpid air you can taste and more moisture than a steam-bath in Hoboken.  Seriously, you can feel the weight of the air when you breathe here, as you probably recall.  The only thing worse than summer in Washington are summer tourists in Washington.  With fanny-packs.  And Ed Hardy t-shirts two sizes too small.

And yet guys are still expected to stroll around in suits and ties – top button buttoned, please.  Is this sensible at all?  Does it perhaps explain what passes for political leadership these days – are our brains asphyxiating in the summertime swamp?  Maybe rather than no-pants, we should try something different.  Like alternate dress days: if you were born on an even-numbered day you wear clothes M-W-F, odd numbers T-Th-Sat.  Sunday’s a gimme.  Or maybe we could all start dressing like they do in Pakistan – kameez and dishdashis?  (Dischdashi?)  I mean, our overseas image would skyrocket among the ‘Blame America for Everything’ crowd.  OK, we’ll stop now.

TPL: What is your post-season mourning ritual?  How do you get over the loss and move on with your life?…oh, and who’s your team in the finals? (If you say Boston I will disown you both)

PB: Blogging and trying to cover the off-season as best we can.  There’s also sobbing silently in the car, in bed, in bathrooms at Target.  Yelling at birds (and clouds).  Like we said, grief is a funny thing…if by funny you mean soul-crushing.  We still have our blow-up “Scream” doll dressed in the Caps sweater.  But you know, I think we moved on fairly well.  Shoot, I’ve had bad haircuts that lasted longer…and like hair, our Caps love always grows back pretty quickly.

And we do care about the finals and want to see one team on top: the Greenmen.  No, seriously – we’re pulling for the Canucks for a very simple reason; we hate Beantown. Their fans have to be worse than yours and ours put together, and the people of Boston are under the collective delusion that they’re in a better city than DC.  Better than Hockeytown maybe, but not Hockey Capital.

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