Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 35, Rule 35

The games: LA Kings vs. Vancouver Canucks.

Why I chose them: I just woke up and discovered Anze Kopitar. I don't know what they put in the water or food supply in Slovenia, but may I suggest they keep doing it. His brother plays for the Portland Winterhawks, so I'm now on the local lookout at the Rose Garden for large NHL players with very cool foreign accents.

The rule: Section 5, Officials. Rule 35, Game Timekeeper.

Number of sections in the rule: 7.

Definition: This outlines the timekeeper's general duties, the regulation length of intermissions (17 minutes), the length of overtime (5 minutes) and the required one minute rest before OT, This also defines the game timekeeper's responsibility to blow a whistle to end signal the end of a period if the electronic clock breaks, to signal the start of periods, and verification of time (to resolve disputes over when a goal was scored, replacement of time due to false face-off, and re-set of clock to accurate time if the clock fails to work when play resumes). It's the hockey version of a hall monitor. Only they clock the start of periods and overtimes instead of the start and stop of recess and how long it took you to "go to the bathroom" to avoid math class.

My favorite highlights:
35.5, Start of Periods. To assist in ensuring the prompt return to the ice of the teams and the officials, the Game Timekeeper shall give preliminary warnings of five (5) minutes and two (2) minutes prior to the resumption of play in each period.

35.6, Television. The Game Timekeeper is required to synchronize his timing device with the television producer of the originating broadcast.

The score at the time of this posting: Vancouver just scored a goal at 1:04 in the first period. And another at 17:15.

The morals of the story:

Game: The Game Timekeeper is responsible for the one thing that can make or break a game. The clock is everyone's enemy in hockey and the timekeeper makes sure if minutes are lost they're put back and he ensures the game can continue even if technology breaks. These men have to account for every second of every game and they are the deciding factor when an NHL game needs to take a little trip in a time machine. So, fellow nerds, let's send our own little shout out to these boys the next time the game's tied with 2 minutes to go in the third and the home team's on the power play.

Think about it this way: we only watch the clock in a vain hope that somehow time will turn back and help our losing team pick it up and win. The Game Timekeeper watches the clock or he gets fired.

Life: Like hockey, in life the clock is our enemy and not one second do we get back. This is why I don't wear a watch, it just reminds me of time ticking away. I'm also not one of those people who talks to no one on a cell phone or pretends to send texts to imaginary friends just to look important and connected. Hence, I'm probably not as productive as some people. So, instead of buying a new watch this weekend, I'm looking into the possibility of hiring a personal game timekeeper. He or she will be responsible for ensuring that my day starts on time, with a five and two minute warning to ensure I get to my bus stop on time. They will blow a whistle when it's time for my work day to end and again when it's time to go to bed before midnight instead of watching NHL replays half-asleep until three in the morning and stumbling to bed to maybe get four hours of REM sleep. Most importantly, they will stop the clock when they see me doing something stupid that I will later regret, and replace any minutes lost to even so much as attempting useless endeavors like trying to rid my body of cellulite with expensive creams or procedures that will actually do nothing to advance this cause, cutting my hair super short or coloring it bright red on a whim the night before a big holiday party and dating any man who instead of having the balls to ask me out says we should "just hang out."

Next up on 12/16: Section 5, Officials. Rule 36, Penalty Timekeeper.

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