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Guy Called Mike admits his pre-season training has been curtailed as he prepares to expand his family's roster, on the same weekend as the opening of Sunday Morning Road Hockey's training camp.

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PRE-SEASON SPECIAL REPORT
Pregnant pause

Expected roster move may mean veteran roadster misses pre-season

by Jay Suburb

The Guy Called Mike may be excused if he's got things on his mind other than road hockey.

The veteran roadster is expanding his family's roster, with the move expected on the same weekend as the opening of Sunday Morning Road Hockey's one-game training camp, this Sunday.

It'll be the first transaction for the expectant general manager, but just the latest in a baby boom that's exploded at the courts in the past year. Lobsterboy, Paul One, the Whirling Dervish and Hollywood Paul all spawned junior roadsters late last season.

While the rest of the roadsters have been gearing up for Sunday Morning's eleventh season, GCM's been shopping for a minivan

But that doesn't mean his life is over, say some of the natal neophytes.

"It doesn't preclude you from doing stuff," says Paul One, whose season scarcely skipped a beat after his own family expanded its roster last Spring. "If there's a will, there's a way. I think all it takes is a little more planning."

But that can be tough to achieve, says the Whirling Dervish, who played only a couple of games after the birth of his daughter midway through last season.

"Time is such a premium," says the feisty forward, who expects to make only sporadic appearances at the courts this season. "You're in this with a partner, and you wanna make sure that you're pulling your own weight and keeping up your end of the bargain."

With the junior roadster's debut still days away, GCM is already discovering his time is no longer his own. Because before there is the baby, there are all the household projects that have to be completed before the baby.

"There's no time," says Lobsterboy. "The projects just keep adding up."

"It can be hell keeping up with the nesting phase," says the Whirling Dervish. "Nothing can be counted on, everything is up in the air. You wanna make sure you've got all those little jobs that need to get done actually do get done, so you're free for six to twelve weeks to stay up every night."

And while all that drywalling and plumbing may make for household peace, it can wreak havoc on a roadster's conditioning. For the past month, says GCM, his training regime has been little more rigorous than pushing nails and squeezing caulking guns.

"It's a long road, and for the next couple of years, the physical conditioning takes a back seat to some other stuff," says the Dervish. "It doesn't mean that he'll never be in great shape again, it's just that right now is not a good time for it."

"All that stuff, it can maybe detract from what you're able to bring to the game," says Paul One. "The important thing isn't that you necessarily come to the game at 100 percent, but that you just come to the game. If your endurance or ability falls off a little bit, that's understandable."

And, say the roadsters who should know, the game can be a bit of a refuge from the awesome demands of parenthood.

"If anything, it gives you a good release," says Paul One. "It gives you a chance to step away, because otherwise you can get totally wrapped up in it, and you just sit around thinking about it all the time."

"You've gotta have some time for yourself," says Lobsterboy. "You've gotta keep the joys that you have. There's so much tenseness, you've gotta have some release time."

"It's a fun thing to do," says the Whirling Dervish. "It's like going to a movie, it's sort of a change of pace."

And when the fathering forward does return to the courts, he'll find himself a changed player.

"It's such a joyous experience that once you have the baby, you want to be able to bring the joy of road hockey to future generations," says Lobsterboy.

"It makes you consider the longetivity of the game," says Paul One. "It makes you wanna pass it on. You actually start to think it might be fun to one day have your own kids playing as little roadsters."

 


Sunday Morning's baby boom shows no signs of abating as roadhockey.net has learned Philderma will be the next roadster to expand his team, in January.

The Guy Called Mike isn't the only roadster whose game conditioning his slipped through summer sloth and household duties. Lobsterboy admits he'll have to play himself into shape.
"I've got a little Sexboy fat around the middle," says the expanding netminder, who's been ice skating at a local rink in recent days in preparation for training camp.

At the opposite end of the scale, the Living Legend says he may be in his best shape in years, after a consistent regime of cycling and arduous hill climbs through the off-season.
"I don't really know how that cycling fitness will translate into game fitness," says the founding father, who dropped about eight pounds from his aging midriff, "but I'm feeling good, I'm feeling strong."

The recent sighting of Lobsterboy at an ice hockey rink sent tongues wagging that the longtime shotstopper may be joining some other rogue roadsters who've taken up the unsanctioned ice game. Speculation was further fueled when he recently walked right by a bargain bin of discounted goalie sticks at a local sporting goods store.
"I've already got a goalie stick," says the veteran netminder.

The goalies will be happy to know the last of the gravel traps behind the south end of the courts have been paved over. For years they've been ducking the stone missiles that always seemed to spill onto the concrete between games.
One of the sideline areas has also been fenced in, creating a kind of holding area for junior roadsters, or a really large penalty box for Philderama.

Sunday's training camp will be the only pre-season game before Sunday Morning Road Hockey's official season begins the following week. As always, gametime is 10:30 AM.

This is also the first new issue of roadhockey.net, the official online newsletter of Sunday Mornng Road Hockey. And while the name and look of the site may be new, the tradition of innovation and the best road hockey journalism and photography, as established by Road Hockey Illustrated, will continue.
To preview the coming season, check out the new Flash trailer, featuring all your favorite roadsters, now posted on the Multimedia page.