I think I have a solution to the NHL Lockout that may be as interesting as getting those millionaires back up on skates. I think there are enough grumpy old guys like me to form an alternate league; something we’d call the REAL OLDTIMERS LEAGUE OF NATIONAL HOCKEY –the ROLO NHL (if you are into acronyms).
I’m not talking about former NHL players here either. No, I’m talking about a group of flubbers and dubbers like me and you: guys who lace-them-up just for the love of the game and a desire to get out of the damn house.
We’d have teams like Team Viagra, Team Geritol and Team Attends and a whole host of others sponsored by multinational corporations who keep golden agers as spry and as crabby as spinster librarians.
After hiring Don Cherry as the new commissioner, teams could barnstorm arenas cross North America and demonstrate a brand of ice hockey that would not soon be forgotten.
Here’s a look at the proposed REAL OLDTIMERS LEAGUE OF NATIONAL HOCKEY player contract with the owners.
- Two cases of light beer to be provided in dressing rooms after every game.
- One Red plastic cup for each player, per game for denture, false teeth, and/or bridgework containment during games. Cups reusable after game for beer pong and/or refreshment (See Item One). NOTE: Rule 24(B) Red plastic cups may not be brought to the bench and used for urination purposes.
- One case of Bengay Cream per team per season.
- Orthopedic surgeon to be in attendance at all league games. League will pick up the tab for any and all hip or knee replacements and the insertion of steel plates in the cranium.
- Free refills of water bottles. NOTE: Rule 56(C) Bottomless water bottles will be provided.
- League will designate whiskey and water as a sports drink and will market it to the public as Grumpy-Aid. RULE 14(a): There shall be a 50/50 split on all Grumpy Aid profits. In lieu of profits one case of Labatt’s 50 will be provided for each contracted player upon season completion.
- League Minimum salary 2x Canada Pension/Old Age Pension plus free Costco membership and monthly Timmies Gift Cards in the amount of $50.
- No games to be played on Shoppers Drugmart Senior Discount Days.
- Players will only use wooden sticks because no one in this league would understand the term, “Laying on the composite!”
- Helmets are mandatory on and off the ice and to and from every game site. Canes and walkers are forbidden as they may be used as lethal weapons during on ice confrontations
- The “I’ve fallen and I cannot get up” excuse will not stop or restrict game play. Players who are down shall stay down until the next stoppage of play; otherwise a delay of game penalty shall be assessed.
- All flatulence will be restricted to the dressing room. Non adherence to this rule will result in expulsion. NOTE: RULE 75(D) One case of Beano per team per road trip provided.
- Cussing out young people can be applied only outside of the hockey venue and in the player’s neighborhood.
- Due to their lack of teeth players wave the right to have a league operated dental plan.
- At the conclusion of each season a “live” draft will take place to replace “deceased” players on each roster.
- Players become restricted free agents at the age of 80 or upon death; whichever comes first.
- Geritol will not be considered a banned substance nor a performance enhancer and is a permitted as a supplement for all players with “tired blood”.
- Other performance enhancers such as Viagra and Cialis may be used as needed but done so at the discretion of the players. However, these substances are NOT to be used on the night prior to and/or during game days. Rule 99(X) Abstinence is a requirement for safe and steady game play and essential for cardiac event prevention.
The concussion protocol would go something like this:
80 year old defenseman takes a hard hit behind the net. Twenty-five year old trainer walks player through initial concussion protocol.
TRAINER: “How are you feeling?”
PLAYER: “How do you think I’m feeling you moron, holy crap, I just got my bell rung!”
TRAINER:” “What is your name?”
PLAYER: “Hey, aren’t you the saucy punk I shooed off my lawn last week?”
TRAINER: “Can you please tell me your name?”
PLAYER: “Who do you think you are – A COP? Don’t be such a smart ass.”
TRAINER (Frustrated): “Bill, can you tell me your damn name?”
PLAYER: “You just said my name sonny, It’s Bob! Are you daft or something?”
TRAINER: “I called you Bill, Bill, not Bob!”
PLAYER: “Then just get the Sam Hill out of my face and call me Billy-Bob you snot-nosed panty-waist!”
I’m thinking, two teams of Grumpy old guys would provide some great entertainment. Every team would have the demeanor of the old Broad Street Bullies –angry, feisty and obnoxious. Simple brush byes would result in bench clearing donnybrooks.
PLAYER ONE: “Hey, dickhead, you skated in front of me and cut me off!”
PLAYER ONE: “You wanna go, buster?”
PLAYER TWO: “Bring it on, grandpa!”
Yes, this league would provide great replacement hockey. We could dress the referees in clown suits for the kiddies. The price of admission would be a mere five bucks plus a donation to the food bank. And, games would begin at six o’clock so players could get to bed by 9:30 pm. This would be great family entertainment for ALL ages. Playoffs for the Defibulator Cup would be knock-down drag ‘em out slugfests.
Commissioner, Don Cherry had this to say about the new league, “I can’t tell you how many people said, ‘I’ll never watch hockey again, I’m done with it,’ once the lockout began. I just laughed. I knew it wasn’t possible. It’s a religion here, a way of life. We love the game too much. People were starving for it. When the REAL OLDTIMERS LEAGUE OF NATIONAL HOCKEY season starts, they will all be back. They can’t help themselves.” Quoting the Commissioner again, “People think common sense is common but it is not!”
Indeed, the REAL OLDTIMERS LEAGUE OF NATIONAL HOCKEY will reel in those fans like hungry salmon. Hockey starved families will come out in droves to yell and chortle at their favorite players like, “Gummy” Macfarlin, “Pops” Putatoski and “Spindly Legs” Larue.
And, the league will not be without controversy given the match penalty and 5 game suspension handed out to “Rummy” Russell last season in his Langton, Ontario Beer League. When a youngster called out, “You skate like a girl, Rummy!” the old blunderbuss replied, “Ya, and Santa Claus is dead, kid!” (See item 13 above – re cussing out kids.)
Yes, the game might be slower and the goals few and far between but OLDTIMERS HOCKEY will be the next big thing after News of the World Darts, Honey-Boo-Boo and Party Poker, of course.
Commissioner, Don Cherry believes,”Dees guys play da game the right way, Ron. None of dem guys wear skirts or shoulder pads or were born in Sweden!”
But be forewarned, the Team Viagra “Dance Pack” won’t get you up out of your seat. (Sorry, that’s bad choice of words.) These grannies in spandex are about as sexy and tantalizing as a group of widows at a quilting bee. You might want to cover your children’s eyes when they break out their interpretive dance to the rambling beat of the Stone’s “I can’t get no satisfaction”.
Nevertheless, I say bring it on. Old Guys hockey is better than nothing and nothing is what we have at the moment.
Let Grumpy know what you think of the lockout. Leave a comment here.
Her’s a Grumpy treat. Click this Youtube link for a Don Cherry musical rant about the NHL LOCKOUT:
And, if you want to see just how good this could be CLICK THE LINK for last years BUD commercial to get the feeling!