Monday, February 11, 2013

Mush Hockey!

Here's what I know about Hockey. A bunch of guys or gals skate on an ice rink and try to get a small circular hard rubber disc, or puck, into a net past a guy who looks like that kid in Christmas Story who was overdressed. Guys or gals get bashed into boards a lot, and that's legal. Guys or gals slash, hook, interfere, trip, charge, elbow, high stick, hold, spear and cross check and that is not legal. If you do any of those things and get caught, you go sit in timeout for a couple of minutes and the other team has a one person advantage. Naughty naughty, and I've always thought "slashing", whatever that is, should be punishable by jail time. It sounds horrible. And hockey is played indoors. There, that's all I know about hockey. Oh yeah, and the Maple Leafs are the Cubs of the NHL. Pathetic.

Well, hockey was played outdoors in Omaha over the weekend and we went. It was 40 degrees, windy and the sun was out. In the opening game, the Omaha Lancers played the Lincoln Stars. This is glorified high school hockey and it was fine for what it was. Once again, it was 40 degrees, windy and the sun was out. Therefore, the sun was melting the ice and the game had to be stopped numerous times so the help could shovel the mush off the ice. The puck often would stop when it hit a mound of mush and the player would then fall trying to stop. Ha ha!

There is one other thing I knew about hockey that I'd forgotten. In college hockey they are not allowed to fight unless they wish to get ejected and suspended. So it doesn't happen much. My experience with hockey here in Omaha is college hockey so I'd really forgotten about fighting. So imagine my surprise when a couple of 16 years olds began punching each other on the ice and the crowd of drunks around me stood and began bellowing like a UFC match had just broken out. Personally, watching a couple of kids throwing haymakers makes me want to go on the ice myself and holler "break it it up fellas!" But I would have had to climb over the drunks, gone down about three sections, walked out onto the baseball field and to the ice rink and by then either me or the two kids would have been too tired to say anything. So I let the guy in the striped shirt handle it. They both had to go to timeout for 5 minutes and think about what they'd done.

Don't get me wrong, I like hockey. It's a fast, action packed sport played by the toughest sons of bitches on earth. They get their noses busted and they just keep playing. They take a puck off the grill, bleed like Chuck Wepner, and don't even bother to wipe off the blood. They get their teeth smashed out and the keep on smiling anyway. The testosterone on the ice is so intense, every player has a beard by the end of the game. And that includes the gals who play.

But outdoor hockey? The second game, the college game between Omaha and North Dakota, had to be postponed because the ice was melting so bad they needed the sun to set. North Dakotans, all in giant green hockey jerseys, simply went back to their snow machines to drink more anti freeze. Max and I left to go to Lincoln to watch two basketball teams , Nebraska and Penn State, play inside and shoot 73 free throws. YAWN! Now THAT game could have used some fights. Or at least some "slashing"!

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