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Thoughts On Pleasures, Beer and the French

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A fellow Kelowna guy, Jordan Abney, made a great point yesterday:

One of life’s best, completely unnecessary, but totally great moments is getting your hair washed at the hairdresser, is it not?  As he pointed out, yes, I’m capable of washing my own hair.  Yes, I could buy some nice smelling shit.  But nothing beats that thorough scalp massage.  No need to rush, sister.

Can someone make the head rub the focal point of their business plan?  I would easily spend $15 bucks to drop the haircut and get a 15 minute scalp massage… wouldn’t you?

*straight shave*****

And while I’m being coddled, is the straight shave not one of the most amazing services still provided to males outside of brothels?  Even thought it kinda reminds me of the end of Gran Torino (if you haven’t seen that yet, you’re messing up), I can’t wait to get a real good one someday soon.

*****

Beer of the Month:  Finally, I tracked down a local one worth promoting.  Oh, and one worth anti-promoting.  If that makes sense.

I dunno who the dude is, but that's the beer.

I dunno who the dude is, but that's the beer.

My Beer of the Month for October is the San Tan Brewing Company’s “Sunspot Gold“.  As they describe it, it has a “deep, rich golden colour”, with a “delicate hop character”.  Basically, it’s really hot here, and the selling point of this beer is its drinkability (no, Bud Light doesn’t have that word trademarked).  I can already see my Canadian visitors pouring Clamato in it.

The worst of the month belongs to the same brewing company, and goes by the title “Strawberry Whit”.  Described by the bartender as “so bad the staff is thinking of buying what’s left and dumping it”, it was nauseating.  In trying to think of what we’d rather do than drink another sip of the sample, my buddies and I agreed that breaking the glass and cutting ourselves with it would be superior.

*****

Hockey tip of the month: Don’t be afraid to have the puck.  And for the most part, that’s aimed at rec league players.

I don’t mean don’t pass – you need to pass as much as possible in rec hockey.  I just mean don’t panic.  I imagine the soundtrack in the head of the average player on bad rec teams is “Oh God Oh God Oh God Oh God”.  Chill out.  Once you get the puck, step (1) is to continue skating.  Then step (2) is think.  It looks like guys want to get rid of the grenade on their stick before it blows up, so they pull the pin and chuck it into the next guys feet.  It’s okay to have it for a few seconds.

*****

Olivier Labelle can say his name faster than you can.

Olivier Labelle can say his name faster than you can.

Is North American hockey anti-francophone?  No.  They have every opportunity – teams want to be good, and they don’t care who’s in the jersey… they really just do. not. care.  They’d dress a snow leopard if he could win faceoffs.

But in general (just being honest, don’t shoot the messenger), well-liked French guys are pretty rare.  I played with a couple BEAUTY’S in Utah – Olivier Labelle and Christian Gaudet, and tended to get along with French players a lot better than other guys, but I can see why they have a bit of a negative rep, unfortunately.  Guys say that they seem entitled, and not that warm.  I’m just sayin.

*****

Other major ideas I’m saving for columns – pranks, puck bunnies, and plus/minus etiquette.  Oh, and someday, the steroids piece.

If you missed it yesterday, check out my article on team identity (and the Maple Leafs) at USA Today here.

And, I should have some hockey thoughts courtesy this weekends visitor soon - as my fiance calls him “Big B”.  Thaaaattt’d be my Dad.

Comments

18 Responses to “Thoughts On Pleasures, Beer and the French”
  1. Mike says:

    Thanks for the rec league tips. Patience with the puck is by far the hardest trait to learn.

  2. Will77 says:

    Ah, pranks and puck bunnies; if thats not college hockey, I don’t know what is. Although we didn’t use bunnies, instead it was a rather unflattering term beginning in “s”.

    I’ll have quite a few stories myself for the pranks. Word to the wise… when your team mates are throwing a party at the house, NEVER be the guy to go home to spend the weekend with your gf. Its amazing what 15+ guys with a purpose can accomplish

  3. Rudy says:

    Has there ever been a Frenchy that picked up a tab? Anywhere?

  4. ms.conduct says:

    Yes, rec leaguers… keep that puck. Don’t even look around for the pass. Just come straight at the goalie, no dekes or any of that nancyboy shit, just bring it right at the goalie like a real man and put it right at the pads. Good rec leaguer, gooood.

    ^ My attempt at Jedi Mind Control. Did it work?

  5. Deirdre says:

    Ah puck bunnies…so much fun to watch. I actually dressed as one for a Halloween costume once – tail and ears included. Non-hockey folks did not get the joke, but everyone else did :-)

    Of course there are stories of puck bunnies getting the guy so I guess if you’re truly on the prowl. Heh, Deirdre Martin has a whole series of hockey romances about the “New York Blades”. They’re hilarious.

  6. PVeltkamp says:

    Patience with the puck in rec hockey is soooo much easier to have then patience with the puck in competitive contact hockey, so it is amazing to me that people who played contact hockey are impatient with the puck when it comes to the rec game. My team could learn a thing or two about this.

  7. number21 says:

    As a guy who started hockey in his mid-twenties (now 30) learning patience is a difficult task. Especially playing above your skill level like I have. Granted I learned a lot playing too high, but now in a lower level I am starting to wait and think a little bit.

    ms. conduct – As low level rec guy, if I had a single move I’d try it. My best bet is a blast to the pads, hope for a rebound and a goalie that is out of position.

  8. carolina says:

    can´t wait for your thoughts on the topic of puck bunnies…

  9. JMP says:

    If you really want, most salons (or even cosmetology schools) will do the wash and scalp massage without a haircut – or at least the ones I’ve worked at would… You can also try a massage therapists, if you want a water free massage.

  10. minnesotagirl71 says:

    If you love the scalp massage you need to try a manicure. You can skip the pink polish, but be sure to go to a spa where they massage your hands…fabulous! Seriously – guys have no idea what they’re missing…. You can always schedule it with your fiancee as a couples experience – less swishy that way.

  11. tiggs says:

    I think the quirky relationship with the French-Canadians in hockey stems from the large nationalist movement in Quebec. It’s the society they grew up in, which is pretty unique in North America. Half of the population there wants to have their own country. Not to mention that the English kind of opressed them for a couple of hundred years and the fact that France abandoned them when the English were kicking the shit out of them. I believe an “Us vs. the World attitude became contagious. Summation…..they are proud of their unique identity which can sometimes translate to arrogance, especially among us Anglophones.

  12. rm says:

    Yes, scalp massage while getting your hair shampooed is very nice. I’m glad this secret guilty pleasure is now out in the open :) . I found a hairstylist I liked and went in every 4-6 weeks for a shampoo and haircut.

    Going back a few blogs about equipment and Josh’s “bad style poker” game, this video clip on TSN (http://watch.tsn.ca/nhl/clip225879#clip225879) kind of builds on the theme. “The Naked Shootout” with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    As for French Canadians, there was one (Sylvain Turgeon) who used to play for the Hartford Whalers back in the 80′s and one of the comments about him (amongst the fans) was that his definition of a check was a piece of paper you collected every two weeks, and not something you threw on the ice.

    Hey, that Matt Moulson guy seems to be doing a decent job finding the back of the net :) .

  13. Andrea says:

    We LOVED Labelle in Utah! He was amazing to watch and we miss him. Puck bunnies…can’t wait for that one. Any tips you have for not being mistaken for one would be appreciated, too. Although i’m assuming actually watching and understanding the game, plus keeping you ta-ta’s IN your shirt is a good start!

  14. AiH says:

    Need a ruling on gear fashion from Bourne, the self labeled gear snob guru: I’ve started to see clear mouth guards with a bright gold flake accentuating a single upper front tooth – so it gives the appearance of having a gold tooth. Very gangsta but is it Bourne approved?

  15. Neil says:

    Re: French Canadians, I think Tiggs is right about Quebecois nationalism, which is emphasized by English Canada’s need to basically manufacture cultural symbols, attitudes, and beliefs that “unite” a group of people who often have very little in common with each other beyond living similar distances from the U.S. border.
    The whole “francophone bias in the NHL feeder systems” claim being thrown around right now seems silly , it’s like walking into a Senate meeting that is half men and half women and demanding to know why men are being discriminated against….. as for the QMJHL, if they are bent out of shape about not having players moving up to the NHL, they should change their programs so future stars don’t avoid their league.

    In Canada I have never met a French Canadien I didn’t immediately like, no joke. Not to stereotype too hard but I have found them to be intelligent, outgoing (Canadians are polite but not always warm or outgoing, it can be tedious), and hilarious. It is also possible they spend more time than English Canadians picking out fashion items that were popular several years ago. However, there is a francophone expression that translates into “nothing goes around in a square head”, and a derogatory term for English Canadians is “tête carrée” (“square head”). So stupid we can barely get the money into the envelope.

  16. tiggs says:

    Anson Carter with the gold tooth mouthpiece= Little Wayne. As for the gear, I believe that the best look was in the 80′s and early 90′s. Players were a lot more distinguishable and yet the equipment was practicle for the demands of the sport. Now there were exceptions ie. Ulf- friggan- Sammuelson. Huge shoulder pads will NEVER look good. Steve Yzerman might have been most of the aesthetically pleasing players to watch. The man embodied how a true hockey player should look. Even when he wore a visor later in his career, he still had a classic look out there. Look good, play good.

  17. Marc says:

    Somewhat on the line of puck bunnies… I can understand how NHL and other pro leagues would have women in figure skates come out, shake a pom pom and throw out a t shirt or two. What was a completely alien concept to me is the official ice-cheerleader that I was completely unaware of until I was at a University of Minnesota home game. Who decided that between periods we needed a figure skating team to come out, skate a pinwheel and yell go team? The U of M being very ‘traditional’ in attitude I was surprised to see how I had never seen or heard of this before.

    Furthermore, that video of the Dallas Star’s cheerleading team where they went out on the ice in bikinis and shoulder pads and punched each other a little… the only thing I could think was “why is this in my sport?” It’s so obviously tacked on to hockey for no good reason that it embarrassed me as a player and a fan.

  18. rm says:

    I hate cheerleaders. Always have since high school, too bad our field hockey coach wouldn’t let us hack them in the knees when we had to run hills at practice (the cheerleaders stood around at the top of the hill, we could have easily taken them out). Just another reason why I like the NY football Giants… they do not have cheerleaders; they feel that the fans focus should be on the game.

    Cheerleaders at hockey games are like tits on a bull… pretty much useless. I love college hockey with the bands and a vocal, knowledgeable fan bases. The goofer cheerleaders are just one more reason to hate Minnesota.

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