straps on the goalie pads in one of the last starts of his road
hockey career, during an ill-fated comeback attempt more than a
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says so long
Oft-injured roadster officially retires
by Jay Suburb
Sexboy has officially announced his retirement.
In a hastily called press conference, the outspoken roadster
confirmed what veteran players had long suspected since he limped off
the courts with a swollen, twisted ankle almost two years ago.
"It played a big role," says Sexboy of his final,
devastating injury. "You try to put it behind you, but there comes
a day when that injury is playing just a little too clear in your mind."
Sexboy says his fears were confirmed when he tried a brief
comeback early last season. After a summer of rehabilitation and despite
receiving medical clearance, he knew he could never again be the player
he once was.
"You're going into the corners and you're a little
too cautious, a little bit too careful, and it can't help but take a
toll on your game and your whole mental outlook," says Sexboy.
"When you can't play to the level you once did, life kinda changes
Even a brief dalliance with the goaltender's position
couldn't salve his fears, or reignite the competitive fire in his belly.
"I found that to be a frustrating experience,"
says Sexboy of his creaseminding crucible. "My reflexes and ability
just weren't what they once were, and it's just so frustrating to not
be performing to a level that you were once able to."
Depleted and demoralized, Sexboy says he turned his back
on the game. But, until this week's pronouncement, he remained reluctant
to sever himself from it completely. He says a part of him was in denial.
"You're into the competitive thrill of Sunday Morning
Road Hockey and it burns, it hurts a lot," says Sexboy of the lingering
emotional ache that kept him from making his retirement a finality.
"But over time, the void fills. You move on and the pain isn't
so sharp anymore."
Sexboy's retirement is another fissure to Sunday Morning
Road Hockey's storied past. One of the original Philbuds who first joined
the courts midway through its formative season, he played alongside
and against some of the game's greats, Goaltending Stalwart Wawrow,
Sniper Dave, Guido and the Henchman, all of whom beat him through the
doors of the road hockey retirement home.
And no longer having the comraderie of those familiar
faces may have dulled his zeal to resurrect his career, says Sexboy.
"Those fellows have made a similar decision I'm confronting
in terms of moving on, and that's on your mind because they are my contemporaries,"
says Sexboy. "Those guys were part of what I was getting out of
the league, they were part of what kept me going every Sunday."
One of Sunday Morning Road Hockey's most colorful and outspoken players,
Sexboy said he'd like to be remembered as much for his contributions to
the game's spirit as much as to its scoresheets. In fact, his sideline
tales of ribbald adventures and derring do earned him his nickname. And
he was always quick with a quote for the road hockey press.
"Those were always the fun moments," said Sexboy, "the
quick-witted repartee with the media after the game."
But the glare of the media spotlight was also a curse, and two seasons
ago, just before his devastating ankle injury, Sexboy renounced his prized
nickname for fear of a backlash from politically-correct do-gooders. The
moniker was subsequently sold in an online auction to Bulldog, who chose
not to reactivate it.
Late last season, as he mused about his future in the game, Sexboy admitted
he'd made a mistake, and repatriated his identity.
"Truly I played as Sexboy," he said then. "I prefer to
be remembered as Sexboy."
Sunday's game was forecast to start in another rainstorm, but the
precipitation held off and the road hockey courts teemed with a near-record
turnout. But two full lines, plus one extra player, for each side presented
its own challenges.
"I thought the pace was a lot quicker," said Beetle Boy.
"It changes the game a bit," said Wendel, who made his first
appearance at the courts this season. "I didn't recognize anybody,
you've gotta figure them out."
And with the kind of fire power lined up on his side of the court,
it wasn't hard for Wendel to figure out his team would roll to victory.
With a lineup bolstered by Lak Attack, the Kid, Guy Called Mike and the
Colonel, their decisive 25-19 win should have been easy.
It was anything but.
Led by the Captain, playing his first game of the season, and talented
rookie, Yzzy, who showed an immediate nose for the net, the feisty underdogs
fought gamely to keep the score close, twice clawing their way back from
three goal defecits. Their resurgence was further boosted by the late
addition of the Living Legend, who missed the game's start to service
the needs of his exploitative employer. He had an immediate impact, scoring
three times on his first shift, and setting up Yzzy for another.
"He gave us a lift," said Beetle Boy, of the founding father's
newfound offense. "He came in with some fresh legs which helped us
out a bit."
In fact, the underdogs had a 17-16 lead. But they couldn't hold it.
"I think we were tired," said Beetle Boy. "They had a lot
of firepower, so when you get a little tired, you make one little mistake
and you're screwed."
"We had what it took to win," said Wendel.
The Living Legend's late arrival preserved his status as Sunday Morning
Road Hockey's reigning ironman, a streak stretching almost two full seasons.
But another founding father wasn't so fortunate, as notorious gameshow
host gone bad, Wink, missed his first game in almost a year to travel
out of town to service the onerous demands of his exploitative employer.
Also out of Sunday's lineup were the Hired Gun and Hollywood.