How to survive hockey night

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A man’s guide: 

By Anthony Agostino

Buckle up tight, the National Hockey League season is officially underway.  There is a new sports network on the air (CTV Sportsnet), and 82 Maple Leaf games will be televised this year.  A whole new world of TV viewing has been opened to every hockey fan.

Before we sit back with our hand firmly wrapped around the remote, we have a few things to discuss concerning a few necessities to make this televised NHL dream season a journey into hockey fan heaven.

A mixer pack of beer; no wine allowed during an NHL contest (except for that romantic evening with the missus).  If you are a beginner, start with a six-pack at a two-per period pace.  Make sure you test a few different brands before you settle on one.  A favourite beer is just as vital as a favourite hockey team.

Another staple is a great recliner chair. Ah yes, the king doth require a throne.  In today’s modern world though, try to grab one with an automatic recline that comes equipped with an attractive little side pouch for the remote.  Be sure to ask whoever you buy it from to toss in a snack table as a nice little bonus gift.  What about for those die-hards who can’t afford a chair?  Rent-A-Center might have a deal where you pay $19.99 a week for one.  But since you are poor, only rent it for the televised games your favourite team will be playing (if you are a Leaf fan start saving your pretty pennies).  By the way, leather is in this season.  Black preferably.

Minimum 20-inch TV.  A remote is a MSUT, especially since the possibility of having two or three games playing on any given night is realistic.  If possible get one with an inset picture feature; you don’t want to be on the injured reserve list with a blistered thumb.  If you have the bucks, invest in a mini-satellite disk, especially if you’re a fan of non-Canadian teams (and if that is the case, burn in hell you bastard!)

This month’s issue of Cosmo.  Yes, your hooked-on-phonics course worked well, you read this month’s Cosmo.  Why?  Simple my friend.  It is bound to have an article on something like “10 Things a Man Says to a Woman He Loves,” or something like that.  Trust me, a little pre-game studying will come in mighty handy about early-to-mid second period.  If you subscribe to the magazine or always sneak a peek at your woman’s when she’s not around, you’ll really reap the benefits during those double overtime playoff games.  And if you have a woman who loves to watch the game with you, well, as Rod Stewart used to sing.  “Some guys have all the luck.”

Become an interior designer.  Decorate the place, make it reflect your personality.  Get a poster or two of your favourite team or player, maybe a banner, or you could even paint the walls in your favourite team’s colours.

Needs:  beer, recliner chair, copy of Cosmo magazine


A woman’s guide:

By Bessie Ng

There are 84 games in the regular hockey season.  Probably 25 of those games are on Saturday night.  Most men have reserved this night to sit in their favourite chair, guzzle beer after beer, munch on pretzels and cheer on their hockey team with the guys. This is an all too familiar scene for some girls.  But there is hope.  Not every Saturday night has to be ruined by a bunch of overpaid hockey players spending at least 60 minutes trying to shoot a little puck into a net or fighting each other to see who can have the bloodier nose.

There s no use in demanding a night on the town.  This will fail because men are pretty stubborn about their sacred Hockey Night in Canada.  Tradition is against you.  Many guys have grown up watching hockey on the CBC every Saturday night with Dad.  Hockey is an institution unto itself in Canada; it practically defines Canada.

So, you must use your feminine wiles (read: trick him into thinking that hockey is not a necessary part of a Saturday night).

There are several things you can do to avoid another boring night of hockey at home.

Hide the remote control or take away the batteries.  It’s a fact that boys will not get up to change the channel, especially when they’ve set up for the big night.  Tell him you’ll pick up some batteries at Radio Shack.  Sweetly ask him for his company to the store.  Offer to stop at the beer store because you want him to have a good supply of alcohol.  Once he’s in the car, kidnap him.  Go where you want to go.

Tell him you’ve already made reservations at your favourite restaurant.  Tell him it’s the six-month anniversary of your first kiss.  Men don’t remember anniversaries.  Exploit this.  Have a new anniversary for every Saturday that their favourite team is on TV.

Avoid sports bards.  This venue is probably worse than watching the game at home. The match will be on a big screen, a barmaid will bring them beer (girls refuse to do this at home), and there are many more hockey fans to bond with and make lots of noise.

You could suggest he tape the game, even though this is against all the laws of live sports coverage.  A blasphemy.  But because your feminine wiles have convinced your guy to forgo the game for a night on the town, you should, out of good faith, help him avoid all the newscasts so you don’t completely ruin the game for him.  Besides, all the good stuff will invariably appear in the 11 o’clock news.  He can see the highlights and find out the score.  The other parts of the game just aren’t necessary.

Of course, you could just have all the girls over, sit in his favourite chair, sip cranberry vodkas, munch on popcorn and have a Matt Damon film fest on Saturday night.

Needs: a car, feminine wiles, fake anniversary

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