What We’re Learning During Our Enforced Vacation
We admit it. We’ve been finding ourselves with a little extra time on our hands lately. And by a little we mean a shrieking, soul-crushing, metric ton of extra time. Which is pretty much a bad thing.
Of course, it’s not like that’s so surprising, seeing as we’ve all been forced to live the non-stop nausea-inducing migraine that is Gary Bettman’s (and to be fehr, Donald Fehr’s) lockout poop-fest. Even more discouraging is how long this headache may last.
And while we should be using our time productively, say like knitting booties for Filip Forsberg or untangling that phone cord buried in a box somewhere, we’re not. Instead, we’re left to entertain ourselves, trapped inside a hockey-less house on an endless parade of rainy days, with no NHL 13 and no Xbox. (Although we may skew the gaymer demographic trends and ask Santa for one of those).
#1: Guys And Dolls. So we’re learning a lot watching the NHL channel of late. Like how great Gordie Howe was (we already knew that.) Or how pugly Phil Esposito was. Why Stan Mikita’s face should be on our currency, or how many teeth Bobby Hull has left (trick question – he doesn’t have any left.) You know, old-time hockey.
But what’s really surprised us is how dapper old-time hockey fans apparently were. And by dapper we mean fabulous! All those old movieolas of the Chicago Stadium, or the Olympia? It looks like an episode of Mad Men. Everyone’s in suits and ties, or for the ladies in coats with brooches and hats. And gloves – just think about that for a second.
#2: All Election And No Hockey Make PuckBuddys Something Something.
#3: Chris Kluwe’s Hot. Oh come on, what’s not to love about this sassbag? He’s got a great body (well, serviceable at least), tons of World Of Warcraft nerd cred, shaggy hair, plays bass in a “band” (snigger) and dresses up like a Viking. He’s basically Jeremy in Zits, if Jeremy was ever drafted into the NFL. This guy puts it all on the line, for all the right reasons, and doesn’t shrink from the chance to mix it up, especially with that clown from the Ravens.
#4: We’ve Always Been At War With Eastasia. We had hoped to use some of this time productively to highlight some of the people who work backstage and above (or below) ice at the Verizon Center to bring you what we know as a hockey game. Sorta like our sneak peek into the broadcast truck a little while back. Even had people lined up for some awesomely super fantastic fun.
But it turns out that nobody – meaning NOOOObody - associated with or especially on the payroll of Monumental Sports (like any team or NHL employee), can say a single word about NHL hockey. Not even Slapshot - they’ve wired his (or her?) beak shut, too. In effect, they all have to pretend it just doesn’t exist. And in this strange lockout horror show we’re sitting through, it sort of doesn’t. Hockey team, what’s that? There’s never been a hockey team here at Verizon. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia. And you’ve always been the caretaker, Mr.
#5: Laughlin-Out. We miss Joe B. and Locker something awful. I mean, yeah, we miss the Caps (and the Wings and the Wild and even the Rangers but never the Bruins) more; nearly as much as we miss writing saucy things about other teams and players and pretending like we know what we’re talking about.
But just re-watching all the HBO 24/7 series leading up to the Caps a-whompin’ and a-stompin’ of the Pens at the Winter Classic (which lead to this messy scene) we keep hearing tiny snippets of Joe B’s “ HE SCORRRES!” call and Locker’s pokes at his Caps. We miss the Joe B tie and suit of the night. We miss Locker hamming it up before commercial breaks. All we’re left with now is Alan May badgering him on the twitters.
#6: Yes, Virginia, There Still Is Hockey. Whimpering aside, we are discovering something not quite new, but increasingly treasured. Namely: hockey just about everywhere else that has nothing to do with greedy owners or players, (at least at NHL levels). October 20 is the Bears home opener, hosting Craig’s Rochester Amerks – two great teams, and our first best chance to see Braden Hotby (yes, that’s how we write it), and for that matter, Coach Adam Oates. The indefatigable RMNBers are covering hockey just about everywhere except the places we’ve most come to know it. Perhaps it’s time to look beyond the NHL for great games… Like those pirate KHL feeds we’ve heard about. From a friend, Dmitri.
Which is exactly why neither greedy owners or players, or idiot Bettman, can afford to let this drag on. And finally…
#7: We Still Miss You, Sasha. Somehow, I think we always will. No matter what sweater he wears, he’ll always be first in our hearts.