Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Triage

Whoadie got skates...
Last night, I saw the Flyers win a battle of two titans shitty hockey teams. Peter Forsberg scored two absolutely stunning goals and basically had his way with the Blackhawks all night. Robert Esche was solid in goal and registered a shutout. Nobody else on either team displayed anything better than rudimentary hockey skill. It was sad, and I felt bad for Forsberg, who is probably the best player of his generation outside of Mario Lemieux but has to carry a team that collectively skates like Frankenstein and stickhandles like a janitor with a pushbroom.

But that’s not the real story. The real story is that the Flyers attempted to set a Guinness world record for collective wig wearing. There is some dispute over whether or not this was successful.* Like any good sports fan and Flyer hater, I declined to participate in such a hokey promotion. They offered me a wig on my way in the door, and I said “why on earth would I want an orange wig?” and left it at that. Hockey games are marketed like minor league baseball but in a much more desperate way. There is some schmuck who MCs the whole game, making Catskill-quality wokka-wokka jokes during commercial timeouts. Earlier this season they had a super-plastic actress doing 50% of that job, brimming with phony enthusiasm like she was plucked from an infomercial, she quickly drew vicious boos and heckles from the faithful.

I understand that hockey is on the outs, and I won’t get into the reasons. But they have really fixed up the game itself. Now you see a bunch of fundamentally sound, clean checks and a lot of skating. It’s how it should be, only without enough fighting. But if the only way you can think to sell a sport is with kitchy Chuck E. Cheese bullshit, your problems must run really deep. The game is still too outsized for its own good. This is obviously not one of the four major sports outside of Canada and the northern states, and it’s absurd to charge prices like it is, especially if you’re offering an entertainment package that basically trivializes the game.
Now, if you really want to try to set a Guinness world record, you need to make like our good friends (real friends, not internet people called “friends”) over at the “It’s Alive Show” in Pittsburgh Motherfucking Pennsylvania. They got some 894 zombies together at Monroeville Mall (where Dawn of the Dead was filmed) in an attempt to break the world zombie clusterfuck record, which may or may not be held by The Ghost of Chris Tucker From the Future. Do you think the Steelers would ever have a zombie world record promotion? Well, maybe now, but not three weeks ago.

*The Orlando Sentinel is sure that the 20,562 wigs worn at Quicken Loans Arena on February 21st, 2006 is the real record for “Most Wigs Worn at a Sporting Event,” although this was categorized as the “Most Wigs in a Single Venue” record because it took place before a game, not during a game. Last night’s 9,315 wig wearers broke a March 19th record set at The Palace of Auburn Hills. This is ridiculous.

[NHL.com: Flyers lose less than Blackhawks, get 2 points- Video of Forsberg goals here]
[It's Alive Show]
[Post-Gazette slide show: Eating sweetbreads in the foodcourt]
[Orlando Sentinel: Merkin envy]