Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day 4, Rule 4

The game: Philadelphia vs. Carolina.

Why I chose it: I love underdogs, which Carolina has mysteriously turned into after a stellar playoff run last season. And, they are facing one of the most fearsome, physical teams in the league. I don't care if they lose - if they get out alive and with a goal, I will be impressed.

My peeve: I dare Philadelphia to win a game without stopping to punch someone every 11 seconds.

The quirk: A few of the Philadelphia players seem to have forgotten the eighties are over - mullets are out, boys. Note to self - make a pit stop for Supercuts the next time you're on the road.

The rule: Section 1, Playing Area. Rule 4: Signal and Timing Devices.

Number of sections in the rule: 2.

Definition: A bored transportation engineer must have come up with this one. Hockey signals and timing devices are a sport version of traffic lights. This rule defines the color of the lights for goals, commerical timeouts and the end of the periods. For example, a red light will signify the scoring of a goal and a green light will signify the end of a period or a game. A goal cannot be scored when the green light is showing. It's backwards from the standard of green means go, red means stop.

My favorite highlights: Rule 4.2, Timing Devices. This wins hands down for the most comprehensible run-on sentence ever. Each rink shall be provided with some form of electronic clock for the purpose of keeping the spectators, players and game officials accurately informed as to all time elements at all stages of the game including the time remaining to be played in any period and the time remaining to be served by at least five penalized players on each Team. So, I guess the coaches don't need to keep track of the time remaining? At least five penalized players? The rulemaker must have been a Philly fan to boot.

Number of times rule violated: 0. Don't worry, we'll get to the section of the rules that are easily broken.

The final score: Philadelphia 6. Carolina 1. That sixth goal was just mean. Give 'em a kibble, Philly. It's not like you were tied at 2 in the third period with 10 seconds to go.

The morals of the story:

The game: 1) As long as the devices work the way they should, this is a hard rule to break. 2) The clock is everyone's enemy in hockey. If you're winning, it's one less second you have to score. If you're losing, every second is one less you have to catch up.

Life: Life is like a hockey timing device. We start losing time the minute we're born. Every second that ticks off the clock is one we don't get back. Philly may be insane, but they play nearly every game like it's game 7 of the playoffs. Crazy, yes. But they play the way we should live. Out loud, in your face and without apology.

Next up on 11/2: Section 2, Teams. Rule 5, Team.

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