You Think This Is a Game?
December 6, 2010 § 4 Comments
Hockey is one of the most exciting sports ever played and not just for the fans in the seats and the players on the ice. No one becomes a linesman without a love for the sport. It’s hard to be a linesman, though. You love hockey’s speed and flow just as much as anybody and yet most of the time, you’re responsible for stopping the game. When you’re officiating, you have to keep the players in check and allow the rules of the game to act as they were intended. And then there’s the physical aspect. Think about this: You’re doing your job best you can, skating hard along the ice, puffing a bit, and suddenly two overgrown, potato-fed young rookies decide your exact section of the boards is where they want to bang their hips together. As the collision occurs, the glass rattles fit to break and your head is suddenly ablaze with searing pain and shooting stars. To make it worse, the crowd is laughing at you! What the heck? Incensed, you promptly decide to make a bizarre offsides call on the home team. Before you extract this delicious revenge, your better sense kicks in and you remember this is your job and that “Hanging out with Henrik Lundqvist for hours” is a way better pickup line/job description than “Unemployed”. Okay, so no fake offsides. What can you do though, as a linesman, to spice up your own personal enjoyment of this fantastic game we call hockey? Here’s some suggestions:
1. As a linesman, it’s your duty to break up the players when they start or finish a fight. And it’s the most under-appreciated aspect of your job. Do people really think you want to invade the intimate personal space of two hulking men, both dripping with sweat and maybe blood, both still angry enough that they might punch you just to get you out of the way? Does the audience realize if it were up to you, you wouldn’t go anywhere near their rank jerseys and perspiring man-hands? Well, have a little fun next time you need to delve into the depths of irate hockey goon B.O.! If you feel like he’s about to toss you aside like a rag doll, startle him into calming down by whispering words of love in his ear! Wrap your arms around him in typical separating fashion, but then squeeze real hard and let him know hugging him is the fulfillment of all your dreams. Or look up into his eyes and murmur: “I’ve been watching you all game long…” He’ll immediately try to detach himself from you and skate as far away as possible. Not only do you stop the fight, you’re now a rink-length away from his gross hockey gear. Double win!!
2. Who says those baby-faced college kids get to have all the fun on and off the ice? Turn your job into a frat party that rivals anything Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks can cook up! When the goalie takes a rare break from his fiercely intense concentration to guzzle some liquid, skate over to him and yell “CHUG! CHUG!” right in his ear. Added bonus: bring him over a beer bong to increase the fun! Chances are the goaltender will love this! It’ll boost his confidence immediately by reminding him of the parties he threw as the cock of the walk at college, when some chick with big eyes and Farrah Fawcett curls would simper up at him adoringly while mentally calculating his future net worth. He’ll probably tear his jersey off and give everyone the rock sign with his left hand while sinking to one knee in classic bong form. You’ve just helped his game on the ice exponentially by reminding him of the game he used to have at parties!
3. Everyone wants to be as close to Sidney Crosby as possible. This is a given. So when your job allows you to drop a puck less than a foot away from him, don’t miss your opportunity for internet fame! Pull out your cell phone and snap a picture, upload it to your facebook, and be prepared for a notification bomb to explode on your homepage! Forestall the vile hatred that surely will be spewed by disgruntled Capitals fans by tagging Crosby’s left hand as “Stanley Cup Ring, haterz!” Perhaps you can even start a ‘Like’ page for your personal Sid picture, replete with grammatical errors, misspellings, and a passive-aggressive shot at that jock in high school who stole your dream girl with his giant biceps and letter jacket. Don’t forget to update your status with the latest, greatest song quote by a pop starlet that embodies everything you’re feeling as you crouch down to that face-off dot. After all, you are a linesman. Your job involves the greatest game on earth. Be proud of that.