NP: Kirby Krackle – The Villain Song ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm9U0Q-HuqQ )
Firstly, hat tip to Kathy (read superhockeymom.com) and Kit (who really needs to frigging blog more) for urging me along on this. Lastly, Kaitlin has been busy offering advise when not raising DGSpezza’s Lizard spawn. Thank you all.
One of my closest friends once told me “You’re so much jollier now that you’re fat.” Backhanded compliment, forehanded insult, whatever. It’s true.
But, the thing of it is, for finding my comfort level in my own skin, my Comedian-esque acceptance that “Life is all a joke.”, and dammit, I’m gonna laugh till the end… well, something was missing.
Something to get the ole juices flowing. Something that hurt. Something that brought me to that place where I haven’t been in years.
Time for a moment of confession: Like Adam Proteau, the changed man, noted in “Fighting the good fight”, he used to play like a prick.
So did I. And I revelled in it. Dirty as a pig in mud. SQQQUUEEE motherf’r.
Hipchecks into cars, attacking FRIENDS surgically repaired legs, boarding people into fences.
My finishing move, if you will, was the textbook Bryan McCabe can opener. ( watch the 2:30 mark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y577VoH1LfE). I loved that thing. It was my ‘break glass in case of emergency’ move. My backwards skating was always god awful, and still is. But goddamn if that wasn’t the way to neutralize somebody with speed.
You call it tripping, I call it “F*ck You.”
So anyway, I basically took 10 years or so off from hockey, and when I came back, now on ice instead of roller, my meanstreak is gone.
Hockey is a fickle, fickle mistress.
I played 2 games like shit, got 2 apples.
Tonight, I played by far my best game. Active stick in the D zone, takeaways on the forecheck, generating 3 or 4 scoring chances… nothing on the stat sheet, including a game winner against (let the record show I had my man. Or woman in this case. Kathy was actually getting an earful from me as the puck went in).
That said, I had a moment of glee. Generated a scoring chance after taking the puck away from someone (who apparently hates me?) and took an elbow to the chops as a ‘how do you do’ and a two handed slash across the wrist as I actually got open for a half second in the slot.
I would’ve lost my frigging mind in the old days. Face wash, slewfoot, hook, a little tit for tat. But today I laughed it off, I was so happy to be on the ice. And so happy to generate 3 scoring chances ( i really need to work on my finish in front) by getting to the prime real estate because my legs were with me for the first time in 3 weeks.
I laughed today about getting the business. LAUGHED. LOLROFLLMAO, Laughed. I laughed about someone hating on me. Two things I used to go off the deep end about.
It used to bother me to no end when people had an issue with me. That’ll occasionally show up now and then, not as a big thing, but I genuinely want to be liked, kinda like an attention starved puppy. Now? Less so. I’m just comfortable with who I am and overjoyed I’m playing the game I love again.
That said, one too many chirps or shots behind the play and it’s inevitable I’ll return fire. Because as much as I enjoy hockey… I enjoy being the bad guy almost as much. It’s better not to make me that guy, for everyone.
Realistically, I won’t regret it. I’ll probably enjoy it.
Addendum: The drills tonight were fun. My skating is not where it needs to be, yet, but it’s getting better. My passing? God gave me hands. I don’t know why, but I can dish that fucking puck and stickhandle in a phone booth. As these were stickhandling/passing drills, I was gleeful. Tape to tape, half a rink away. I was surprised. My skating still sucks and needs to unsuck. My stamina is getting better.
As I limped in the door tonight (nothing nefarious… I went to chip a puck by a far superior player and ate the glass at full speed when he ducked and dished, probably rolling my ankle in the process) I was smiling.
I put myself in position where I had to get slashed because I was in on a prime scoring opportunity.
Just don’t take happy smiley nice guy Vinny for granted, because Vinny smiles just as broadly when he’s being a world class piece of shit.When I play, and I play LIKE THAT? I apologize for nothing and regret less.
As the song mentioned at the outset goes:
“The old fire started again burning
It found me itching for a fight
So kicking sand into some kid’s face
I found my way back home because
I missed you, I missed you and I’m pissed…
Feels good to be bad, so watch out,
Watch out, watch out,
Watch out, watch out, watch out… Cause I’m back.”