It’s Pool Time!

That’s right everyone.  It’s pool time.  No, not swimming pool time–it’s still a tad chilly for that.  I’m talking playoff hockey pools.  Players will be evaluated and scrutinized, picks will be debated, strategies will be formed and trash talk will be prepared.  Ah…. what a fantastic time it will be.

There is a wrinkle this year.  My team is in the playoffs.  That means that loyalty will compete with practicality.  When I look league wide, there are players I cannot pick (OttawaSenators for example) because I would rather lose with my guys, than win with the enemy.  I do not know how I will fare this year.

Will he play?
There are other wrinkles too.  Some fantastic players are injured.  Will they come back in time?  Will there team advance enough to see them return in future rounds?  There are so many questions, and if you consult the internet, then you’ll get too many answers.

Last year I chose first, and took Sidney Crosby.  He and some of my other picks were inspired.  Had I chosen better goalies, I would have won the whole thing.

Of course, there is a huge amount of luck in the whole endeavour.  I can only hope my luck holds out.

About Trash Talking in the Digital Age

Perhaps I am old fashioned, but taunting people about their hockey pool picks on facebook, or by email doesn’t seem as much fun.  I know that cyber bullying is a serious problem, but I am not talking about that.  I am talking about razzing your friends, giving them the business, busting someone’s balls… you know what I mean.
If you read my previous post, you’ll know that trash talking and boasting has been the most exciting part of the hockey pool I am involved in.  Game two of the Stanley Cup Finals happened on a Saturday, which meant that I didn’t have a day to bother, pester and annoy my fellow poolies.  I guess I am going to have to join twitter if I want to make this work.

The Joys and Perils of the Hockey Pool

When the hockey playoffs are in full swing, and your team is busy improving their golf handicap, what are you supposed to do.  You can enjoy the skill, athleticism, and tenacity that makes hockey a game without equal, but you have to watch some other person’s favourite team.  You can speculate who is going to win.  You can even root against your team’s arch rival.  However, the best way to get into the playoffs is to join a hockey pool.

For the first time, I joined a charity pool with my co-workers and I must say I have been having a blast.

It started with an innocent idea and progressed to a trash talking bacchanalia.  Just picking the teams required days of study and a ream of paper’s worth of printouts.  People who had only a minor interest in hockey became grade A statisticians.   More importantly people learned how to pronounce the names of hockey players.  (It’s harder than you think)  What did we ever do before we had the internet?

Every morning has started off with trash talking about the performance of the players the night before.  I’d love to tell you it has all been high brow, high grade humour, but that wouldn’t be true and you probably wouldn’t believe me anyway.  Before the end of work, which basically means as soon as the morning trash talking ended,  the pre-game trash talking has begun.  As people have risen and fallen in the standings their philosophies and strategies have changed.  As they have tasted success they have boasted, and as they have tasted defeat they have developed various shrugs and wait and see poses. 

Of course, much time was spent speculating what could have been.  Players that no one suspected would even touch the puck  have become heroes.  Doubtless, many players are playing on injuries that would fell a lesser man, but their pool numbers have been less than predicted.

All in all, it has been fun.  A lot of fun.

As I write this, the final round is beginning and I am looking forward to tomorrow’s trash talking.