Friday, June 4, 2010

If Hooking The Opponent Doesn't Work, Try A Bicycle.

The game: Chicago vs. Philadelphia, Game 4.

Excuse me, wasn't Chicago in the lead?: Philly won Game 3 and is well on their way to Game 4. Dudes, I wanted a 4-game sweep. Now I have to spend precious free time watching Pronger taunt everyone for at least another two games.

I've been wrong about the rest of the series, might as well give this one up: Philly just won. It's now tied at 2 games a piece.

This is so bush league: Apparently a gaggle of Flyers fans were planning to cause a ruckus and follow the Chicago bus to the rink. On bicycles. Well, at least Philly fans have gone green in their attempted assault on the opposing team.

Still, here in the Rose City it's a win-win for us: No matter who wins, a former Portland Winterhawk is going home with the prize. It will either be Philly and Braydon Coburn or Chicago and Marion Hossa.

The rule: Section 5, Penalties. fouls Against Players. Rule 533, Hooking.

Hey look, it's almost as complicated as the NHL Rulebook:

533.a. A player who impedes or seeks to impede the progress of an opponent by hooking him with the stick shall be assessed, at the discretion of the Referee, a minor, major + automatic game misconduct or match penalty. If you injure the player, it's major + automatic game misconduct or match penalty.

533.c. In a "breakaway" situation, when a player in control of the puck outside his own defending zone has no opponent to pass other than the goalkeeper and he is hooked from behind, thus preventing a reasonable opportunity to score, the Referee shall award to the non-offending team a penalty shot. A "Breakaway shall be defined as a situation when a player is in full control of the puck and has no opposing player between himself and the opposing goalkeeper, or goal if the goalkeeper has been removed. "Control of the puck" is the act of propelling the puck with the stick. If the puck is touched by another player or his equipment while it is being propelled or hits the goal or goes free, the player shall no longer be considered to be in control of the puck.

The game: Ok, so how do they prove you sought to impede? Does that mean you gave the player a dirty look and tried to hook him and then went, "no I'm gonna get busted, I'm outta here?" Or is it pretty much a given that if you impeded a player it was because you intended to do so in the first place?

Life: I think I might have hooked myself with my latest life debacle. From behind. On a breakaway. With intent to injure myself. Major stupid for which there should have been a match penalty to stop me. Do you ever just get up and wonder why you go to work at any job? No matter how much you love it or are good at it? I sorta did that, and it went on for far too long. I was never very good at hiding my frustration or any other feelings for that matter. Some people do hide what they really think and they are good at it and more power to them. But I'm not one of them. Humans can only swallow so much shit before there's nowhere else to put it. The problem with me is that my personal reserve for tolerating things I don't like is a small, shallow puddle and not an ocean. Maybe that's why I like hockey so much. You don't like what a guy did, you hit him. You don't like what a ref said or what a journalist asked, you tell it like it is. Of course, the media quotes you ad nauseum and fanatic fans follow you on their Schwinns, but still....

Kinda makes you wonder how corporate America would keep running if we as workers could just fight, board and hook with impunity? For example, if we could do this, would we?:

-- Punch and remove the jersey of others whose lack of planning and total disrespect for the clock and approval timelines becomes your overtime, pride-swallowing late-night emergency.

-- Check from behind anyone who stands in the doorway of the elevator because that's where they get the best cell phone reception, thereby blocking it and preventing you from getting out, until they hop out just as it's closing so you have to go back down to come back up.

-- Cross-check anyone who is busy twiddling on their iPhone, Blackberry, Droid Phone, etc. and not paying attention to your death by PowerPoint presentation that you spent weeks overloading with useless information because someone else told you you had to, even though you wanted to keep it light and only use them as a guide instead of an electronic version of flash cards.

-- Hook anyone who has talked, uninterrupted, for longer than 10 minutes at any meeting without actually suggesting a solution or making an actual point.

-- Elbow cell phone chatters who answer their device in the elevator, bathroom or other inappropriate location, at full volume.

Next up on 6/6: Section 5, Penalties. Fouls Against Players. Rule 534, Interference.

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