======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
Alexa play “Tuesday’s Gone.”
Ever since I was old enough to skate, I loved hockey. If you don’t get this joke, you need to reevaluate your life.
I’ve been playing hockey since I was about five or six. My parents only remember spending thousands of dollars on what amounted to me being an above average adult league hockey player. I did well in high school, lettered for three years and scored the most goals my senior year.
Before you ask, yes this is on my resume.
I currently play in three leagues: a beer league in my home town because all of my friends play in it, a competitive league in SW Pennsylvania, and a travel team that plays in tournaments around the eastern seaboard. Adult league hockey serves several purposes in my life. It gets me out of the house. It gives me an outlet to stave off heart disease and then have a net gain in calories because I drink a lot of beer. I get to meet new people. But my most favorite thing in the world about hockey is that I love to chirp people.
There’s something about getting under people’s skin and throwing them off their game that I can’t get enough of. After high school, I was in my peak playing form and in great shape. I played in an adult league in New Jersey with my good buddy’s team. We had a cop, an ex-border patrol agent and a Marine on our team. I was good at skating and they were good at shit talking. I learned the ropes and unsurprisingly, our team would get in fights every other game.
Chirping is a science. To boil it down, you have to find the weak one, the one you will know that will blow a gasket if you give them shit. I take it as a badge of honor when I can get a reaction out of people. Chirping is part of sports. It’s one of those things you do because it’s part of the culture, and those that don’t play hockey don’t understand. You leave it on the ice. It’s as much part of the strategy of the game as having set plays. If you can get the other guy to blow up and get a penalty or get himself ejected, especially if it’s one of their better players, you do it.
A few seasons ago, we got a grown man in his 40s to jump into our bench. The guy has a known temper. It also doesn’t help that he shorter guy and he’s been in trouble with US Hockey a few times, so I knew he would try to be on his best behavior. Try is the operative word because we would dig on him, referring to him as “Elf” any time we’d skate by the net, knowing the pressure would build up and he’d blow up. On this occasion, there was a goal allowed that he disagreed with. After screaming at the ref, I yelled to him, “Call me an Elf, one more time!”
“WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU SAY!?”
I then repeated again. The guy skates over to the bench, threatens us and as he skated back to the net, a guy on my team yells that he’s going to fuck his wife. I guess that was the spark that blew the powder keg as the dude turns around and tries to jump into our bench. As the refs corral him, he is ejected. To add the finishing touch, I drop a “he’s an angry Elf.” It was quite the site to behold.
There’s a guy in my beer league on a team we don’t particularly get along with that brings his family to every game. This fellow also wears a Confederate flag on his helmet. He gets peppered every game with “heritage not hate” or we follow him down the ice with rebel yells. Once, the guy actually scored and was so happy, he made a huge production and his family went bananas. My team’s premier chirper, without missing a beat, gives him a “Your family tree looks like a wreath”. After a solemn “fuck you!” and repeated abuse, he now wears a large piece of duct tape over his stars and bars when we play.
I could go on for days all the stupid silly shit that is given and taken. There are definitely times where I think, “Bernie, are you too old to be talking shit to people over adult sports?” This usually lasts a few seconds because for better or worse, it’s part of who I am. Last season, I got two kids to attack me (both times using their hockey stick which is a big no-no in hockey). I then give them the Nolan Ryan special. I’m not out to hurt anyone, but you have to defend yourself, and it’s fairly easy to beat up a kid that looks and is built like Carl from the Walking Dead. The day I stop chirping is the day I die..
Game time pic.twitter.com/LRJ8Bt46Bs
— MadoffInvestment (@BLMInvestment) September 12, 2017