December 29, 2003

Mad Roadster scourge casts pall

A pair of ugly slashes by the usually mild-mannered Kid in Sunday's game, a vicious chop by Unabomber that sent the Living Legend to the sidelines for a shift as well as the recent public war of words between New Guy and the Colonel has some roadsters fearful of a newfound Mad Roadster scourge.

Seemingly extinguished with the retirement of renowned tempermental tyrants Philderama and Lumberjack, short fuses seem to have reignited in recent weeks, inflaming passions and alighting acrimony on the courts.

"It's very scary," says Beetle Boy, who left Sunday's game early after slipping on a patch of frozen slush while battling along the boards with the Living Legend, twisting his ankle.

"Some people get a little aggressive, it's part of the game," says Unabomber.

"Tempers just start to get loose when it's a close game," says Bird. "There's always frustration when everyone is sliding into each other."

Perhaps most shocking was the Kid's vicious two-hander across the shaft of Unabomber's stick as they struggled for possession of the evil orange plastic ball deep in the corner, a thunderous hack that echoed across the courts and stopped the other roadsters in their tracks. Known more for his scoring prowess and his ability to make his statements to the top corners of the net, the Kid's attack was as unprecedented as it was violent.

"It's very disconcerting," says Beetle Boy. "You're looking at your teammates, you're looking at your opponents, you don't know who the mad roadster is."

And that's got some roadsters calling for action, before the violence gets out of hand.

"I guess once we see the results of an infected roadster, I guess we'll have a better idea of what we're up against," says Elvis, who's demanding an inquiry.

"The danger is we all get contaminated and everyone's game goes to hell," says Beetle Boy. "In order to protect the integrity of the game, I think we have to ban the mad roadster."

Posted by jaysuburb at 08:13 AM | Comments (7)

December 28, 2003

Waiting for the goals

They say good things come to those who wait. Sunday, Elvis and his mates waited out their depleted opponents to score three straight goals late in the game, eking out a 21-19 overtime victory.

With only one spare player on each side, neither could afford to lose a man to injury. But that's just what happened midway through the third period, when Beetle Boy left the court with a twisted ankle after he slipped on a patch of frozen slush. And the countdown to his side's demise was on.

"I think fatigue was an obvious factor," says Elvis, as his side pressed the play late in the game to construct their comeback from a 19-18 defecit.

"They didn't have any subs, they just got tired towards the end," says Bird.

"We just didn't have the endurance," says Unabomber of his side's shorthanded shortcomings. "The tank was empty, we were left walking around too much, nobody had the energy to backcheck."

Although, at first, it seemed Beetle Boy's retreat might actually spark his team, who seemed to play with renewed intensity and purpose after he left the game. Wink crashed the boards and even snuck behind the defense to create scoring opportunities. Nibs' rediscovered his rapier shot. Their lead at match point was actually their first of the game.

"We knew we had to pick it up and compensate," says Unabomber. "Losing a two-way guy like Beetle, and the fresh pair of legs, we knew we'd be gassed if we went the distance."

"They knew in the long run, it was going to be a tough game for them, so they wanted to try to get ahead as much as they could" says Elvis. "But we weren't having any of that."

With their backs against the wall, Elvis and his mates refused to panic. Billy Idol, making his first goaltending start of the season, overcame a shaky start to shut the door, repeatedly robbing Nibs as he roamed through the crease. And with an explosive forward like Kid firing the offense as the wily veteran, the Living Legend, distracted diminished defenders, it was only a matter of time before they prevailed.

"You could tell the Kid really benefitted from Living Legend's decoy ability," says Bird.

"We knew we had to keep the ball moving around, and they wouldn't be able to keep up," says Elvis. "We were lucky enough to be able to keep the goals going."

Posted by jaysuburb at 04:25 PM | Comments (4)

December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas....

...to all the roadsters out there!

Unfortunatly I will be forced to miss Sundays game to service the demands of my employer! Before anyone sheds a tear for me, you should know my work will take me to the Bahamas, if only for a day!

Posted by at 12:35 AM | Comments (2)

December 21, 2003

Wink comes clean

I, Wink, being of somewhat sound mind and really bad body, admit that I took the pre-game shoot-around at road hockey today for two reasons:

(1) To send my holiday wishes to my fellow roadsters;

(2) To keep me from breaking the "If you don't show up, you can't trash talk," rule that I've been so vocal in support of.

Posted by at 07:03 PM | Comments (10)

Backstop's boozy bender backfires

Gump's Saturday night excess gave his team a headache Sunday morning, as the suffering shotstopper and his disspirited mates stumbled to a 20-10 rout in Sunday's game.

While the veteran goaltender is no stranger to playing his way into form following one of his legendary benders, he never seemed to be able to get on track Sunday, flailing at looping long shots and kicking out soft rebounds to waiting forwards. And with every weak goal, his teammates' heads bowed lower.

"As soon as your team sees you let one of those long ones in, they lose confidence in you, and that brings them down," says the disconsolate goalie. It was just such a goal, on a long shot to his glove side that he should have stopped, that seemed to sink his struggling team after they had gamely battled to close the score to 9-8; they were outscored 10-2 the rest of the way.

"We were coming together, and then things just unravelled," says Bulldog of his side's second-half swoon.

"Gump just fell apart, he couldn't carry it for us," says Billy Idol. "We had some great goals, we had made some great passes and we were battling for the rebounds, we thought we were in the game."

As Gump struggled through his hangover haze, his opponents were only too eager to take advantage.

"You sure try to put it behind him, if you can," says the Colonel, who may have scored one of the most dazzling goals of the season when he streaked out of the corner, shifted the evil orange plastic ball through his feet and launched a rapier shot past the beleaguered goaltender.

"I think we just stuck to what we were doing, we kept perservering," says Unabomber.

With the rout at full tilt, Gump's thoughts turned to Gravol; the end of the game spelled relief.

"You pray for the end of the game so you can go home and sleep on the couch," says the queasy creaseminder. "Your stamina suffers, it's hard to get up and down, hold onto rebounds."

But for his teammates, the pain was just beginning.

"When you've got a teammate who has substance abuse problems, that creates problems in the locker room, problems on the court," says Billy Idol. "It seems like our goaltender gave up today."

Posted by jaysuburb at 03:47 PM | Comments (5)

December 14, 2003

Comeback shuts up New Guy

The war of words between New Guy and seemingly the rest of the roadsters may finally be taking its toll.

Sunday, the fast-talking forward could only score twice as his team squandered an 18-17 to lose, 21-19. He was also ineffective last week in his side's 20-15 defeat.

Some of the roadsters say it may not be a coincidence that New Guy's scoring touch has dried up as his trash-talking tirades in the weeks preceeding the past two games have heated up.

"New Guy is definitely off his game," says Elvis, who's been a frequent target of his nemesis' name-calling.

"The players who are doing the trash talking don't seem to be winning much," says Gump, who got the win Sunday after quietly returning to the lineup from a two-week hiatus.

New Guy says he hasn't let his off-court insults distract from his game on the court. "It's all good-natured, it's all tongue-in-cheek."

But there's little doubt all the verbal sparring between games has kicked up the intensity of play during games. Sunday's game was a back-and-forth struggle in a cold driving rainstorm. And last week's was one of the most intense, hard-fought matches of the season.

"It adds a little more excitement to the game," says Beetle Boy, who defied his most vocal critics by playing in Sunday's game despite the rain. "We've already had a couple of challenges between people who've been sniping back and forth to each other. It makes people wanna show up after they've made their comments and play their hardest."

"I sort of get fueled off it," says Elvis, who's tough checking along the boards late in Sunday's game seemed to spark his team to their rally to victory. "You can't talk a lot of trash and then not show up for the game."

And, at the end of the day, says Gump, games aren't decided by the trash talking that goes on during the week. "You should always play by instinct, not by talk. It's your stats that show up at the end."

Posted by jaysuburb at 03:39 PM | Comments (17)

Poor Wink

I'm too upset to play today.

Wink

Posted by at 08:59 AM | Comments (22)

December 12, 2003

Special Surprise For Sunday?

There may be a special surprise for this Sunday's game. All available participants should try to make it out for the game.

Further information as it becomes available, or, not.

Posted by at 10:20 PM | Comments (19)

December 10, 2003

Lobsterboy to Canucks?

Sources told me that the Canucks' first pick for a back-up goalie for last night's game wasn't the UBC kid, but Lobsterboy.
He turned them down because he was afraid of feeling the wrath of the Commissioner for playing "unsanctioned ice hockey."

Posted by at 08:51 AM | Comments (5)

December 07, 2003

Happy, happy day for road hockey

The ironman streak is gone. The Shangrila streak is at one.

It was a happy, happy day for road hockey Sunday, as the roadsters shared hot dogs and Krispy Kreme donuts, along with guzzling a few beers, after a hard-fought, entertaining 20-15 contest.

Oddly enough, the game's most devoted supporter and senior player, the Living Legend, wasn't on hand for one of its grander days. He was tending to a personal situation, and that ended his ironman streak at a reported 223 games.

"It was strange for him to not be there," said Wink, the only other player remaining from the game's early days at the tennis courts. "There was something missing.

"But guys really did pick up the slack."

They certainly did. There was a fear that the contest would be filled with donnybrooks, melees, brouhahas or other really cool words meaning fights, thanks to the plethora of trash talk on the league web site. The barking and banter even led to a beer challenge between Ottoman and Colonel; Colonel would get a brewski for every goal he scored on Ottoman, and Ottoman would get two road pops for every marker his team won by.

Obviously touched by the pending nuptials for Trista and Ryan, both Ottoman and Colonel showed up in good spirits. Colonel brought a BBQ and the dogs and Ottoman showed up with the donuts, and both brought gallons of beer.
Colonel won the challenge, scoring six times (or something like that) to lead his team to the win.

"I was a little worried that something bad was going to happen," Lak told Wink, not knowing that he was going to be quoted for this story. "But everything turned out just fine."

Other highlights included Wink passing to New Guy, even though New Guy pissed him off, and Unabomber explaining that Guinness beer is a breakfast supplement.

Posted by at 10:33 PM | Comments (15)

Ironman streak ends

The Living Legend's ironman streak is over. The fellow founding father missed Sunday's game to attend to a family emergency in a faraway city. It was his first scratch from the Sunday Morning lineup in more than three years.

"It was shocking," says notorious gameshow host gone bad, Wink, the only other roadster who's career spans every era of Sunday Morning Road Hockey. "It was really kinda frightening to see the game without our leader, without our heart and soul."

"I can't even begin to wrap my head around that," says Elvis, who had never played a game in his career without the Living Legend on the court. Until Sunday.

The Legend's longetivity is all the more remarkable in that he's also the game's oldest player. While other roadsters may cower from the rain or snow, he's usually the first player at the courts, sweeping standing water into the drains or working on his patented shot from impossible angles.

"You just have to have him around," says Billy Idol, another roadster for whom the Legend has been a constant presence throughout his tenure. "We're not going to have anybody off in the corner for those backhand shots."

But, says Wink, the Legend's contribution to the game goes far beyond his knuckleball shot.

"I think it's really important for any of the senior guys to really show the younger guys what it means to be commited. Part of the reason we've been going through these great seasons is because of these guys who've stuck it out and taught the younger guys what it means to show up every week in the rain, snow or sleet."

It's a lesson not lost on the game's newer players.

"He gives guys something to look up to," says Rudy, who had his first flirtation with the game only three seasons ago, before becoming a full-time player last season. "We need those guys to set an example for the young guys."

And with the Legend absent, that role fell to the game's other stalwart veterans.

"To fill his shoes for even one week was pretty daunting," says Wink. "It was a frightening challenge, to have to make the decisions and to step up and really show some leadership."

For another veteran, it was an opportunity to showcase his own waning talents.

"Everybody has to miss a week now and then," says Paul One. "(Without the Legend) it was a lot more freewheeling, there's not an extra body sort of clogging things up."

Posted by jaysuburb at 10:23 PM | Comments (2)