Volume 95, Issue 67

Friday, February 1, 2002
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New England ready to be Rammed

Birthday boy celebrates with a bang

Praying to the puck gods

The World of Mustang

Praying to the puck gods

Slacktose Intollerant
Chris Lackner
C&C Editor

The sound of a puck hitting crisp, smooth ice.

It may not have the same spiritual resonance as a church bell, but for many of us, it inspires the same euphoria as religion.

What is it that makes a fat man paint himself blue and dance half-naked in the Air Canada Centre? What inspires Don Cherry to sport suits that most men should be shot for wearing? The hockey gods, of course.

Now, you might call me crazy – and you might just be right – but I'd certainly call myself a believer. Somewhere out there, a pantheon of immortals oversee Canada's favourite game. Sometimes passionate, sometimes indifferent, they pull the strings when the players hit the ice.

Well hockey gods, I hope you're listening. Here come a couple of prayers nicely interspersed with a small dose of bitching.

First of all – I don't want to mince words here – Canada deserves to win the gold medal at the Olympics. Don't screw with me and allow some yahoo European team to win in a shoot-out or let some hot goalie steal a game for an otherwise lacklustre squad. You omnipotent bastards know as well as I do that Canada could beat any team in a seven-game series. It's been a while my immortal friends – if we don't win, I'm taking the Wayne Gretzky rookie card off my hockey god altar.

Secondly – please let Eric Lindros get flattened again some time soon. I don't necessarily want to see his career end, but I've always enjoyed seeing him get pummeled like a rag doll. In a related story – I am also an asshole. However, to defend myself, I think Eric enjoys a higher status within the international league of jerk-offs than yours truly.

Let's be serious here – how much elixir of youth did you give Detroit Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman to feed his team of senior citizens? Was that fair? Will it run out soon? I'm just waiting for the day the whole team rapidly ages and collectively moves into a retirement home.

Quick question: does the French hockey god go through periods of hibernation throughout the year or does he just have a cruel sense of humour?

Some days it seems the Montreal Canadians have a legitimate shot of making the playoffs again. Then I wake up the next day and four of their star players have been hit by a bus or eaten by wild goats or felled by some other ridiculous fate. Get it together gods – consistency anyone? Please?

On the subject of your benevolence – allow the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Stanley Cup this year. Although I am, admittedly, a Boston Bruins fan, I'd love to see the good ol' Leafs hoist Lord Stanley. Plus, I like drinking and I am more than ready for what would be the party of a lifetime.

Closing rant: why did you allow Larry Robinson to be fired? He's a good guy – get him a new coaching job – now.

Finally, just for the Olympics – let the Russians go back to being Communists. They were so much more fun to play when we thought they were evil.

Done and done. I'm not asking for much – make me a believer.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001