hate actively dislike me for it, don't you, Gentle Reader? Well, all except SN1, Seattle Andy, Jimmy T, Small-Tee, Glenn, Mr. Webb, and the elusive Virgil Xenophon, who hasn't been seen in these parts since his Hawks made the Final. Not even to gloat... and it's disappointed we are. That was a Hella long intro to what amounts to a simple link-job... which is to say... Hockey fans are obligated to do the following during Finals, by the inimitable Puck Daddy hisownself. Excerpts:
5. Drink Beer. This really has nothing to do with growing the sport. But we find the Finals to be much more enjoyable after a few frosties. What's your beverage of choice for the title round?
Right up my alley, this one. Our first brewski will prolly be a Labatt's Blue in honor of the game's origins. Well, that and the fact there's still one or two left in the fridge. After that it's anyone's guess. Fransizkaner would be a good one. Guess, that is.
7. Above all else: Don't be apathetic. Yes, it's hard watching the Flyers potentially take the "1975" arrow from our comedy quivers. Yes, it's going to be even harder to watch a mercenary coat-tail rider like Hossa potentially get his name on the Cup. And yes, just like every other year, the minute your team is eliminated from the playoffs was the minute you stopped watching hockey.
But it's on us to elevate our sport by celebrating our sport. The NHL isn't perfect, and its broadcasting partners sure as [expletive] aren't. But the more apathetic you are, the less attention the Finals get and the more everyone else will continue to treat you like a sports leper in this country.
We know hockey's the greatest sport in all the lands. We know it's way more popular than it's ever given credit for being here in the States. But it doesn't win the beauty pageant in the ratings or the coverage, and it's on us to change that.
Aiiieee. Hossa. Hopefully this is the final year for NHL Interim Rule 2008-27(b), to wit: "Marian Hossa MUST appear in every Stanley Cup Final. This rule expires upon completion of the last game of the 2010 SCF, regardless of which team wins the Cup. Three strikes and you're OUT, with apologies to MLB." I think that's the way it reads... but I could be wrong. It's happened before, albeit rarely. Unless you take into account my woeful hockey predictions. Let's not go there, mmm-kay?
Digressions about overcompensated, marginally performing, mercenary
SOBs hockey players aside, we always watch the Finals and since we've been retarded retired we've watched all the other rounds as well. Which wasn't the case when we were gainfully (heh) employed. That's actually been easier than it looks, given the Beloved Wings went to the SCF for the last two years running. But a casual perusal of Our Back Pages for the months of May and June prior to 2008 will reveal more than a few hockey posts. Because we care. We've always cared. Well, always... assuming one defines the term as "since 1985." And we do, of course.
And YOU should care too, Gentle Reader. As Mr. Wyshynski sez: "...hockey's the greatest sport in all the lands." It will be easy for you this year as the first two games are on the Peacock Network and not that squirrelly lil ESPN-Wannabee no one... outside of hockey fans, the spandex crowd, and rodeo groupies... has ever heard of and still fewer actually receive on their cable or satellite systems.
Tonight. 2000 hrs Eastern Daylight Time... which is Eight Pee-Em for the 24-hour clock challenged... on your local NBC affiliate. Be there. There will be a quiz on Sunday.