Thursday, April 16, 2015

Coloured & Striped Balls, Swimming, and Hockey

So the unthinkable has happened.  I jumped on the bandwagon and decided to join a hockey pool.  More accurately, I decided for the playoffs, a pool would be a good thing to participate in.  So I took the plunge and dove right in, if you will.  (See what I did there?  Glad you liked it...I'll be here all week, folks!)

Said pool happens to be made up mainly of people that actually have a clue what they are doing and have watched hockey more than once in the past decade.  People who understand how to make up their "fantasy" team with all the right folks from all the teams who were playing in the playoffs.  ( a team that you create for a hockey pool what the kids nowadays call a "fantasy" team?  I'm not up on all the hip lingo.)

Definitely part of my fantasy...
TEAM!  Part of my fantasy team!

I figured it might be a good idea to actually find out what teams were going to be playing.  I guess.  It would probably be embarrassing to choose someone from the Oilers or something.  At least I had no fear of being embarrassed by picking someone from the Leafs...even I know better than to do something that silly!  I will admit though, I did have a moment of wondering if Gretzky, Messier, or Yzerman were on any of the playoff teams (yeah, yeah, I am aware that would have been way more than a decade ago!).

The interwebs helped me with the list of the teams.  Ok, step one done.  Now to pick the players.

Of course I had a strategy.

Nothing works better than trying to pick players with really awesome names that feel good to say.  That's how it works, right?

Then I realized that I now know names mainly based in the land of retired guys.

Oh.  That probably will not work.  I decided that perhaps the magic of the interweb, the world wide net, would help me a lot.  The next logical step was to then click on each team and choose accordingly.

I clicked the first team and scanned the list and blinked.  Audibly.  Who the heck are all these people?  And they all have awesome names.  How am I going to choose?  This project was beginning to look like it would take all weekend and thinking might be involved.  Hmm...I was going to have to figure out a way to keep thought at a minimum because the sun was out and I really needed to get out there, not sit in front of the computer...thinking!  That is what weekdays are for.

Scanning the roster, much to my chagrin, the stats on the right were beginning to beckon.  Slowly, I began to tear my eyes away from actual names.  I started to look at the numbers, the wheels started to turn (the figurative ones in my head; I wasn't on a bicycle or anything), and logic took over.  I looked at some of the best stats, the players they belonged to, then chose a name...and to be honest, once I chose a name, I murmured it to myself to see how it rolled off the tongue, like whispering a spell or a prayer.  If, once I uttered the name, if I realized I had heard it before, that was part of my decision on whether to choose or not.  Hey!  There has to be some instinct involved in this.  I didn't always choose players based on whether they had the very best stats but strong stats nonetheless.

The next thing I know, I begin to feverishly go through every team, ensuring to look for forwards, defensemen and for goalies; the delicate dance to determine the right combination of players without making the fatal mistake of allowing a team to appear more than once in my list.  I scanned faster and faster, deciding almost became like breathing.  Until I entered the name of the very last player.

Then I sat back.  Shaking off the feeling of having been under a spell, I surveyed my new hockey pool team.  I looked at every name and said them all once more.  And it was good.  I grinned in satisfaction.

I still can't believe I had gotten so into it.  That I am now watching the games, yelling at the TV and concernedly paying close attention to who scored, who assisted, and who won.  I have become one of those people.

And now I watch.  And wait.  GAME ON!

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