Round 1. Contest 1 of the first FAM Writing Tournament. Contestants volunteered and were paired and given a random topic to discuss. Then 5 judges reviewed the submissions based upon humor, creativity, grammar, and clarity with the chance to win bonus points. More rules can be found in the forums.
Nobody Watches That Shit
“HONEY! THE NHL IS ON THE TV, NOW!”, she screeched in her best Ke$ha voice, dragging her virtual nails ever so deliberately across the chalkboard in my mind.
She rumbled into the kitchen, hoofs kicking up dust in her wake, and planted a kiss upon my gruff cheek.
“Babe,” I pleaded, “Do you have any idea how much this bamboo floor cost? Get outta here with those heels, already. Every time you scratch it up, I’ve gotta go down to Home Depot and find Satevo to come fix it. Do you know how many waffle tacos it took just to get him into my truck, last time?”
“Well, I don’t know why you don’t just ask Crete,” she cackled, flashing me a knowing glance, “He’s better with his hands, anyway”.
“He isn’t playing with a full deck” I muttered. “Now git, and let me work. RB’s gonna bring molten fuckin’ fire to this thing – and I don’t even have a got damn theme yet! Free-frickin-Willy really stuck it to me, this time!”
She sauntered seductively back into the living room, the dimples in her onion winking at me with every step.
Hockey?! Nobody watches that shit, I thought, except IUalum and Schmohawk. But they’re Blackhawks fans, and the last thing they wanna read about is how Chris Chelios wears his Wings jersey to bed every night. JD, or whatever, is an Avalanche fan. But the last thing he wants to read about is how Mike Vernon and Chris Osgood both whipped Patrick Roy’s ass at center ice (while the rest of the Wings teed off on his teammates).
No, I insisted upon myself, I need a fresh angle. I need to make people want to read about the NHL. What makes hockey unique, though? What draws in the casual fan?
I took a swig of Wild Turkey and glanced at the familiar sight that was the back of her head. “What are you watching, sweetheart?”, I quizzically questioned, “Don’t tell me you’re watching hockey in there.”
“HAAA! Of course not, babe. Nobody watches that shit”, she crowed, her fingers rustling through her straw-like hair. “It’s the Bad Girls Club special where they show all the best fights. Tanisha is about to rip out Moesha’s weave and drop it into Tyree’s glass of Hypnotiq. Babe, remember when I bought that bottle of Hypnotiq to make Incredible Hulk’s and you said that no drink named after Chek would have anything the color of Hypnotiq in it? I don’t know why you would say that when you have to have blue to make the drink green. My sister once tried to make it with food coloring but it wasn’t the same. That was the year Grandma broke her hip and we had to get her that motorized chair to get up and down the stairs. Do you remember that? Babe, why don’t you take the garbage to the curb and come watch?”
With a thousand yard stare that even the most seasoned psychiatrist would mistake for catatonia, I pondered her delusion in disbelief, as if she just told me that Tristin was a Georgia fan. Take out the garbage and watch Bad Girls Club?! Get the hell out of here. No more Wild Turkey for her.
“It’s raining cats and dogs”, I snapped, “I’ll do it in the morning.”
Bad Girls Club fights… that woman loves the drama, I thought. Then it hit me like a Mike Heath haymaker. Fights! Fans love the fights, and there are some great one’s that occurred throughout the history of the NHL:
– In 2012, the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers put their toughest players on the ice to start the game, which resulted in multiple fights as soon as the puck dropped. Even the coaches nearly went to blows. Then Rangers coach John Tortorella, later as coach of the Vancouver Canucks, found himself in a similar situation, and had to be restrained while trying to enter the Calgary Flames locker room (after multiple fights during the game between the two teams).
– In 1990, the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings fought each other so intensely that the referees made little to no attempt to break them up. This game set the then league record for most penalty minutes in a game, with 85, and even showcased the rare “goalie/non-goalie” fight. During the game, a stat flashed across the screen which told viewers that the Kings had thrown 1,021 punches to 997 for the Oilers.
– In 2001, notorious NHL brawler Tie Domi engaged in fisticuffs – not with a player – but with a fan! Domi, who had amassed between 278 and 336 career fights, sat angrily in the penalty box, when a Philadelphia Flyers fan inexplicably broke through the glass! Fans had been throwing crap into the box at Domi, and he returned the favor by squirting water from a bottle into the stands. One Flyers’ fan launched himself through the glass and found himself in a scrum with Domi. Referees struggled with the fan while he and Domi traded punches.
“Babe, I got it! I’ll write about hockey fights!”, I exclaimed in her general direction.
“Hockey fights?!” she replied.
“Yeah, because without the fights, nobody watches that shit!”