Thursday, August 14

Face Off: Russian Rocket Edition!

It's back! No, not Norte's groin rash. I'm talking about the third installment of HS/HS's critically, not-at-all-acclaimed series, "Face Off!" Where we recount our face-to-face encounters with real live NHLers. Previously on "Face Off", Greener wrote about being the only land mammal to ever be shunned by Wayne Gretzky (Gretz hates manatees), while Norte spun a yarn about NOT meeting the 1982 Vancouver Canucks. Let me take you back...


Summer, 1993: My friend Y.T. and I were full-bore (emphasis on bore) into our usual summer routine, which basically consisted of loading our hockey gear and goal into the back of his truck, then driving around the playgrounds of L.A. looking for pick-up games. I think Ponce de Leon actually found that fucking fountain before we found a game. So, staring into the face of another three months sans hockey AND cash, we decided to put our burgeoning entrepreneurial sense to good use. Cha-ching! Hear that? That's the sound of two teenagers about to lose a whole lotta money.

It may shock you to find out that 1993 Los Angeles wasn't the post-Gretzky hockey orgy that the NHL had hoped for. That's why, upon finding that there were no summer hockey camps for kids, in came Hurricane Hockey Schools to blow down the door of a rink near you. Okay actually it was NOWHERE near you, which is where the first of our many lavish perks came in. We would pick the kids up and take them to the rink each morning. Along with 2 hours of ice time, we also provided post-practice meals, video review sessions, discounts on gear from the local pro shop, and I think Y.T. even offered to bang one of the kids' lonely 'cougar' mom. If all that wasn't enough to run home and tell dad about, we tossed in a meet and greet with a hockey legend! Check it:

I was walking a group of kids through the rink lobby after an on-ice session, when I rounded the corner to see an older, grey-haired gentleman, speaking in Russian to some midget with two grain silos for thighs. As I glimpsed at his face, we made eye contact. That kicked off the inevitable awkwardness of any star sighting. You know the deal: you recognize him, he recognizes that he's been recognized, you try and pretend you didn't recognize him, he pulls out the restraining order. At that point Y.T., spotting his favorite player at the time, says within earshot, "Hey, isn't that Pavel Bure?" To which the kids respond, "Pavel Bure! Who's Pavel Bure!?!?" Busted. Seeing that he hadn't run off, and appeared unfazed by the attention, I tepidly approached him and politely asked if he would mind signing some autographs for my restless band of little jackals...who have no idea who he is. To my surprise, I wasn't lead-piped in the knee cap by the older Russian gentleman, nor did Bure extinguish the raw tobacco leaf he was smoking, on my cheek. "Sure," he said, in the most polite and welcoming of voices. As he signed sticks, pucks, and Y.T.'s chest, I recited some of his stats and accomplishments to the kids to, all at once, inform, show-off, and boost the "Russian Rocket's" ego.

Afterwards, I thanked him profusely for his graciousness and time, to which he...thanked me? At first I was confused, but I clearly interpreted that to mean he had seen me go top-shelf on little Aaron Schoenbaum during shooting drills and we shared a mutual feeling of respect. In all, it was a great moment for the kids to cherish for years to come. That is until three days later when Mario Lopez showed up and asked to share the ice with our kids for a scene from his new show. A.C. Slater... the man that shot down the Russian Rocket.

Don't forget, Greener and I are back in the studio this weekend. Get your podcast questions in!

11 comments:

Norte said...

i would trade A.C Slater, Zach Morris and Dustin Diamond for Bure from PowerPlay 96

Greener said...

Yes, but in that game, the computer always had him blow out his knee. Perfect simulation of reality, then.

Norte said...

The Tiffani Amber-Theissen for Mogilny, I'm afraid just wont happen.

Greener said...

I will do a Brett Hull for Mr. Belding, straight up.

Norte said...

Throw in a Lark Vorhees and you have yourself a deal.

Jaredoflondon said...

how about a screech for Kirk Mclean, any takers?

eyebleaf said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bflYjF90t7c

Norte said...

@eyebleaf - Thank you for that righteous clip. Any idea where I can get me some of those pills?

eyebleaf said...

"i'm so excited! i'm so...scared!" that was the ultimate saved by the bell episode.

and no, norte, i will not tell you where you can get some serious caffeine pills, or "drugs" as my man zac morris called them...

Greener said...

Navin: Pushing dope for the man.

Chemmy said...

Greener:

Blame Reagan for making me into a monster.
Blame Oliver North and Iran-Contra.
I ran contraband that they sponsored.