Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 9, Rule 9

The game: Vancouver vs. St. Louis.

Why I chose it: I keep thinking things will turn around for Vancouver. Well, somebody has to.

My peeve: Half the NHL is on some semblance of injured reserve. I love a good fight. I love the sound of pucks slapping and four letter words and men crashing into the glass, but come on now. It's only November.

The rule: Section 3, Equipment. Rule 9, Uniforms.

Number of sections in the rule: 6.

Definition: This declares that all players must be dressed uniformly and wear an individual identifying number. It outlines jersey size, the types of numbers not allowed (00, fractions, decimals or 3-digit numbers), and outlines the stoppage of play and faceoff rules if a player loses their helmet during play. It also defines the penalties for goalkeepers who deliberately remove their masks or helmets to cause a delay of game.

My favorite highlight: No "tying down" of the sweater is allowed at the wrists if it creates a tension across the jersey such that a "webbing effect" is created in the armpit area. No other tie downs are allowed that create a "webbing effect." Good thing the NHL is on top of this one. Because we wouldn't want anyone trying to gain the upper hand by dressing like Spider Man.

The final score: St. Louis 6. Vancouver 1.

Number of times rule violated: 0. Although Montreal might have been in violation last weekend when they wore their original striped uniforms to celebrate their anniversary. Nowhere does it say it's ok to wear a uniform that resembles pajamas.

The morals of the story:

The game: This rule guarantees that all players, at least on the outside, must be equal. It doesn't matter what your talent or skill level is or when you were taken in the draft. No dressing like Spider Man, no 67.5 on the back. How great would it be if this rule made the teams play with the same equality and unity? Anaheim wouldn't be in an early season pickle, Vancouver wouldn't be going down. Everyone would be hard to beat and every game would be like the playoffs.

Life: We all wear a uniform of some sort to work, the gym or social occasions. But who we are, what makes us special and how we choose to shine through is not defined by what we wear. Just like hockey, it's how we play that matters. Of course, I probably shouldn't preach because I'm a grown up Garanimal, so what do I know about fashion anyway?

Note to readers born after 1980: Garanimals were created by Sears in the 70s to help children learn how to shop. You would buy outfits based on the tags, so Lion pants went with Lion shirts and Giraffe dresses went with Giraffe dress shoes. And so on. Sometimes I mix it up. Which is why I don't worry about standing out. Tall women wearing Elephant shoes with a Zebra bag can be seen from miles away.

Next up on 11/12: Section 3, Equipment. Rule 10, Sticks.

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