Friday, May 29, 2009


We’re into the final stretch and the two teams of Gladiators we watched last year are waiting in their separate Vomitoriums to battle anew. Since the time of Caligula, the sight of old adversaries strapping on their armor to seek revenge or a reprise of victory has held a certain additional excitement.

Yeah, it’s fun to see somebody new get a shot, but the storylines in a battle rejoined are brimming with possibilities.

cup preview

Sydney Crosby seems to be on a mission, hungry to prove he really is “The Next One”. Evgeni Malkin has transformed from a guy with a cold to somebody hot as a pistol.

On the other end of the ice, Marion Hossa faces the team he abandoned after last year’s final flanked by a handful of guys with fistfuls of championship rings who know this is the last time they will play for the ultimate prize. How’s that for motivation?

Meanwhile, closer to home, the “Infamous Writers Hockey Pool” has reached a point where only the top half dozen remain in the running. The Current standings being:

1 Moviequill 179

2 Will Pascoe 177

3 Michael Foster 172

4 Mark Wilson 166

5 Brian Stockton 161

6 Allan Eastman 159

6 Peter Mitchell 159

8 David Kinahan 158

8 John Callaghan 158

10 Barry Keifl 154

11 Larry Raskin 151

12 Scotty William 129

13 Will Dixon 124

14 Wil Zmak 123

15 Jeff Martel 121

15 Jim Henshaw 121

17 Daryl Davis 101

18 Denis McGrath 71

So we need to drop something new into the mix.

Dasheill Hammett’s advice to writer’s stuck with what to do next was “When in doubt, have two guys bust through the door with guns.”

Around here we bust through the door with “The Props”

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a little history.

Betting on sports has been around as long as there have been guys who needed to pump up their self-esteem by proving they were right about something. And for centuries money changed hands based on who won or lost a contest. Then Las Vegas and the Superbowl were invented. Pretty soon the smart guys who ran the Casinos realized that while you could make millions on who won a football game, you could make Billions with side wagers.

So "Proposition Betting" was created to give us degenerates an opportunity to blow our money on outcomes nobody in their right mind can confidently predict.

wayne gambles

You might be wagering on the coin toss (Janet Gretzky's favorite -- seen here at Caesar's Palace with absolutely non-betting Hockey Great One Wayne) or if a touchdown is made by a player whose jersey number is over 30. "Props" are also not one bet options. You need to pick at least a half dozen. The odds of collecting are infinitesimal.

But then, you can't put a price on a good time, can you?

So here's how the "Infamous Writers Pool Hockey Props" works.

There are six bets. All are related to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Some require sports knowledge. Some only require guts! The player with the most correct answers wins. And a special piece of Canadian Hockey memorabilia (currently treasured by Yours Truly) will be awarded to the winner.

Should there be a tie -- uh -- we'll figure that out if there's a tie. But this contest is definitely going to come down to the final game! Entry is open to all current pool players, everybody who’s been kicking themselves for not getting in on the original action and anybody else who just needs to boost their self image.

Entries must be sent to anytime between now and the first faceoff of the first game on Saturday night.

Your six Hockey Propositions are:

1. The 2008-2009 Stanley Cup winner will be decided in:

a) Four Games

b) Five Games

c) Six Games

d) Seven Games

2. The total number of goals scored in the Final series will be:

a) Less than 20

b) 20 to 30

c) More than 30

3. The number of Octopi (Octopusses) flung on the ice on Opening night in Detroit.

a) One

b) Two

c) Three or More

4. "Hockey Night in Canada" icon Don Cherry always confidently predicts the winner of each game prior to the opening faceoff. For the FOURTH game of the series, he will be:

a) Correct

b) Incorrect

For non-Canadian players -- CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada" is streaming all games here, usually in more languages than English.

5. The Leading Scorer in the series will be:

a) Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit)

b) Johan Franzen (Detroit)

c) Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh)

d) Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh)

e) Other

6. The Captain of the winning team is the first player to hoist the Stanley Cup and skate a victory lap. The Cup is then passed to each member of his team. And it's usually passed to someone the player with the Cup feels is deserving OR used to be his roomie. The Goalie of the winning team will be:

a) One of the first six players to hoist the Cup

b) The Seventh to Twelfth player to hoist the Cup

c) One of the remaining players to hoist the Cup

Tough enough? C'mon, suck it up! How often are you gonna get a chance like this?

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