The prospect of a winter with no hockey can bring out the worst (or best) in all of us. Countless days where the NBA becomes more meaningful and desperate updates from European teams with more consonants that you can shake a an elbow pad at (can I buy a vowel!?!) can all be very grating on the CCM protected mind. In these most treacherous times, it can even cause you to turn on your own family!
Not that that’s a bad thing. Sometimes Baby Brother needs a good ole-fashioned butt whooping. No, not in the streets though… not since he outgrew you in 9th grade… your 9th grade. I’m talking about on the couch. And not with a Bauer Lindros era blade stashed away in your basement, but the kind of sticks you control with your thumb. I’m talking about NHL13′.
It’s time to hark back to the days of long Super Nintendo sessions, jammed up on 17 Sprites, 5 packs of cookies and a couple of Snickers bars (Good thing the first lady has never been to Grandma’s house). It’s time to head down to the local Gamestop, shove aside the geeks wheezing over the latest Call of Duty or Superhero XXX releases, display a little bravado and slam down EA Sports’ latest installment on the counter.
But, before you go calling Little Bro up for a match, it’s time to go to training camp. Remember when he had that easy semester at school a few years back and learned every inch of ice in an earlier version? It was like he had the special A+B+B+UP+UP+DOWN+A+A+RIGHT+RIGHT+B+DOWN+A+A code from the old NES days! I had to trade Smoosh Johnson 12 packs of Sweet-Tarts, half my Pogs, and a Gold Pokemon card for that! No, it’s time to take it home. Grab yourself an 18 pack of Miller High Life, a bag of Cape Cod chips, and you rock the computer for a whole season on expert mode. Your Bruins (assuming you’re the hometown squad) will go 36 – 45 – 1. But it’s that run of 18 wins in the last 22 games that’s really going to be the confidence winner. After three weeks of relentless training, Little Bro is ready for “the call.”
Remember to be casual. Don’t reference the 23 new plays you’ve created, awesome new skating abilities, or the team personal customizations you got bored and went for. Invite him over for a couple of Millers after work. “Oh, picked up the new NHL”, you say. Lure him in. Like a 600 pound Marlin off the coast of Florida, the battle rages. Easy, easy. Two periods gone. At the ten minute mark of the third, with a 2-1 lead, it’s time to drop the hammer. Bury him for a 5-2 win. It’s just enough to keep him coming back for 3 maybe 4 more games before he throws the controller down and storms out of the room cursing your existance.
Welcome back to 1997. All is right with the Universe again.
A shout out to “Little Bro” who popped the big question to his special lady this weekend. Congratulations to the two of you, couldn’t be happier for you! Here’s to hoping the NHL is back in gear by the time they tie the knot!