Hatred From the AHL On DownShareThis
My apologies for not getting a blog up yesterday – the sad reality is, it could be happening a bit more often over the next month. I expect to slow down to a Down Goes Brown posting rate (poor), minus his level of quality (amazing).
Tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM, I’m heading back to God’s Country (the Okanagan), which is at the front of a busy travel month for me, and um, I don’t own a laptop. Seriously. I use the one my fiancee got as a gift for getting through grad school, and I’ve almost run this thing into the ground.
Sooo, I’ll be on my parents computer in the mornings when I can, and if I can plunk out an entry or two during our fantasy camp from The Cove Resort, I will. Just know that our event is sponsored by Okanagan Spring Brewery, and they donate 60 DOZEN beer (for four days & 35 guests), soooo, those entries may not be of the utmost quality. Moving on.
I refuse to discuss any more Ilya until something discussable happens. Discuss. Or wait, I mean, don’t discuss.
Here’s something we can all enjoy:
Justin Bourne’s (Non-NHL) ”I Hate That F**king Franchise” List
Hmm, this seems like a good way to ensure I never get hired by the following list of teams and lose a few fans. Nice idea for a blog, a-hole.
Basically, this idea came from some light-hearted Twitter banter, where I bashed a certain BCHL team and got some playful responses. I mean no harm, loyal fans of stupid hockey teams, this is just in fun. I probably hate your team because they were good and tough to play against *eye roll*. Or maybe for actual reasons. Anyway, whatever they are… each league, lets have it!
(For the unenlightened, that stands for “Kootney International Junior Hockey League”, Jr. B. Yes, “International” because Spokane, Washington had a team.)
Bourne’s Highlight: I played for the Osoyoos Heat as a 17/18 year old, and led the conference in scoring, finishing second in the league behind Andrew Ebbett.
Team(s) I hate: Castlegar Rebels, Beaver Valley NiteHawks
I hated Beaver Valley for a number of reasons (they were good, had some 20 year old kid that had a wife/kids/killer-slapshot/beard/job/mortgage/bad-attitude, and OH, they spell their name “NITEHAWKS”), but they can’t TOUCH Castlegar in the hate department.
The year before, my Midget AA team played and beat Castlegar in the provincial finals (wwwwhat’s up), and the games against them had been crazy intense. Of course, most of the kids from that team were good enough to make their local Jr. B team the next year, so it felt like I had compounded hate.
And, it went downhill from there – I got jumped like Bertuzzi did Steve Moore the last game of the season, before we played them in playoffs. Then in playoffs, they made it their mission to break either my hand or wrist, which they succeeded at (thumb). I played the rest of the series with a thick aluminum stick so I couldn’t feel the puck. I HATE YOU CASTLEGAR, and it was a pleasure beating you AGAIN that season.
(For the unenlightened, that’s the “British Columbia Hockey League” – the “J” is long gone in the name. Records are held there by Paul Kariya, Brett Hull and many other huge names.)
Bourne’s Highlight: BCHL Championship boyyyyy, 02-03 Vernon Vipers
Team(s) I hate: Chilliwack Chiefs, Trail Smoke Eaters, Merritt Centennials
In reverse order: I hate you, Chilliwack Chiefs, for meeting us in the finals two years straight. I hate your lineup: three lines of studs (Tambellini, Van Der Gulik, Gauthier etc.) and one of thugs (who knows). I hate your rink with the six-feet-high no-give concussion boards, the gladiator feel of the lowered ice surface, your fans, your logo, everything. Chilliwack smells.
I hate you, Trail Smoke Eaters for oh-so many reasons – your stupid Flyers-colours, your “broadstreet bully” style of play, your atmosphere-less barn, and the six hour bus ride we would take to go play you ON THE SAME DAY.
But most of all, I HATE YOU, Merritt Centennials. Honestly – this was originally going to be a top-five list of my hated teams from different leagues, and you had number one sewn up EASILY.
Your f**king candle lit arena that you kept at zero degrees KELVIN.
Your tiny arena.
Your thuggish, useless teams.
The gorgeous town of Merritt.
Your raucus, garbage-throwing, fan-fighting, heckling fans.
That time our coaches met in the hallway during the game to fight so both our teams ran back there and we had a WWF brawl-for-all in the hallway while 3500 fans stared at empty benches.
The list is near-endless. But there is one thing I liked: I liked knocking you out of playoffs in the first round back-to-back years. That was fun
Bourne’s highlight: Making the Final Five at the Xcel Energy Center as a freshman, leading our team in goals one year, points another.
Team(s) I hate: Wisconsin Badgers, Alaska Fairbanks
I have a love-hate with most WCHA teams. I loved almost all of the college towns, I loved playing in front of big crowds, I loved the history, all of it. And in fact, the team I hate the very most – even ahead of North Dakota, Duluth, whoever – would be one of my top places to be a student at. No, not Minnesota.
Cheese-eating Wisconsin, man.
Your stupid Mike Eaves attention to defense and detail. Your support of Nick Licari’s knee wrecking “submarine” bullshit. Our playoff battles. Your commitment to the hack-and-whack. Your good goaltending. Your recruiting advantages. I love your arena, fans, and of course, Madison – but everything about the actual hockey program can stuff it.
AMENDED: I initially left UAF (Alaska Fairbanks) off this list, probably because I’ve tried to kill the brain cells that ever documented the days of my life spent in that city (wait, Google Analytics just told me that’s not a smart joke to make. Um, I just forgot).
Point form reasons to hate UAF: The name “Nanooks”, the city managing to be colder/darker than Anchorage, their insistence that placing 9th in the CCHA would have them anything other than last in the WCHA, that it took til my senior year to win a Governors Cup against them even though my shootout miss as a freshman probably cost us one, and a million other frustrating, stupid reason. Y’know, like the sign in their arena that says ”Get ready for 60 minutes of GLACIAL PUNISHMENT!’ …..WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
Bourne’s highlight: Back-to-back conference finals, making the all-star team, triple-overtime winner in playoffs against Fresno.
Team(s) I hate: Most of them
First off, it doesn’t help that over parts of three seasons, I played on three of the teams in a five team division. Sooo most of my hatred is centered around that. I probably played about four teams from the other huge conference, so I’m not fit to speak on who’s hateable in the East. But for me….
I hate a s**tload of teams. Stockton, Bakersfield, Fresno when it existed, not-the-towns-but-the-teams in Las Vegas and Victoria (two great cities), and for my brief experiences against them, Elmira.
But here’s the tough part:
When I was just outta college, the Idaho Steelheads wanted me to finish the season with them. I said no, and went with the Alaska Aces so I could finish school. We promptly flew to Boise, and I watched Jeremy Yablonski and Matt Nickerson rack-up 23 games in suspensions against us. Then we played them in round one in playoffs, and lost a vicious, physical series. I HATED them.
Then I played in Utah, where Idaho was our direct rival. So I HATED them more.
I love Boise as a city (honestly). I love the rink there. I love their fans. But naturally, I had reason to hate their team. Then, at the start of season three, they traded for me. I promptly tore my ACL and ate a slapshot, then spent three months on the couch healing as a fringe member of the team.
So for all the things I like about Boise (people, place, arena etc.)…. I still harbor resentment against that franchise.
Bourne’s highlight: Playing my best game in Lowell on a night I actually needed tickets for family, scoring in Albany, playing with guys that are currently legit NHLers, everything that goes with being a taste away from the NHL.
Team(s) I hate: Albany River Rats
In my brief few months in the AHL, I managed to get stuck playing in Albany four times, against Trevor Gillies and the rest of their crew. Combine that with the fact that I was trying to be a more physical ”role player” to stick, in that rink, with all the pleasantness of Albany in February, and I’m as attracted to that organization as I am to Al Roker. Great name, River Rats, stay hot. Who’s your affiliate, Carolina? What a privilege.
Ahhh, feels good to get all that hate out before the weekend! That was fun (and all in fun, folks, all hockey communities have good things about them). Hope you have a great weekend!
*Coming soon: List of franchises I love – here’s lookin’ at you, Gophers. Wow, writing that just cost me friends.