September 26, 2004

Training camp truants trip up season's start

The brightest day in almost a month may have been Sunday Morning Road Hockey's darkest hour.

Only four roadsters reported for the opening of training camp Sunday, on a pristine Fall morning after one of the soggiest Septembers ever. It was the lowest turnout for a non-snow game in league history. And some of the players say the disappointing false start to the season may signal another rebuilding year after three straight seasons of record attendance and intense competition.

"Guys are taking the game for granted, they figure they can show up whenever they damn well please," says notorious gameshow host gone bad, Wink, who's endured all of the game's ups and downs through his long career. "Training camp is huge to set the tone for the season, and today we've got four guys here and it's garbage."

"It's extremely disappointing," says Beetle Boy, who reported despite battling a pre-season cold. "Training camp is where you get in shape to be able to keep up with everybody in the game; I think the question is now, keep up with who?"

"They've forgotten where the game is truly played," says Rudy of his truant teammates. "We had an amazing finish to the last season and we should continue it right away. This is gonna slow the start of the season down for sure."

It will delay the beginning of the regular season, says fellow founding father and ad hoc league commissioner, the Living Legend, who announced an additional two weeks of training camp beginning next Sunday. And players who opt to skip all of the exhibition games will be the first to be called upon to strap on the pads during any goalie crisis in the upcoming season.

But the disspirited players, who worked out the kinks of the off-season with a lackadasical hour-long scrimmage, may not be so forgiving.

"Emotionally, it's a setback because I may have to kill somebody at work instead of killing somebody at road hockey," says Wink.

"Anytime anybody tries to pull the weather card out on me this season, I'll have to pull out the training camp card," says Beetle Boy, who's often been chided by his fellow roadsters for staying away from games when the weather turns wet.

"I was ready to play today, whatever it took," says Rudy, who's still feeling the effects of an off-season leg injury. "You just wanna get your feel for the game back together, get that sense of comraderie back again.."

Posted by jaysuburb at 05:56 PM | Comments (18)