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Girls' Hockey





From time to time, CJAM's sports department (basically two chemistry majors), would do a live remote broadcast of a University of Windsor Lancer's hockey game. It was a pretty low rez affair. They would set up a telephone in the rink-side broadcast booth and announce the game over the phone. The DJ back at the station would patch the call to air. These games sometimes preempted our show. Not that we minded. Doing upwards of 50 shows a year, we didn't mind the rare break.


Terry wrote this piece in parody of those broadcasts. Paul was voiced by me and Bill was Terry. I can't remember if Terry took any current events for inspiration. It does seem to presage the rise of violence in children's amateur athletics, notably in light of the American "Hockey Dad" incident back around 2003 (a father of a 9-year-old hockey player beat the ref to death after a game because he felt the ref wasn't calling enough penalties on checking).


Particularly funny in this piece is Terry's juxtaposing the names of girls with the last names of real NHL hockey players.



PAUL: I would like to introduce you to my broadcast partner, Bill Wunderkind.


BILL: Thanks, Paul. I would like to welcome Lancer sports fans to yet another live broadcast of a Lancer sporting event. And as Paul might have mentioned it's hockey coming straight at you tonight. Well, I don't know if you can hear it in our voices but the London Gardens is crackling with anticipation as we await the beginning of this epic struggle between the two archrivals The Windsor Junior Women Lancers and the hometown favorites, the University of Western Ontario Junior Women Mustangs.


PAUL: Wait a minute. I didn't know we had a women's hockey team. Is this new?


BILL: Yes, Paul. As a matter of fact it is. This is the introductory season of the Junior Women's League for girls ages 13 and 14. But the bitter antagonism between these two teams dates back to the dawn of time. These opposing forces are so intensively competitive that for this one contest only they've agreed to waive all rules, including three knock downs in a single round disqualifier and instead they will opt for a winner-take-all Texas cage death match. As if that weren't enough, tonight's guest referee for this event is the WWF's own Andre the Giant.


PAUL: Oh my god!


BILL: A greater sports spectacle could not be envisioned in heaven or hell or even in your philosophy, Paul. These two battalions have been waging a long and hard campaign all season, only to find themselves tied for first place. What's at stake tonight is a playoff birth in the regional finals in Strathroy next week. And neither side, neither side, will be denied.


PAUL: Okay, the teams are lining up for the national anthem. And now we're getting ready for the face off.


BILL: We have a full capacity crowd in the London Gardens tonight, Paul. Their supportive exuberant parents are out there.


[Parents in the background can be heard chanting "Cheryl, Kill them!" "Kick some ass, Betty!"]


BILL: In the corners are supporters with banners and placards, whipping themselves into a bloodthirsty frenzy.


PAUL: Who are those kids in the bleachers with the brown shirts, the crew cuts, and the jackboots?


BILL: Probably some fraternity, Paul. See the banner with the Greek letter on it?


PAUL: Looks more like a swastika to me, Bill. I hope they have a permit to assemble in a public place.


BILL: Alright, Western wins the face off and the game is on the way. The puck goes back to the Western defenseman #3, Greta Schwarzenegger, who you may have read about recently if you've been following the Dubin Inquiry.


PAUL: She gave sparkling testimony, Bill. And I hear besides being athletically inclined she's also a bit of an academic. Seems she's been guaranteed acceptance into pharmacology at Western, which will only make her an asset to Canadian amateur sports.


BILL: Back to the action. Greta passes it over to the left wing, Meryl Streep, no relation, who brings it up along the boards and shuttles it over to the center, Michelle Lemieux, the league's scoring leader. Lemieux brings it over the blue line, charging towards the net but she loses it -- no no she's dropped it back to the right winger Wendy Cournoyer, who circles around. She looks at the crowd behind the net. SHE SHOOTS. SHE SCORES.


PAUL: The Western Ontario Mustangs have drawn first blood. They went through the Windsor defense line like, like… Bill, I need a simile, Bill.


BILL: Like the Windsor defense was standing in the murky surf off of Sandpoint beach.


PAUL: Yeah, that's what I was thinking of, exactly.


BILL: Oh, there seems to be a little scuffle in front of the Windsor net, Paul.


PAUL: I think the Lancers contend the Mustang forwards were in the crease and therefore the goal should be disallowed. There's just a little harmless pushing and shoving going on. Nothing to worry about.


[Background we hear "Kill them!" "Now kill the other one!"]


BILL: Oh no! Windsor goalie Tanya Tretiak slashed Michelle Lemieux right across the face with her stick. I don't think there's enough bactine in the Western hemisphere to cover that nasty gash.


[Background we hear "For the glory of the Fatherland!"]


BILL: There's no blood exploding out of Michelle's face, though. So it's safe to say Tanya didn't hit a major artery.


PAUL: According to the roster, Michelle has blood type AB Negative. I don't think that's too rare. That's fairly common. So there isn't any real danger.


BILL: It certainly was a good idea by the commissioner to blood type all players before the game. It's an idea that has saved many young lives this season.


PAUL: Oh Bill, now everyone else is on the ice and they're getting into it. Defenseman Kathy Brainpan is pounding the stuffing out of the Windsor center Betty Gregetsky. Oh! She's ripped off Betty's face mask. She's landing left and right head shots. The fans are on their feet screaming and applauding. They love it.


[Background we hear "Send her to the inferno!"]


BILL: Yes, it's a regular old fashioned hockey slug fest. Who says women can't compete in men's sports? It looks like Greta Schwarzenegger and Phyllis Probert are clearing themselves a spot in the frenzied melee. It's a veritable clash of the titans. They're whaling at each other in a brutal exchange. OH! There goes somebody's incisors skittering along the boards like a broken string of pearls. Probert's taking a beating at Greta's hands. OH NO! Phyllis has taken a skate blade to Greta and splits her open from knee to chops! Greta clutches at her abdomen but she can't hold it in. Her intestines go splashing down onto the ice in a great steaming mass of blood, mucus, and alimentary canal.


[Background we hear "Nice cut job, Phyllis!"]


BILL: Oh that's going to be a ten minute major for sure, Paul.


PAUL: We'll just have to see conversant guest referee Andre the Giant is with the rules. I'm pretty sure drawing blood with intent to injure in a game is a misconduct.


BILL: Well, the Giant is coming over to Probert now to assess the penalty. OH! He picks up Phyllis over his head. It could it be he's going to body slam her. No, no he's spinning her around and throws her over the special metal fence surrounding the rink. But she doesn't quite make it and gets tangled in the barber wire along the top. That's gotta hurt.


PAUL: The crowd is going wild. They're streaming out of the bleachers to get involved. The London police surrounding the rink in their riot gear are pushing them back. Oh I'd hate to see the violence spill out into the stands like it did in the exhibition season.


BILL: Things seem to be settling down a little bit on the ice. Somebody has thrown an octopus onto the ice. Reminds me of what they used to do at Detroit Red Wing games.


PAUL: That doesn't look like an octopus, Bill. Give me those binoculars.


BILL: Here you go.


PAUL: Oh my god! It's a12-week-old fetus and placenta.


BILL: You're right, Paul. It seems a pro-life, pro-choice confrontation has broken out at the far end of the arena. They're slinging placards at each other. The pro-lifers are throwing goat's blood on somebody wearing a Winnipeg Jets jersey.


[Background throughout we hear people shouting "It's my body it's my choice!" "Baby killers!"]


PAUL: Winnipeg. That's where Henry Morgentaler used to run one of his abortion clinics. Oh, now somebody has thrown a coat hanger onto the ice.


[Background we someone shouting "Never again! Never again!"]


BILL: Oh no.


PAUL: Oh my god. It looks like the police are moving in to break up the demonstration. But… but… they're only arresting the pro-lifers. That hardly seems fair.


BILL: Now Paul, you have to understand we're presently without an abortion law in this country, so it's not up to the courts and law enforcement to decide what's fair. It's really a matter for the legislature.


PAUL: I thought you only read the sports section, Bill?


BILL: Well, the editorial page is always good for a laugh. Anyway, don't worry about the pro-lifers, they're not being arrested. They're only being take to the temporary holding cell at the back of the arena. Due to the recent trend in parental violence at hockey games, the Ontario government passed a law that all hockey rinks must have incarceration facilities. It's a law whose time has come.


PAUL: Well, the teams have cleared the ice. Referee Andre the Giant has ordered a medical waste disposal crew to clean up the organic tissue from the ice. Then the Zamboni with its special hemoglobin bleaching solution will resurface the ice to get the blood stains off.


BILL: While there's a delay in the action, I'd just like to make a personal commentary on spectator violence at hockey games. I'm appalled with the parents and friends who come to the games just looking for a fight. We see it at all levels and all fields of amateur sports where the parents try to relive their past glories through their children. These games are not for the parents, but for the players. Only those young people out on the rink have the right to bludgeon their opponents to within an inch of their life. They're the ones with the helmets and the sticks. So QED they must be the ones who are supposed to fight. It's this sports caster's opinion that everyone should realize their own place and respect the roles of those participating in the game or it could an end to amateur athletics as we know it.


PAUL: I couldn't have said it any better, Bill. I truly believe that a lot of people don't care about the game but they just show up at the arena to fight. Why even tonight the police turned away Korean university students who wanted to turn this sporting event into a political event calling for reunification of communist North Korea and democratic South Korea, which have been separated since the end of the United Nations police actions there in 1953.


BILL: Paul, I've just been handed a tally on the penalties here. Windsor has collected two game misconducts, one fighting major, three two minute penalties, and a charge of negligent manslaughter which carries a maximum penalty of two years less a day under the Young Offenders Act. If convicted, that young lady will be missing the playoffs for sure. It will just ruin her whole season. The Western Mustangs have accrued one game misconduct, one death from profound blood loss, three fighting majors, and one breach of probation. And of course the Young Offenders Act doesn't allow me to tell you the players' names. You know, Paul, all this action. All this triumph and tragedy and we're only 42 seconds into the first period. Despite all the chaos you couldn't ask for a more exciting showdown.


PAUL: Definitely Bill, this one seems to be the most emotionally charged contest I've ever seen. Okay we're ready to start again with the score One to Nothing for Western. The survivors are setting up at center ice for the face off. Andre drops the puck and… oh someone has thrown something onto the ice again. They'll have to stop the game again.


BILL: Don't tell me it's a skinned baby seal pup.


PAUL: Nope. It looks like a… a… OH MY GOD IT'S A GRENADE. DUCK!




BILL: Oh no! Limbs are flying everywhere. The fog is clearing. I can't see who's hurt. Wait. It looks like Andre the Giant has made the ultimate sacrifice. He has thrown himself on the grenade, saving the lives of the players. Such courage, such an unselfish display. This man, a stranger from another country, has taught us all a little lesson on sportsmanship. Shame on you parents! Shame!


PAUL: The police are up in the stands again, clubbing their way towards the suspect. It might have been a Windsor parent, upset with the late, dismembered Andre the Giant for allowing the Western goal earlier. Oh yes, they're definitely in the Western stands. Lancer supporters are clashing with the police. It's a brawl all over again, Bill.


BILL: Yes, yes, and the kids are fighting on the ice again. There's some stick swinging in front of the Western bench and some general pugilism around the bloody mess that was the referee.


[Sound of shotgun being cocked and then fired]


PAUL: Gun play has erupted in the stands. That's got to be a first. The neo-Nazi group we saw earlier is handing out some pamphlets.


BILL: Ugh, not hate literature, now. My god, what's going to happen next? What?


[Sound of explosion]


PAUL: Bill, the roof. The roof is caving in.


[Sound of space ship landing/lowering/hovering]


PAUL: It's a spaceship. And a little green man is descending from it.


BILL: Do you think it's John Zeigler?


PAUL: No. It's levitating just over the body of Andre the Giant. Wait, wait. He's signaling for silence.


ALIEN: [In echo voice] Earthlings, I come to you this day with a message of peace. My planet has watched you spill each other's blood for thousands of your earth years. We feel it has gone on long enough. We stood by and observed you and your plague of violence permeate your existence. With shock, we watched the slaughter by the Khan, and by the Hun, and we were abhorred by the genocide of the American Indian, the Armenian, the Jew, and the Aborigine. We have sent agents to intercede: Moses, Krishna, Jesus Christ, Bill Cosby, Mikhail Gorbachev. But you ignored them all. Or else heaped great wealth and power on them, which is almost as bad. But now you have gone so far as to institutionalize your barbaric ways in your cultural recreation. You have taken children, the flower of youth, the seed of the future, and pitted them against each other in a bloody contest for no other reason than to satisfy your own morbid voyeuristic needs. We have had enough. The Grand Council of my people has decided that if you do not abandon your insidious ways before the NHL quarter final playoffs, your planet will be utterly and totally destroyed. Do not ignore us now. Do not foolishly imperil yourselves.


[Sound of space ship flying up and away]


PAUL: What do we do now, Bill?


BILL: Wuh… what do you mean? We get the game going again. Clear off the ice surface and start over.


PAUL: But didn't you see that? Didn't you hear what he just said?


BILL: What are you talking about? It was just a weather balloon or swamp gas or something. I wouldn't worry about it. Even if it was real, I'm sure it was just a bluff. Trust me, Paul. I've seen this before. The same thing happened when all those English soccer fans were killed a couple years ago.


PAUL: Really? Are you sure?


BILL: Pretty sure.


PAUL: Ah. Well, what should we do until this gets cleaned up and the game starts again?


BILL: Maybe if the DJ is listening in Windsor, he can put on a record. And then we can get a hotdog or help the cops beat up some skinheads


PAUL: Alright. Hey you, a red hot right here.


[Fade up on the sounds of a crowd joyfully clapping and cheering]





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