That used to be my answer to the question “whats the hardest fun thing you’d like to try once?’. Ok, really, the answer is actually having sex standing up in a hammock, but putting that in the title might invite God knows what with respect to searches from The Google. One thing I never want to try is a manuever I watched a 6’3″, 213 lb man do last night, by the name of Shea Weber.
I’ve been in my share of fistfights, in fact, I’ve been in your share of fights as well. I remember my first. I was cowering in the dining room of our family’s house, afraid to go out and face a kid named Joey Heffington, who was standing in our yard, calling me out. I was around 9 yrs old. This did not sit well with my big brother, who, in my opinion at the time, should have gone out and handled this piece of business for me. But noooooooo, he gave me two rather frightening options….go out and confront that kid, or, be forced to defend myself from him. I went outside. It was the day I realized that, properly motivated, I could fight. I played alot of sports growing up, and was fast, coordinated, and strong for my size. Still, through-out my life I have been, while sober at least, hesitant to start a brawl, but never afraid to engage if threatened.
Well, I think I’d rather square off against the entire Titan defense than fight Shea Weber. When the fight started, he took two roundhouse rights (when you throw a punch wearing a Michelin-man suit, thats the main weapon in your arsenal, it seems) to the back of his head from a much larger opponent. In the time it took for me to stand up to watch, Weber had thrown down his oven mitts, and sent a furious volley of punches toward the other guy’s face, and, by my count, had a 100% punch/thrown punch/connected ratio. Impressive, sure, but pretty standard stuff. At some point, (and, may I add, I absolutely love the fact that the zebras just kind of hang back and smoke awhile before they intervene) his opponent got behind him and I feared the worst for our little friend from British Columbia….
Not to worry. Mr. Weber, about to be assaulted from behind, (and not in the prison sense, though I wonder what the refs might do if that were the case) simply dipped his shoulder, completely reversed his feet, spun around and landed an upper-cut that snapped the Edmonton Oiler’s ugly head back. Took the fight right out of the guy. He managed to wrap Weber up enough to fall onto the ice with him, which caused the refs to stop twittering and break it up. Weber did all this WHILE WEARING ICE SKATES. I’ve been ice skating. I’ve been enough times that i can safely shuffle along the pony wall (hanging on, of course) without busting my shapely ass or causing a disasterous multi-skater pileup. (Which is what happened the few times I ventured near the center of the rink) I always leave with sore knees or a busted coccyx, or both. Needless to say, I am in awe of anyone that can skate and chew gum at the same time.
I mention all of this because John Lamb helped me scratch off yet another thing on my Bucket List. (Next up, bring on the Olsen twins!) He invited me to a fight, and all of a sudden, a hockey game broke out. I’m from out West, and hockey hadn’t yet branched out beyond ridiculously frigid places like Minnesota or the Saskatchewan Province. It always seemed like a frozen soccer game to me, meaningless back and forth “action” with the occassional happy climax when someone scored. (Did i really just type that?) Plus, you hardly ever hear of a hockey player named Rodriquez or Lopez. Anyway, i never understood the appeal, but I put it on my list anyway. Boy, is it fun to watch. Even without the fights, it is an engaging game. My bloodlust, which is usually only satiated by watching a cornerback blindside a reciever coming across the middle, was satisfied by something they call “checking”, which is the act of slamming an opponents face into the plexiglass walls that encircle the rink. Did you know these guys actually pass the puck to each other? Then, when there is just the slightest opening, they rear back with their sticks, and slam the puck toward the guy who looks like Jason from the Halloween movies. Most of the time, miraculously, he stops it or even catches it. Unbelievable. These guys can skate at the speed of light, and change direction in a millesecond. I am now a fan.
So, yea, a great game. We were behind in the third quarter, but I think it was Sullivan who scored two quick goals to tie, and send the game into OT. Then, for some reason, one of the Oiler players decided to go sit down, which set up a distinct advantage for us, called, I believe, a power play. With about a minute left, (Thanks Paul!) we scored. Lots of hugging and groping after that, and not just by me and John. The players celebrate each goal, in fact, as well they should.
So, John, thanks so much for taking a break from intimidating all those scary English-Only folks and asking me out to the game. I had a great time.