Monday, January 30, 2006

9 Days Off

I get 9 days off since my company is sending me to Primm, NV. Where the hell is that you ask?... about 41 miles from Las Vegas and really close to California. I could use the time off my skates since I seem to have a bruise on the bone of my ankle. The tongue of the skate really is digging in right there and keeps me in pain for some reason if I have them on. It might be time to retire them and pick up another pair.

I get to spend a week in the desert hopefully there will be something to do since it is so far out of Vegas. I would have taken my gear with me and got a few games out there but of course injuries have plagued me all season this year.

I fought off a groin strain around Christmas. Thankfully we had a two week break for the holidays. That helped recovery tremendously but my first game back wearing the bands was tragic with that much time off. I fought off an ankle problem early in the season but now it is bruised which is the same as injuring it. I am scheduled for 5 games this week as an official and am supposed to play in one. Needless to say I will ref one and skip the playing.

I am not sure why I even had the league admin put me on a team since I am never in town or physically able to play.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Hey Ref, Get A Dog!

The most original put down we have ever heard come from a fan's mouth. At least it wasn't the normal cliche crap that they often think means something to us. I often laugh at them for using the same lines game after game. It gets old really quick but they don't seem to think so.

You've got to call it both ways... still my favorite one to hear coming over the glass. Funny thing is I still don't understand exactly what that means to this day. How do you call it both ways?

I am a hockey official. My job is to keep the game safe and fair. Safety first and fairness second; the fans are always willing to let us know when either objective has not been obtained. The objectives are the thing that crack me up about the "calling it both ways" comment. You can't stay safe and fair and even off penalties just because the crowd thinks you should. Someone is always going to be mad; I'm fine with that.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Too many fights....

Wow, is all I can say after last night's first game of the evening. It was a very hard fought game between two teams I would have never thought were an even match. We were about 3 minutes into the first period when a scrum started in front of one of the goalkeepers.

Punches were thrown and since I was one of the linesmen I got the pleasure of going in to break it up. It wasn't too tough going in and locking them up but I remember the one that I had to take being a little taller than me and being really fired up. Once I had him pulled away I had to remind him not to start punching on me or resisting or he would get the skate of shame. I hate that.

Interestingly enough, the guy that started the first scrum got the skate of shame later in the game. He ended up with a few too many double minors and got the gate for 5 penalties in one game. Serves him right he was the trouble maker the entire game.

I only had three games left to do afterwards. I felt bad that after the high school games I had an adult game that I would care nothing about due to physical fatigue. Once your out of it physically the mind goes shortly after. For me it's almost immediately; I'll have to work on that.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

First Adult League Game as a Player

I hate being p.c. but it is the men's league with a few women out there too. I give them credit they are trying and you have to start somewhere. Maybe if I wanted to be more p.c. I should call it what it is; the Beer League.

It's not uncommon these days to see the ladies on ice. In a lot of cities they often have a choice to play in the women's league. Hell this is Memphis, we're lucky to have a sheet of ice to play on these days so that's not an option here. Beggars can't be choosers, and that goes for any of us. I get plenty of ice but that is because I usually ref around 80 games a season. This season I am going to play 12 on top of that. I played like shit tonight so it should make for a good time either way.

I have to ref 4 later on today: 1 adult and 3 high school games. I'm sure my body will be pretty miserable afterwards but that should be it for this week.

I actually have another adult game as a player Thursday but I will be in Hot Springs, AR for the beginning of live horse racing that night. It's actually one of my favorite days over there with the exception of the last day of live racing, either way it should be a great time.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Happy Dr K Day

As I sit here writing this I wonder how many other people actually get this day off? I am shocked after years and years of not getting any holidays off at all; that now I get every bank holiday there is.

I remember MLKJ Day in 97' was one of the best trips that my buddies and I ever took together. We had traveled all over the country during the summer always going to drum corps shows to visit friends on tour. I remember I was about 19 at the time and we all decided to go skiing / snowboarding because the KKK was having a rally in Memphis that weekend.

None of us had ever been before so we all packed the warm clothes and piled in the cars and headed for the North Carolina border. Amazingly I remember the night before it actually snowed in Memphis which is extremely unusual. Once we arrived we stocked up on all of the beer you could fit into the refridgerator and then headed for the mountain. After a hard day on the slopes it was truly unbelievable none of us had the energy to consume any beverages that night. I was extremely bruised and battered; that snowboard really beat the shit out of me the first day.

The next day there was a blizzard coming down out of the sky so we ended up getting stranded away from our condo since none of us had four wheel drive. Some locals gave us a ride up the mountain and the next morning when we were departing they ended up with a lot of beer as a gift of appreciation. Pretty much all the beer that we bought and never touched.

And the whole reason we got out of town that weekend: Memphis made national news coverage after the police tear gased the protestors. The KKK a bunch of ignorant bastards staged a protest protected by the first amendment of the Constitution of our great country. Another big bunch of dumbasses gathered to protest the KKK and gave the police the opportunity to practice their crowd control training.

Ignorance must truly be bliss.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Tivo Junkie

Man if it weren't for that damn Tivo I might get some things done on the weekends. I generally end up sitting around trying to watch some of the 36 hours of Alias, 13 hours of Jag, 15 hours of Charmed, and 12 hours of Angel that I have recorded. When I am not reffing hockey that is. Not forgetting that I also record Dog the Bounty Hunter, My Name is Earl, and my new fav Rollergirls during the week but watch them easily since they are only half an hour long. I'd probably have Buffy recorded too but it comes on the same time slot as Angel so that fucks that up.

What can I say? I worked in the casino business for the last 5 years so prime time television wasn't something I ever got to see. It just seems like I am overwhelmed with more tv to watch than I have seen in the last 10 years. What a product; I now officially watch more television than I would if I hadn't bought the Tivo.

I recently stumbled across two blogs that I now seem to read constantly.

Check them out when you have the chance. I enjoy them thoroughly.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The game we love

I recently read some posts in the current USA Hockey Magazine about the reason people love the game. I figured I could take a minute to explain why I love the game and post it in my blog, since I would never send a piece of writing like that to USA Hockey.

I love the game of hockey; so much that all of the hours and pain I give to the game should make that quite apparent. It's a living breathing animal that is actually hard to comprehend some days and other days the simplicity of it is remarkable. The game is the one daily reminder for me what hard work and fundamentals can do for anyone. I have friends from all over the world and who have played all over the world. We all have one thing in common: hockey. Some are good at it some are not so good at it. A few of us make money at it and others are just there for the camradarie that goes with being a part of it.

Amazingly in my mothers last days she was still a season ticket holder of the pro team in the area. It had become part of her identity just as it had been mine for years and years. After a while you realize all the dedication it has taken over the years is just something that can't go away overnight. Some times we can take a break from it but you can't stay away from it forever.

The game is still the best friend I have. No matter how many bad habits I have it still is able to keep me healthy and baffle the doctors every time I am there.

I recently met a female friend that I am debating becoming involved with in the complicated sense; but I often wonder if she will share in the same love that I have and that my mother also came to know?