Hello readers. I know it’s been a while since my last posts. I have no excuse other than laziness. But sometimes a person just needs to take a year-long nap.
Last year, I consulted with a coworker who is much more tapped into the gay culture than I. I wanted to see what kinds of posts I can write to attract more readers among the gays. The conversation went something like this:
Me: hey what can I write about to get more gay readers?
Gay Culture Consultant (GCC): write “that player is hot” kind of articles.
Me: I don’t really want to do that.
GCC: write “that player is gay” articles.
Me: I’m never going to do that. I’m not even going to remotely speculate on that.
GCC: can’t help you then. Hey which players are hot?
Me: arg… Google Adam Henrique and Tyler Seguin.
I’m saving you the trouble of googling. Pictures after the link.
Oh well, so much for that. Guess I won’t be changing my writing style any time soon.
I mentioned previously that honor and civility are good qualities to live by both in games and in life. Well, as I acknowledged, actually doing it is pretty hard.
I take four trains and subways commuting to work–it’s actually not as horrible as it sounds, and offers me some exercise walking up and down the stairs. One of these, the L train, connects Manhattan and Brooklyn. The trains from Brooklyn to Union Square are always fully packed during the morning rush hours.
Fortunately, my commute is reversed. I go from 8th Avenue towards Union Square, in a direction opposite to the Brooklyn crowd. Most days my train car would be fairly empty. Still, there are only a few narrow stair cases leading up from the L train to other parts of the station. Sometimes, when I get off at Union Square, I can be stuck behind the Brooklyn crowd for a long time just waiting to walk up the stairs.
So I developed a habit of standing right at the door while riding the L train because when the train stops, I can be–and often am–the first one to get off the train and run up the stairs to beat the crowd. This usually works. Many times my train and the train from Brooklyn would arrive at the station together, and I can avoid the wait by running up the stairs first.
Clearly other people have the same idea too. Sometime ago (well outside the statute of limitations period, FYI), I was standing in front of the train door in my morning commute. Suddenly I felt a nudge and looked over to my left. There stood another man, shorter than I but much heavier. This instantly annoyed me–I really want to be the first person out of the door. So I moved slightly to the left, using my body language to mark my territory: ”hey pal, this was my space and get behind me.”
But he was not to be deterred and immediately moved slight to his right. And soon we find each other jockeying for position and touching shoulder to shoulder. My frustration is growing by the second, and my inner child is getting angry that he’s not getting what he wants. Two grown men fighting for a spot in front of the train door–judged with benefit of the hindsight–is even more ridiculous when you considering that the car is almost empty. Still, neither of us wanted to give up that particular spot because we both knew this particular door will open exactly in front of a stair case.
As the door opens, I got an idea. My coach’s voice reverberates in my mind: ”the key to a good body check is a low center of gravity.” We were standing facing the same direction, so this situation resembles one where a forward carrying the puck has moved pass the defenseman, and defenseman has transitioned from backward skating into forward skating and they are skating in close parallel. Perfect time for a nice hip check.
You can get an idea from these:
I don’t really place defense, but I know what to do here. When doing a hip check, the key is to avoid hitting the other player on the shoulder. Skating balance comes from the lower body, and to knock off that balance the more effective spot to attack is near the person’s center of gravity. (Absolutely NO CLIPPING–a hit near or below the knees–because this could cause significant injury). You can push a guy hard on the shoulders, and it will do very little to affect his balance. But a hit him near the hip and he’ll go right down.
When the door opened, I bent my knees, lowered my center of gravity, moved my shoulders into a defensive position, and threw my hip left. Though heavier than I, he was easily moved and stumbled a couple steps to the left. Then, I easily skated through the door towards the now loose puck (or, in reality, ran up the stairs), leaving only a barely audible “Son of a…” behind.
Remember those “What I Do” internet memes like the one below?
I’m pretty sure I had this image in mind for “what I think I do”:
Funny as it might have been at the time, now that I have some time to reflect on the events and realized that I was not being very nice. It certainly is a far cry from honor and civility I hoped to live up to. Well, to err is human; to forgive, divine. I hope my subway encounter is feeling pretty godly nowadays.