Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fine Whine and other sour grapes

NHL: Top five pet peeves of hockey

Normally I’m not a person given to whining. When something annoys me and I can avoid it, I do.

I can’t stand going to any brass and fern decorated “family” type restaurant for the irritation factor that the same wait staff that can’t bring me the appetizers some time other that 30 seconds before the actual meal comes, can find the time to sing an off-key, overly loud proprietary version of “Happy Birthday”.

Just shut up and get me my damn Buffalo wings Skippy.

These are generally the same places that have three pages of different variations on a Margarita (…a CHOCOLATE Margarita?) but don’t have the ability to make the REAL version of that drink. Keep your stupid sour mix and Triple-sec and go back to Bartending School.

So, just like when Howard Sterns comes on the radio, I avoid these situations. I don’t go to those restaurants more than once and I change the channel when flatulent transvestites with mother issues (????) come on the radio. No problem here, I can adapt.

Unfortunately, some thing that annoy cannot be avoided. Like the people at the grocery store that wait until their whole cart is scanned, they are given the total, and THEN they start writing the check. Or the high-powered business-type moron who thinks the whole world needs to listen in on how much of a big shot they are when they’re at the drug store prescription counter, chatting on a cell phone at the top of their lungs.

Talk to Vanna, buy a vowel, and get a clue.

Hockey has produced several of these annoying moments that, for the fan, fall under the category of “unavoidable”. Here’s a selection of my top five hockey annoyances:

1) Diving/tripping calls: If it’s a dive, call it a dive. If it’s a trip, call it a trip. Don’t completely wimp out and call both. Diving is one aspect of the game that has always annoyed me. I don’t like it when my own favorite team does it. I really hate it when an opponent uses it as their primary defensive strategy. NHL, grow a pair and call a dive a dive.

2) Mascots: I know that Hockey wants to appeal to a larger audience, and I can live with the whole mascot thing for the AHL, where it is actually affordable to bring the whole family to a game. But the NHL in general and the Original six teams in particular annoy me with their perceived need to try to sell a team to me that I’ve ALREADY paid top-dollar to see. I like kids for the most part, I have several myself, but none of my kids (or the kids I’ve seen at a game) seem particularly impressed with the sweaty high-school kid stuck in a felt and Styrofoam costume who is having peanuts and empty cups thrown at him because he’s doing the Macarena in the line of sight while a two man rush is breaking up the ice.

3) “Let’s make some noise!!” prompts: What is this? The Dick Van Dyke show? Your hockey game is filmed before a live studio audience? Play better. I’ll cheer then. Trust me.

4) The Cell phone zombies: Tell me if this sounds familiar: “Yeah Dude, I’m at the game now…I’m at the game now…Yeah, I’m at the game…yeah…now. I should get out of here around 9:30…yeah, 9:30…9:30…yeah, I’ll be out front at 9:30…9:30…” This generally goes on in ten minute stretches for the entire game, except when it’s between periods, then the annoying twit goes silent as he’s trying to maneuver Nacho’s, a personal pizza, popcorn and seven diet soda’s down the wrong isle.

5) The “know-it-all” fan: This is that self-important goob who ended up with free tickets and has to regale his friends (who have apparently never heard of the game before) with his infinite knowledge and wisdom in regards to the finer points of hockey…all night. He is also the guy who usually sits directly behind me at the game and taps my shoulder after every play to ask me “Did you see that? Did that look like icing to you? I don’t think it was icing. Did they really call that as icing?” Now you know why they search people for weapons prior to a game, even though they probably shouldn’t.

So that’s it. I’ve vented and I feel better now. Please feel free to share any other hyper-annoying moments I may have missed in the responses.

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