I had an acting teacher who had the perfect metaphor for the battle one wages to break through in accomplishing any creative endeavor.
I’ve found it applies to many things in life…
Imagine that you’re in a white room. A room so white you can’t tell where the floor or ceiling meet the walls. You can’t make out where the walls become corners. It’s just a big white void. But you know there’s a door somewhere that gets you out.
So you search for that one way out. And finally you find it. You grab hold of the door handle and fling it open, stepping into…
Another white room.
Last week, with the triumph of the NY Rangers in the NHL East, I saw my breakthrough moment in the pool. Not only was I one of the few players with Rangers on my roster, I had some LA Kings as well. If the Kings could get past Chicago, I’d be almost Golden, with a clear path to the top.
And last night LA put Chicago away, after seven of the best games we’ve seen this season.
So I checked the standings. Below me were poolies whose teams had been devastated. And ahead of me –- was everybody else. After weeks of languishing in the basement of the pool, I was once again back in the basement.
But because it’s the finals, there are now two doors to success.
THE PROPS CONTEST IS BACK!!!
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 Super Bowl were invented. Pretty soon the guys who ran the Casinos realized that while they could make millions on who won a football game, they could make BILLIONS with side wagers.
So Proposition Betting was created to give us sports degenerates an opportunity to blow our money on outcomes nobody in their right mind can confidently predict.
You might be wagering on the coin toss (Janet Gretzky's favorite -- seen above at Caesar's Palace with absolutely non-betting husband and 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 will definitely not be decided until well after 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 who thought Pittsburgh had this thing sewn up when the season ended.
Entries must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org anytime between now and the 7:00 pm Eastern faceoff for Game Two on Saturday June 7th in Los Angeles.
Your six Hockey Propositions are:
1. The 2014 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. Los Angeles Goalie Jonathan Quick enters the final round with a .906 Save Percentage. New York’s Henrik Lundquist average is .928. At the end of the final series, the Highest Goalie Save Percentage will belong to:
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:
For non-Canadian players -- CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada" is streaming all games at http://www.cbc.ca/sports, usually in more languages than English.
Unless Bob Cole is calling the game, in which case your guess is as good as mine as to what language that is.
5. The Leading Goal Scorer in the final series will be:
a) Marian Gaborik (LA)
b) Jeff Carter (LA)
c) Martin St. Louis (NY)
d) Carl Hagelin (NY)
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 holding the Cup feels is especially deserving. 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 do you get a chance like this?
Meanwhile in the big show…
Jon Brooks leads with Will Pascoe right behind. Chicago-centric Barry Kiefl is in third but fading…
Will there be big changes by Friday. Absolutely. But for one of us, that final doorway is at hand.