Tuesday, May 4, 2010

These Are a Few of My Favorite Penalties

The game: Pittsburgh vs. Montreal.

This is why I'm all in for the Penguins: Shut out for Marc-Andre Fleury, another game-winning goal for Pascal Dupuis. And on their personal hometown turf. Vous allez, garcons.

I may not win this one, but I'm still in: My friend Mike and I have laid down our bets for the semi-finals. We agree on all fronts except the San Jose vs. Detroit series. I'm in for the Sharks, and he's down for the Red Wings. The Red Wings have enough Stanley Cups, thank you. It's San Jose's turn.

Somebody whose name starts with an M owes me a beer: Rookie Logan Couture just tied it for San Jose up to 3-3 with 6:43 to go. Oh wait...the Sharks just won 4-3 OT. They now lead the series 3-0. Two words: Wings. Toast.

The rule: Section 5, Penalties. Rule 500, Penalties, Definitions and Procedures.

Some things never change: Minor and bench minor penalites are two minutes, major is five, and misconduct is 10.

But some things are different: Game misconduct is 20 minutes, match penalty is 25 minutes. In the NHL Rulebook, for a match penalty the player is suspended for the balance of the game and substitution is allowed after five minutes. For game misconduct, it's still suspension for balance of the game, but substitution is allowed immediately.

Hey look, there's almost as much red tape and bullshit in this rule as there is in corporate America: 500.3. When the Minor or Major penalties of two players of the same team terminate at the same time, the Captain of that team shall designate to the Referee which player shall return to the ice first. The Referee shall then instruct the Scorekeeper accordingly.

Morals of the story:

The game: I see now why there are so many "failsafes" in these rules, like substitution and telling the Ref who gets to return to the ice first. Because if you didn't, players would just run around willy nilly ignoring the rules. Like bad drivers without a mark on their records. And, as I've said before, the rules don't tell you not to do something, they just define the punishment if you do defy the rules.

Life: Here are a few of my favorite life offenses, and their matching penalties:

-- Minor: Taking more than one minute to order breakfast in a grab-n-go establishment. My fellow Americans, I can prove that it does not take five minutes to order an extra hot, sugar free, fat free, no whip Vanilla latte and a multigrain scone. Witness our friends to the North at Tim Horton's, where I once stood behind someone who ordered a fat-free cappucino and a whole breakfast sandwich in less than a minute. Penalty for said offense shall be relegation to a small training camp in Northern Canada, where you will be reprogrammed in a special brainwashing program on how to order fast food so that your order is in fact, fast.

- Major: Complaining because Twitter melted down for 10 minutes yesterday while you were tweeting your friend about what you ate for lunch. Penalty is mandatory community service at an organization that serves the generation who remembers life when a Princess rotary phone was a big deal. If you don't know what a Princess phone is, this rule is for you.

-- Match: Wearing pajama bottoms as clothing in public (mostly reserved for teenagers, who seem to find this attractive). Not holding the door for honored citizens or children, unless of course they are the obvious spoiled brats whose parents haven't taught them about personal space and not crowding people or cutting them off, because said parents were committing the offenses listed below. Punishment assessed will fit the crime in the form of being forced to wear the top and bottom of your pajamas to your prom, so you will understand once and for all it's not fashionable to wear PJs in public. Ever. And, for the other, being locked in a small room, while little whippersnappers run around you playing "Ring Around the Rosie" for twelve straight hours.

-- Misconduct: Answering the call phone while on the toilet. Talking on the cell phone at all in a library. Talking on the cell, iPhone, texting, etc. while driving. Gone. Poof. In the wind. Automatic extradition to a deserted island with a manual typewriter, a rotary phone and a television with three network stations that stop broadcasting at midnight.

Next up on 5/5: Section 5, Penalties. Rule 501, Minor Penalty. Rule 502, Bench Minor Penalty, Rule 503, Major Penalty.

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