Archive for November, 2010

And You Can Suck My…

November 29, 2010

Ice hockey for the most part, is a fairly homogenous sport.  The boys, who grow up playing, are white and middle class but not always.  I had blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Catholics, Jews and Protestants on my teams.  My teams were the United Nations of ice hockey and I preferred that actually.  I had parents that held all sorts of jobs and even some with no jobs.  One particular year, I coached a bantam team of boys that were thirteen to fourteen years of age.  On this team I had twin boys that were 100% Italian and very blue collar and then a quiet player whose parents were both attorneys at big law firms.  Both sets of parents had liberal leanings and were Catholic but otherwise had nothing in common.

            The Fazios came from a family that was tied to distribution and owned car dealerships.  On paper it was all above board and unofficially, there was the classic mob activity.  Uncle Fazio was doing life for smashing the skull of someone who had crossed him with a sledge hammer.  An informant squealed and went into government protection for locating the body of the missing person that had become part of a building foundation and so Uncle Fazio was up for life.   

Joe Fazio, the father of the two boys, did some side work for his family and was a bookie.  Joe was a tall man with a receding hairline and slicked back black hair and a pencil thin moustache.  One of his twins was our goalie and the other was a defenceman.  Before every game, Joe would stand outside the door of our locker room until we emerged.  He would crack me open handed on the ass to the point of stinging my ass cheek and always say the same thing.

            “Do the best you can, babe…  All you can do is your best…”

            And to his boys he would always say the same thing to them too.

            “Mind your fucking coach…  He knows what the fuck he’s talking bout.  No fucking back talk and move your ass out there.  You two carry this fucking team…  Get it done…  Y’here me?  Fucking punks…  I love youze…”

            When we would win, Joe was ready to take everyone out for a drink and when we lost, he would get on his boys.  He’d blame the defencemen for not helping his brother and blame the goalie for being lazy.  The mother was a piece of work too.

            Antonella wore large framed glasses and had large hair that was like a helmet from pounds of hairspray.  She chewed gum constantly and swore like a sailor.  During games I could hear her swearing from the stands.

            “Get that fucking puck outta the goddamn zone, for fuck’s sake!  Wake up or get the fuck off the ice!”

            Antonella would always yell at players on our team but never at her two boys.  Her twins could do no wrong.  When they were expelled for being produce entrepreneurs at a Catholic high school, she explained to me that her boys were set up by other boys who didn’t like them.  When I asked where they got the Marijuana from, she became almost angry with me.

            “Whaddya a fucking saint?  You never did nothing as a boy?  Get the fuck outta here…  If you didn’t do fucking jail time, I’d be surprised.  You got some fucking nerve pointing fingers at my boys…  He who is without sin cast the first fucking rock.  It’s in the goddamn bible.  Look it up.”

            The word got around the bantam team quickly that the twins were doing small time dealing and got busted for selling parsley to the son of the dean.  It turns out that they hooked the dean’s son up with bogus pot and he sought retribution after the twins refused to refund his money.  None of the parents on my team said anything about what they had heard except for the attorney couple who put the screws to me after a practice.             The husband was one of those guys you see in Viagra commercial of gray haired fellows riding around on Tour de France bikes in spandex and more sponsorship patches that an Indy driver.  He would sit up in the stands with his leg crossed as if he were wearing a dress, tea bagging his Starbuck’s passion tea furiously at the early morning practices while his wife would pace and talk on her cell phone nonstop.  They lived in a large Victorian home and had several children.  They never imposed their will on me until they discouvered that the twins were dealing.  Being graduates of Berkeley in the early 1970’s, they understood what drugs could do and they were fearful that their impressionable, unassuming, meek third line skater, would be bullied into purchasing pot by the worldly dagos who were hooking up the other players on the team.  Upon learning that the boys were discharged for potentially selling drugs, I gave them both my speech in words that they could understand and relate to.  It was my duty as a coach.

            “Boys…  I probably smoked a fucking acre before I entered high school and then realized that I wasn’t going to amount to shit if I continued with drugs and booze.  You’ll both figure that out or you won’t.  What I can tell you is that if I find out that you’re doing any dealing on this team, not only will you be done playing for me, I will call my buddy who is a narc cop and make sure they put you in the fucking local boy’s town where some homo priest will be lining up your assholes every time you take a shower or a shit…  Do we have an understanding?”

            They nodded yes and generally weren’t sure what to think or say.  Either way, I trusted that they were taking me seriously and that I knew what to look for and so I had no incidents.  The attorney couple was not satisfied and decided that double jeopardy was okay when it came to this situation and demanded that I release the boys from the team for what they did at their school.  Mr. Teabag and Ms. Cell Phone were not going to take no for an answer from me.  I explained that I had discussed with the boys that I would not tolerate any drugs or sale of drugs but that was not sufficient to them.  They threatened to pull their third line son from my team if I did not expel the twins and that they would convince other parents to follow suit.  My response was as follows; Do whatever you need to do.

            The attorneys must have told their boy that they were going to yank him and he probably threw a fit and told them that they would be put into a nursing home at age fifty five if they pulled him from the team.  The players all remained and the attorney couple was very tight lipped and critical of everything I did all season.  Luckily I had alligator skin and did not care much about the delegation that the attorney couple formed to second guess every decision I made the rest of the season.  It was at a tournament that everything finally came to a head.

            My bantam AA team lost to a team of kids that probably should have played bantam AAA.  We lost in running time and the pimple faced coach from the other team, chastised a black player from my team for bumping shoulders with his goalie who was rubbing my player’s face in the defeat.  My black player asked the young coach from the opposing team a rhetorical question; how would you like to suck my big black dick?  I had to tell my player to shut his mouth while the young coach challenged my player to say the same words to him in the parking lot.  Joe Fazio heard the entire exchange and decided to reprimand the opposing team’s coach as he exited the ice to go to his locker room.

            “Coach…  You won the fucking game.  Be fucking happy and get in the fucking locker room before something happens to you that you don’t want.  You ain’t got no right saying shit to our players.  If you want, I’ll go out to the fucking parking lot with your right now.  I ain’t got nothing better to do.”

            The opposing team’s coach was short and young.  He was looking up at a deep voiced, large Italian man who relished the idea of going into the parking lot to mix it up.  The opposing team’s coach looked down and scurried into his locker room without further incident.  Ms. Cell phone came charging down the bleachers to wag her finger in big Joe’s face.

            “You are nothing but a loud mouthed asshole.  You and your whole damn family make me sick…”

            Big Joe had his hands in his pockets.  He grabbed his penis from inside his pants pocket and thrust it towards Ms. Cell Phone without raising his voice.

            “And you can suck my fucking cock, you ugly piece of shit…”

            Ms. Cell Phone responded as if she had been doused with cold water.  Her husband, Mr. Teabag-spandex-Viagra-bike rider, demanded an apology.  Instead he got a lecture from Big Joe.

            “If anyone ever talked to my wife the way I just did, he’d be collecting his fucking teeth off the fucking sidewalk… You know what I mean?  Go drink your fucking tea before you catch a smack.  Your fucking son skates like a fucking pussy and now I know where he gets it from.  You should have put him in fucking gymnastics, you fucking piece of shit…”

            It was at that point that I had to ask Big Joe to stop.  He abided and apologized to me but told me that some people should really mind their own “fucking business”.  Antonella had been drinking rum and cokes in the lounge and was unaware of the tension until she came out of the lounge with a buzz and could sense that something was amiss.  Antonella asked me rather than her husband.  I told her all that had transpired.  It was no big deal to Antonella.  She responded in a very matter of fact manner.

            “Really…  That’s what he said?  Well I hope she does suck his cock.  I been doing it for the last twenty years.  I’m ready for someone else to do it for a change.”

Detroit Sunday night fought off a two minute 5 on 3 after a high stick penalty and a hold.  Columbus managed one shot in four minutes.  Detroit has had a lot of home games and has proved they can dominate at home.  The next three are on the road beginning with San Jose.  We will see if they can maintain the top spot in the west.  So far so strong.


My Night with Toula

November 9, 2010
Men and women play organized recreational ice hockey for different reasons, primarily because they love the game.  Secondly,  I believe it is like joining fraternal orders in the past.  The Moose, Masons, Elks and so on.  Men love women but occasionally need to fraternize with other men.  I suspect it is similar for women too. 
  For me, I would much rather play pick up/shinny/rat hockey than play on a team.  More often than not, a team will have over ten guys and at thirteen to fifteen guys, it is more sitting than playing.  The hurry-up-I- wanna-get-home attitude of many referees who refuse to blow icing or let just about anything short of decapitation take place so that they don’t have to blow their whistle, puts me more on edge than I need be.  Be all that as it may, invitations come up periodically to fill in for absent paid players and I usually answer the call.
            A team of police officers needed a fill in one night and so I opted to grab my gear and head over to the local rink after all the youth teams had skated, some time before midnight on a week night.  I can’t tell you if we won or lost.  Most games are pretty unremarkable for the most part unless one scores a hat trick, gets hurt or has a good fight.  None of the above occurred for me. 
            The cops held court at a particular bar after games and so I accompanied them for the proverbial “one”.  I surmised that men primarily join teams more for the fraternity than for calorie burning.  Buckets of beer flowed for over an hour.  The average was about a six pack per player.  At 150 calories per bottle, that is about 900 calories of liquid and that does not include the nachos with cheese, chili and sour cream.  I had a good time listening to tales of drunk driving, stopping strippers from a local strip club, wife beaters, bank robbers, speeders, thieves and so on.  These men day in and day out see the worst of the worst among us.  I mixed glasses of Merlot with Sangria so that each was not too bitter or too sweet.  After about an hour, one of each drink arrived at the table compliments of a smiling woman with a pool cue in her hand.  She smiled at me and lifted her eyebrows.  The cops all kidded me and I rolled with it.  Had the woman been beautiful, there would have been no kidding but I was being pursued by a woman twice my size.  I politely raised both glasses to her from across the room as a gesture of gratitude.  After almost two hours of the lively art of conversation, I decided it was time to leave before I couldn’t leave as I was nearly drunk at that point.  I may have been already drunk come to think of it.
            As I walked towards my car, a black Trans-Am circa 1984, rumbled towards me.  The tinted window dropped and inside was my plus sized suitor.  She asked if I wanted to go for a ride.  I giggled at the invitation.  More often than not, it is a man who sends a drink across a bar to a female that has caught his eye and times the departure of the female so that he can offer a ride or a phone number.  It was a week day and I was due at work in less than six hours but decided that going for a ride was going to be worth it.  There was a better than even chance that I was going to be calling in sick.
            We drove to another bar in a blue collar area of the city to have another drink or maybe two or three.  We played pool against a couple of men who were dead serious about their pool playing.  My date single handedly destroyed them without any help from me.  At stake was a round of drinks and we won.  On top of the several drinks that I had downed with the cops and several more at the second bar, I had downed well over two thousand calories of liquid and found that when I turned my head, my vision had a two second delay.  What I learned and retained about the woman prior to incoherence was that her name was Toula and that she was Greek, never married and in her thirties.  She played competitive pool regularly and had a nephew of high school age that played ice hockey.  What Toula learned about me was that I played ice hockey, coached ice hockey, owned a few ice hockey pro shops and played music
            Upon reaching my car, I had to divulge to Toula that I was unable to drive home.  Being a good Greek girl who was not married, Toula lived at home with her parents so going to her house was out of the question.  I told Toula that we should just go to my apartment.  Toula scanned my apartment to try and gather what I was about by studying my belongings.  She saw the poster of Marlon Brando from the 1950’s on a motorcycle, books about philosophy, every book written by Kurt Vonnegut and anthologies by H.L. Mencken, my couch, television and full sized acoustic bass in the dining room all by itself on a stand.  There stood my giant violin alone.  I do recall Toula asking me to play it.  I not only played it, I sang.  I did this for probably a few minutes and then I don’t remember anything else.
            I woke up some hours later and the sun felt as if it had been up for a good part of the day.  I had a good headache going and was dehydrated.  I didn’t move at first because it hurt my eyes to blink.  I used my peripheral vision to see if I had in fact brought back home the woman who had purchased me a drink.  She was lying on her side, facing me with the palm of her hand supporting her head.
            “Good morning, sleepy head…”
            I had no choice but to acknowledge her presence.  I was missing my shirt and could feel cool sheets against my legs but wasn’t sure if I was wearing anything at all.  I reached down by hand to confirm that I had at least underwear on and I did.  I must have had a confused look on my face about a few things from the night before and so Toula filled in the blanks.
            “Um let’s see…  You played the bass for me after you took off your shirt and pants.  I told you that you looked like Mogli from the Jungle Book and you sang, “I wanna be like you” until I helped you into bed,” said Toula.
            I could have excused myself and went to the washroom to examine myself for any hints of sexual activity upon my person during the two minute long morning urination but instead I posed a question with my eyes.   Did we consummate the evening?  How did it all work?  Was I any good?  Are you on birth control?
            “You wanna know if we did something now, don’t you?  Well it wouldn’t be fair to tell you at this point…  Why don’t you put on some clothes and we can get breakfast.”
            We talked about many different things and I realized that she was really a nice person who was funny and quite easy to talk to.  I suspected her size was an impediment to finding any sort of quality male and to me that was sad.  Toula was funny and intelligent and had her act together.  The only thing she lacked was a physique that would draw men to her.  We ate breakfast and I was returned to the place I had parked my car the night before.  I hugged Toula and told her I had a great night.  She didn’t ask for my number or to see me again.  She roared off in her Pontiac and I never saw her again… Until.
            After coaching a game one night, I left the locker room after the game and walked through the lobby where the parents were waiting for their boys to shower and go home.  I rarely stopped to talk to the parents because accessibility breeds unnecessary problems.  I really don’t care to hear what parents think and if you listen to one, others soon chime in. 
            One of the mothers of one of my players who was really quite attractive, stopped me to introduce me to her sister.  I was surprised and stunned to the point of not being able to speak.
            “My sister Toula wanted to meet you…”
            I shook Toula’s hand.  She winked and told me that it was very nice to have met me.  All I could say was it was very nice to have met her too.

One game on  last night and it was a beauty in Detroit.  An overtime win for Detroit over Phoenix that could have gone either way like last year’s playoffs.  Lidstrom has nine straight games of at least a point.  That sort of effort is what Detroit will need if they want to reclaim the cup.  That and Howard will have to come up big at key times.  Six goals against will not cut it.