Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 64, Rules 64 and 65

In case you're keeping track: There are 22 days to the Olympic opening ceremoney and 22 rules to go. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

The games: Pittsburgh vs. Washington, Anaheim vs. San Jose. Portland Winterhawks vs. Kamloops Blazers (WHL, game on 1/20).

Why I chose them: It's a Stanley Cup rematch and my favorite Swiss Goalie is in the net on Thursday, which is the new Friday.

Ooh! Did I say that out loud?: I admit it, I kind of wanted Kamloops to win last night, so Kurtis Mucha could have a little vengeance on his former home ice. There. I said it. Now I feel better.

Note to Ian Curtis: Ok, here's the deal. I've sat in just about every section this year, including the nosebleed section at the Dec. 29 game, where yes, I waited the full hour and 45 minutes for the game to start and stayed to the end. And I can tell you that based on what I've heard around me, we do believe in you. We love our town and we love people who love our town. But we also loved Kurtis. All we ask from you in return is that you believe in yourself. Translation: No more letting 3 goals through in the first period against Tri-Cities. Feb. 10, I'm bringing friends and we come seeking revenge. Here is our motto (well, ok, it's my motto, but they can sit there and like it): The Tri-City Americans are toast. Hey, worked for the Chilliwack game (see previous entry).

The rules: Section 9, Other Fouls. Rule 64, Diving/Embellishment and Rule 65, Equipment.

Number of sections in the rules: 3 (Rule 64). 2 (Rule 65).

The quirk: The equipment rule actually appears earlier in the rule book in Section 3, Equipment, Rule 14, Adjustment to Clothing or Equipment.

Definitions: 64.1, Diving and Embellishment. Any player who blatantly dives, embellishes a fall or reaction, or who feigns an injury shall be penalized with a minor penalty under this rule. A goalkeeper who deliberately initiates contact with an attacking player other than to establish position in the crease, or who otherwise acts to create the appearance of other than incidental contact with an attacking player, is subject to the assessment of a minor penalty for diving/embellishment.

65.1, Equipment. As I stated in a very early entry (Day 14, Rule 14), this is the "don't even bother, just get out and adjust your equipment" rule.

My favorite highlight: Why don't they just call this what it is: 64.1, Faking Injuries to Gain a Man-Advantage When Everything Else You're Doing Isn't Working. Which I would imagine is why the League invented these punishments:

64.2, Minor Penalty. A minor penalty shall be imposed on player who attempts to draw a penalty by his actions ("diving/embellisment"). 64.3, Fines and Suspensions. Regardless if a minor penalty for diving/embellishment is called, Hockey Operations will review game videos and assess fines to players who dive or embellish a fall or a reaction, or who feign injury. The first such incident will result in a warning letter sent to the player. The second such incident will result in a one thousand dollar ($1000) fine. For a third such incident in the season, the player shall be suspended for one game, pending a phone conversation with the Director of Hockey Operations.

Final scores: Washington 5, Pittsburgh 3. Winterhawks 5, Kamloops 2. Anaheim 0, San Jose 0 in the 1st period.

Morals of the story:

The game: I want to see what the letter to the player says:

Dear Hockey Player,

This letter is to remind you of the penalties associated with being caught in the act of being a liar and a pussy during your little display of total immaturity and unsportsmanlike conduct on Friday night. In addition to the well-deserved minor penalty you have already received, you will also have $1000 subtracted from your total salary of $25 million for this year. We realize that this will have a minimal impact on your salary and accompanying lavish superstar lifestyle. Therefore, if you insist upon being a little drama queen, you will be suspended for a period of one game. In addition, please note that your actions may result in your being permanently shunned by fans, opposing teams, your own teammates and coaches, and intelligent, free-thinking citizens everywhere.

And finally, please note that your actions have been reviewed by video and may not be disputed by you or your team under any circumstances.

Director of Hockey Operations

Or, even better, the phone conversation: Look, dumb-ass, get your crap together and don't do it again. Fans hate you, players think you're a wuss and you are an embarrassment to the sport. And by the way, the ladies think it's the act of a pussy, so you're not attracting their attention either. Now, go home and think it over.

Life: I would classify the following life blunders as the equivalent of diving/embellishment:

-- Talking on a cell phone to no one in a loud voice in thoroughly inappropriate locations like morning bus rides, Starbucks lines and movie theatres, so the people around you have no choice but to tolerate a fake conversation you are having to demonstrate how important you think you are. Like diving, all you're doing is annoying other people and embarrassing yourself. No, I don't do this. I need special help to plug my cell phone into the charger. The one time I got a text message, I needed the instruction booklet to figure out how to delete it.

-- 20-something women who wear skinny jeans, a sparkly tank top and five-inch red stilletto stripper heels to a hockey game on a Wednesday night. Yes, this happened the other night at a Winterhawks game. First, it's hovering around 40 degrees in that rink - most fans are wearing fleece, a small space heater and sweaters. You will stand out, which is of course the point, but here's the thing: the players are too busy watching what's right in front of them to notice what's in the audience. The only men noticing this poor girl were married, beer-bellied, foul-mouthed truck drivers who had knocked a few back by the second period. Want to meet the players, go to a Fred Meyer autograph session. Note to other fans who may be in said store at the time of said event, if you hear the announcement "clean up in aisle 5! Ma'am. Ma'am, put the Winterhawks down and walk away" you'll know why.

Next up on 1/22: Section 9, Other Fouls. Rule 66, Forfeit of Game and Rule 67, Handling Puck.

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