Monday, June 12, 2006

One last thing before I go...

Dammit, the way Colby Cosh puts it almost makes me want to cheer for the wretched Oil...

With his battered face and his sweat-bedewed beard, he's now a testament to what the Stanley Cup tournament demands from a human being. He looks like a fifty-year-old pirate in an era of 45-year life expectancies. From age 20 to age 30 Smyth didn't age a day; six weeks of hockey have doubled his apparent lifespan. You may have noticed that this doesn't happen to basketball players. Every year around this time we start to hear about the physical courage and endurance of those dudes, and lord knows about 30% of them have gone into recording studios to immortalize their own hardcoreness in song. Yet, oddly enough, Shaquille O'Neal never seems to end a playoff year toothless, half-crazed, maimed, and dehydrated. No basketball player, as far as I am aware, had ever had his carotid artery slit open or a finger physically severed during the course of play. That, as much as anything, is why hockey's status as the fourth North American team sport is still tacitly recognized and deferred to by the media--even as it makes constant, scornful, infinitely tedious jokes about the sport's popularity.

Ryan Smyth really ought to hoist the cup. I mean, really ought to.

Just not this year.

And not this team.