>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen
February 20, 2005

Disclaimer: The following article is observational humor and its intention is to make you laugh. While some of the events mentioned are based on real people the article is intended to be a broad generalization of hockey players across America, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and even Russia in general. But it's also a dedication to graduating senior hockey players everywhere. Thank you for four years of devotion to the game you loved, because all of us in the stands loved watching you play.

I think that the appeal of hockey for people our age originated from Disney productions. The wonderful world of Disney introduced most of us to our first fairy tale princess and our first talking mouse—unless you grew up in a trailer park, and then it was Mighty Mouse who was equally as entertaining, but seemed to lack that fanatical craziness pants-creaming sensation when you saw him in person and got to kiss his nose at the theme park. But regardless of us kissing giant fun-loving rodents, Disney a long while back brought us a picture that targeted both male and female audiences. And that movie my friends, was the Mighty Ducks. I remember seeing the movie at the cheap theaters during summer camp. By the end of the movie the boys sitting in front of us were rooting energetically for the triumph over the evil Hawks, and the girls sitting behind them were creaming all their pants for Charlie Conway. Which for most of us in the Midwest and on East Coast who truly appreciate the sport, was our first hockey crush, but definitely not our last.

Hockey players in general are not the most attractive guys out of all the major athletes. Seriously, who out there would want to spend a night with Wayne Gretzky over David Beckham? Anyone? Anyone? These guys have missing teeth, playoff beards that make them look like lumberjack mountain men (which I'll get to later), and ridiculously long hair that normally feathers out while wearing a baseball hat. But even with all these supposed vices women still find them deadly sexy. And to offer up some evidence of this attraction, recently one of those sweaty long-haired NHL types just married former Playboy bunny/Baywatch girl (one or the other, my extensive research only goes so far) Gina Lee Nolin, so obviously there is colossal attraction to the men behind the mask. They're normally angry and drink too much, but for some reason the ladies find that devastatingly appealing. Except when they made the Mighty Ducks sequel and most of the returning characters filmed during that awkward pubescent stage had cracking voices. And Disney never really made it clear if Connie and Julie (the only two girls on the team) had their own locker room—and if they didn't, oh to have seen Conway in all his undressed glory.

As usual my extensive research suggests that there are two types of girls who follow hockey. The first are known as puck bunnies—women who are dating or friends with guys on the team. They go to some away games an hour or two away when really dedicated and stand up and cheer whenever a goal is scored. But then there are those known as puck fucks. These women are known for their attendance at just about ANY hockey match. Even if they don't know any of the guys on the team, they will look at the roster and attempt to identify any of the good-looking ones through their masks while on the ice and then wait for them to emerge from the locker room after the game to slip them their number. I know a guy on the Chicago Wolves who claimed there were some women not not dating anyone on the team (and only somewhat acquainted with a couple of players) who would drive 12 hours out of state to their games and attempt to meet them for the first time in the bar afterward. Which goes well above and beyond anything a respectable puck bunny would ever do.

So my dad's Canadian, and I obviously grew up learning all the hockey lingo. Basically the background noise of my childhood consists of my dad swearing and pissing on the TV whenever the New York Rangers won, and him parading around the neighborhood community pool in Florida where Canada beat America at hockey any time possible. He was kind of misunderstood by a lot of our neighbors. There we were living 30 minutes from the beach with coolers of beer and scantily-clad women playing volleyball, and there he was going on and on about a sport that was played in 10 degree weather with no women and lots of padding. But they didn't understand that in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Colorado, North Dakota, Michigan and the entire land mass of Canada, hockey isn't as much a sport as it is a culture only few men can truly appreciate.

On a side note my extensive research also shows that most hockey players are insanely good kissers. “They also make great lovers,” said one source. For protection purposes we'll just call her Slutty McHoebag. But over the years I've heard a lot of outrageous lines come falling out of their mouths while attempting to romance the ladies. “Hey do you play hockey? …Tonsil hockey? Want a free lesson?” Or the rarely used, “I'd like to shoot and score all over you.” And lest we forget the disastrous, “You know what Charlie Conway and I have in common? …No, we didn't both bang Coach Bombay at the wrap party, but we do know how to use our sticks….” And it's their somewhat enticing siiiiicck sense of humor that always seems to pull them right in. Pass, shoot, score.

A reality of hockey is that most games have several small boxing matches as a side show. Which definitely adds to the appeal of the sport. Watching referees attempt to break up two guys bashing each other's head into the ice is amusing because it creates a domino effect that reaches all the way into the bleachers and causes a ruckus in the stands. And before you know it girls are bitch slapping each other, sons are breaking up fights between dads, and hockey moms are screaming and cheering over each other to anyone who's willing to listen to them, threatening to wack anyone that gets in their way of their video camera.

Hockey moms are genuinely the greatest women to watch during the game. These women come to every game no matter where their son goes to college. It's like the guys know they have to play better when mom's there, otherwise she's going to spank him after the game in front of all his teammates—and nobody wants to see that, funny as it would be seeing a grown man spanked by his mom. But not as much gross as say…okay, I don't know where that was going, but I am definitely going to stop now. They have no problem screaming and bitching out the refs for bad calls and screaming at their son to get the damn puck in the goal. My favorite hockey mom over the year is named Cindy, and I've seen her single-handedly begin a chant that eventually echoed throughout the whole arena and got everyone who had been sitting down to their feet. Even puck bunnies don't have that kind of power.

Hockey players have the alcohol tolerance of a truck load of Mexicans. Although, somehow they seem to prefer Miller products to Corona. But I guarantee if it came down to it, as long as it was beer they're really not that picky as long as it's cheap and there's a lot of it. And while they do cross the line into drunken ridiculousness quite often, watching them stumble around is ultimately hilarious and always makes for a good laugh the next day. “I got hit by a car last night, but it wasn't a car as much as it was a small truck.” Or, “Have you seem my pants? I had them on last night between drinking in my room and bartime, so they either have to be here, at the bar, or scattered somewhere along the trail home.” “Which one of you sick fucks put Nair all over my legs last night? You're lucky it was my legs and not my playoff beard or I would have railed your ass.” Or, “Hey, that rum bottle at the minibar….I don't know how much it was, but before we leave we got to finish all of it.” Or “Who duck taped me to the bed? I can't get out. I might have to pee on myself….wouldn't be the first time….” And finally, “How'd I get this hole in my pants….I guess my johnson is just so big it broke right through the denim.”

But sadly all seasons do come to an end, and whether that season ended victoriously or not is besides the point. Because when you leave you leave with the loyalty of your teammates who always double as best friends (and case-race partners), you leave with the satisfaction of knowing that you played your very best. But perhaps the best part of the end of hockey season is that you can all shave off those goddamn playoff beards. Where did the idea not to shave all through playoffs originate? Didn't anyone take into consideration that some guys can't even grow facial hair? You know who they are because the only facial features that change on them is their side burns. But the beards towards the end of a longer playoff season grow out of control. Food gets stuck in them. Girlfriends don't want you coming near them because it causes bristley rashes on their….mouth. And when they do shave them off they get creative. It's a goatee, or a mustache, or a chinstrap, or a mustache that connects to their sideburns. It's a facial hair free for all.

And maybe the Mighty Ducks shouldn't have made a third movie. Because how can a team go from playing in the junior Olympic Team to playing for junior varsity at a prep school? It just doesn't make sense. But it doesn't really matter because we'll all watch it anyway. Damn you Charlie Conway. You stole every 12-year-old girl's heart. Damn you to hell.


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