HiR:tb Toots (@warwalker)

Zombies and Dimwits.

Another great post from Theory of Ice. Describing Sunday’s Habs/Bruins game, e says that she has been told that Sunday’s game is what playoff hockey is all about. In particular, she says the game was:

…[f]ast but claustrophobic, conservative but chaotic, tidy at the core and sloppy around the edges. Imagine a ballroom dance competition being attacked by a legion of zombies; everyone frantically trying to fend of the ravenous undead with folding chairs and feather boas while simultaneously struggling not to miss a step in their foxtrot routine. This game was a lot like that, only weirder.

Bullseye! I’d like to see that as the new marketing slogan for the NHL – “a ballroom dance competition being attacked by a legion of zombies”.

Seems to me that maybe e ought to be working in the marketing department of a certain team from our Nation’s Capital instead of the lunatic who dreamed up the little bit o’ pantomime that preceded last night’s Pens/Sens game, a laughable addition to the already putrid recent on-ice operations of the Bytown gang.

What was the thinking with that little bit of theatre? I am no fan of trash-talking goofball players, but it’s infinitely more acceptable for dimwit players to flap their gums than it is for the flying saucersuits to ramp up the chutzpah for them. That’s what was so weird about Ottawa’s waiter-by-day, tortured-artiste-actor by (occasional) night standing bare-chested (what, Sens army is too cheap to pony up for even a fake breastplate?) at centre ice, gripping somebody’s little brother’s flying saucer and waving a cocktail sword; none of the actual Ottawa players were participating in that little demonstration of hubris, it was all actor-guy barking out empty threats that (had we been able to hear them – nice job, Ottawa tech department!) were probably drafted by a committee. Why can’t the corporate marketing types who are pulling the levers behind the curtain on the Amazing Entertainment Machine of sports get it through their thick freaking heads that no team – NO TEAM – should be pounding their chests and boasting when everybody and their little sister knows you stink like nobody’s business.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were guilty of spewing this kind of hot air last year – yes, the very same Ticats who went 3 and 15. The same Ticats who were eliminated from playoff contention – in a league where six of the eight teams qualify, mind you – during the singing of the national anthem at their first game. The Cats had this genius promotional idea that they would play a crappy video on the giant screen in the west end zone at all their home games; according to the video, it was “Hammer Time.” What exactly the enigmatic and arrogant video meant to convey through these claims remained unclear throughout the season; it certainly had nothing to do with punishing defence, powerful offence or successful football of any kind being demonstrated by the Cats. While the video was playing on the screen, at some arsehole’s seriously misguided direction, the Tiger Cats players would run on to the field and gather at midfield around a ceremonial sledgehammer (no, I’m NOT kidding) in embarrassment, neither looking the fans nor their opposition as everybody had a good laugh at the hilarious idea that any other team might be intimidated by this phony and farcical display of so-called Tiger-Cat power. I felt sorry for the players, having to participate in that charade.

In what world did the Senators have any business sending that sad-sack excuse for a thespian out there to trumpet the will and determination of “Sens Army”? Was it the fact that the Army was so massively dedicated that they weren’t even buying all the tickets to the game? Is it the team’s historical propensity for crapping the bed in the playoffs? Perhaps, you might say, the Sens were entitled to make a little noise owing to the vigour of their late-season play, which was so astonishingly good that they would have missed the playoffs entirely if Carolina could have managed two freaking points against Florida on the final weekend of the season? Or maybe it was the Senators’ failure to mount any kind of a credible effort whatsoever during the two initial games of the series in Pittsburgh?

As an aside, why was Marvin the Martian doing that ridiculous speech with some sort of vaguely British accent? Did every Roman centurion in Ye Olde Days of Roman Hockey sound like Michael Caine with a mouthful of marbles?

In the end, what a perfect metaphor it was for the Senators’ entire season: a man in a skirt failing miserably to make a statement at centre ice, in the middle of the team’s biggest moment.

5 comments to Zombies and Dimwits.

  • […] in HiR:tb, Popeye I forgot to post anything specifically commemorating the event (I was too busy dissecting the centurion-related pre-game lunacy), but yesterday was the one year anniversary of HiR:tb. […]

  • Oddly enough, that’s precisely what we used those disc-sleds for (shields during pop-it fights), growing up, as they were otherwise smooth plastic injury-makers during the winter (not that the rolled-up pieces of plastic were much better, and the traditional sled-with-runners inevitably dug into the soft powder unless you glazed the hill with ice the night before).

    Sometimes I wake up surprised I made it out of childhood.

  • “[P]op-it fights” (?) – Qu’est-ce que c’est?

    When I think of the number of miles ridden on my bike at breakneck speed, the jumps we did (on concrete, over each other’s prone bodies, sometimes in a wooded and well-treed area), and the fact that I never once even SAW another kid wearing a helmet, I am a bit amazed I survived too. The other crazy thing I remember is those “lawn darts” games that the adults used to let us kids play with – you know, the ones with the giant metal points that we flung high into the air. It’s a wonder I’m not using one of those things as a hat rack up where my bald spot is.

  • Pop-its were, more or less, little pea-sized bags of gunpowder and sand — they exploded on contact, assuming sufficient velocity, and supposedly caused no damage, but left lasting bruises on the ego and (should your parents smell the forbidden gunpowder), had the potential to limit your freedom. Hence the shield requirement.

  • Y’know, I always suspected that there were significant advantages to be enjoyed growing up Stateside! The fact you folk have a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms just shows that you know how to have a good time down south…

    That would have been nothing short of awesome. Our explosive ambitions were confined to the amount of gunpowder that could be scraped out of a bunch of caps and into the space in a nut with two opposing bolts tightened down on each other. Said device needed to be flung up in the air in order to detonate upon landing on the concrete driveway or road. If you were really lucky, the bolts would come flying out of the nut.

    It truly is a wonder that we weren’t maimed on a daily basis…