Monday, February 22, 2010

Morning: I Am So Patriotic About Hockey

Holy shit, that hockey game! America RULES!

There's no other way to start this post. That game was like taking liquid adrenaline. 60 minutes of speed flurries, kamikaze charges, and hellbent American youth. Canada had the better roster, but we had the better keeper, and the better energy. And maybe better luck, too. We'll take it all.

*Ryan Miller: wow. He faced over 40 shots, and stopped all but 3. And they weren't easy shots, either. It felt like Canada had an open look on an odd-man rush at least once per minute, especially in the first and second periods. Miller was a brick wall. As they say in hockey television studios, he was standing on his head. Apparently, he's the Sabres goalie. Thank you, Buffalo. We know you've fallen on hard times. You haven't been contributing much these days, but this is much appreciated. Also, his helmet is awesome: it features an angry Uncle Sam bearing his muscles (he has a USA tattoo) and holding a flaming torch, and the slogan "Don't Tread on Me!" on the other side.

Everyone knows you need an awesome goalie to win the Olympics. Hasek pretty much won the gold by himself for the Czechs in '98 (oh shit, he was a Sabres goalie too...parallels!). And Miller is quite clearly the man, so I'm predicting gold for US. It's in the bag.

*Is this the Miracle On Ice, Part 2? Granted, all our players are NHL professionals, not scrappy amateurs, but it's still a mostly-unknown collection of young guys mixed with a few savvy vets. I looked at the roster last week, and while I admit I'm not the world's best hockey fan, I definitely thought I'd recognize more than three names. But no. Langenbrunner, Drury, and Rafalski were it. The rest are apparently 17 years old, young and hungry, taking on the biggest powerhouses in the universe. Just like 1980. Or at least that's the story I'll go with.

*In continuation of my immature antics with my girlfriend's facebook wall (she went to college in Canada, and many of her friends are Canadian), I kept up a steady barrage throughout the weekend. Among other things, I wrote that Greenland and Mexico were both better North American countries, that Crosby was better at scoring goals for the US, that Martin Brodeur should be called 'Martin Bro-Poor,' and that "the maple leaf is make believe." Really low-end, hack stuff. The reactions varied. A few people liked them and agreed, some had borderline angry reactions, and at least one person threatened to delete her as a friend.

Then something awful happened. I realized at one point that a couple of the people responding to the status messages were her ex-boyfriends. One of them even texted her after the game to say "we'll see who wins the medals." They were everywhere; it was horrifying. Here I was, making an immature little joke, rubbing my hands together in glee while I needlessly antagonized Canadians through a neutral third party, and I inadvertently re-opened communications between my girlfriend and all her former lovers.

Great. And next weekend she goes to Toronto to see a friend. I'm done. It's over. There's going to be a huge reunion, countless seductions, and all manner of emasculating horror. She'll stay in Canada for life, and in a week I'll be half naked on my living room floor, shivering in the fetal position, mumbling apologies to Sid Crosby.

Or what if she can't decide, and somehow it comes down to a hockey game between me and the other guys? You know that's how this will play out. I can't even skate, guys. The team of all her ex-boyfriends will be doing fancy tricks, and I'll be holding on to the side wall trying not to fall over. My girlfriend will feel bad for me at first, but then someone in the stands will hand her a Canadian flag, and she'll get in the spirit and start waving it while that anthem plays, and then her old boyfriends will carry her on the ice and it'll be this huge triumph.

Does anybody know how to program a phone to call someone every five minutes when they're out of town? How much do flowers cost these days? Do they sell them in New York City still? What other things could make a girl feel good slash guilty?

*Other than that, great game! Also, it sets up an exciting quarterfinal; because Canada finished 6th overall in the standings, they have to play a qualification with Germany. Once they get by them (and they will, easily), they'll have to take on the Russians. Crosby vs. Ovechkin in the quarterfinals! That's fun.

*What should we root for, as Americans? It's tempting to want Canada to lose somewhere along the line so they don't have a chance for revenge, and we can just be dicks for four years. It would suck if they beat us in the gold medal game. On the other hand, can I really root for the Russians? Yuck. Also, it'd be awesome to beat the Canadians twice to win the gold. If that happened, we should just refuse to field a national team ever again. "We made our point." But it'd also be awesome to beat the Russians for gold. I don't know, gang. I just don't know.

It's post time. Look for another around noon on the Duke-Virginia Tech game. See you then.

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