Morning rookie, Billy Idol, prepares to step into the breach left
by Lobsterboy, who stunned his fellow roadsters by failing to show
up after hosting a raucous party Saturday night.
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Shelled shotstopper a no-show, leaving rookie to save the
by Jay Suburb
Last week, Lobsterboy was the toast of the road hockey
courts. This week, his reputation is shattered, his status as Sunday
Morning's "number one goalie" is in doubt.
A week after making his triumphant return to the goal
crease, the shelled shotstopper was a shocking no-show Sunday, reportedly
to nurse a hangover from a Saturday night spent partying. It's not the
first time the creaseminding crustacean has succumbed to the temptations
of the bottle, and some roadsters say they're fed up with his intemperance.
"I've come to expect that from his lackluster attitude,"
says notorious gameshow host gone bad, Wink, of his ripped rival. "Nothing
surprises me about that guy when it comes to his commitment to the game."
"I think he's been shunted to the sidelines as a
goaltender," says Paul One, who attended the same party but was
an early arrival at the courts the morning after.
A two-time Conn Stick winner as the Stanley Stick championship
tournament's most valuable player, Lobsterboy had found himself the
odd entree out when he returned from more than a month of worldwide
travel, as new goalies had been recruited in his stead. He complained
his fellow veterans weren't showing him the respect he felt his due.
But he bided his time.
Last week, after two lackluster games as a winded and
confused forward, he got his chance to reclaim his position. And his
He succeeded, on both counts, leading his team to an easy
20-11 victory. He declared himself once again worthy of his fellow roadster's
respect and adulation.
But on Sunday, as the roadsters searched frantically for
a replacement, they had neither. And none more so than some of the game's
impressionable rookies, who'd grown up on the lore of Lobsterboy's acrobatics
and single-minded determination to smother every shot in his vicinity.
"I'm not surprised Lobsterboy would succumb,"
says Elvis, who played his first game against the creaseminding crustacean
just last week. "He just seems like a weak individual. I'd like
to think a strong person would be able to steer clear of alcoholic temptation."
"I hear Lobsterboy likes the sauce," says Billy
Idol, his reluctant replacement. "That's gonna hold him back."
And without the respect of even the game's upstarts, Lobsterboy's
claim to shotstopping superiority ring hollow, says fellow founding
"All we do is hear about how we don't respect him,
how he's been in the game for years and he deserves his spot. But he
doesn't deserve anything. He has earned absolutely nothing."
Lobsterboy had hinted at his demise earlier in the week, when
he announced to the Sunday Morning Ticker that he would probably turn
up at the courts "in a pretty bad shape" after hosting a party
Saturday night. But even fellow partier, Paul One, was surprised when
it turned out that meant not showing up at all.
"He seemed fine," said the veteran forward of Lobsterboy's apparent
condition the night before. "I think it's real weak. He better be
working on a good excuse."
But when Lobsterboy was contacted by phone late Sunday, he seemed
surprised by all the hubbub.
"Geez, I'm the only guy who's played six years in goal without complaining,"
said the sobering shotstopper. "It was just a one-time thing."
When pressed to explain his absence, he feigned an injury allegedly suffered
while "table top dancing." And then he claimed it was all part
of his grand plan to further widen the pool of possible goalies.
"It shows the rookies they gotta strap on the pads too, for the good
of the game," said Lobsterboy.
Indeed, it was one of those rookies, Billy Idol, who met the challenge
"Nobody else wanted to play net, I thought I'd give it a try,"
said the neophyte netminder.
Despite a shaky start that spotted his opponents an early and commanding
lead, he settled down and made some big clutch saves late in the game
to backstop his team to a thrilling 25-23 victory in quadruple overtime.
"We were just firing like crazy at the beginning of the game, trying
to get as many goals as we could" said Paul One, of his side's strategy
to exploit their inexperienced nemesis. "After that he just seemed
to be able to track the ball better. He just stepped up and brought his
game to another level and shut us down."
"Obviously you wanna get the first couple of goals, try to put him
off his game early," said Elvis of his longtime rival. "He fought
back hard and by the end of the game he was really looking comfortable
That's because he finally knew where his net was, said Billy Idol.
"I started off by playing too far back in my crease because I didn't
really know where my left and right posts were. But once you got used
to it, you could get a little more daring, you poke the stick out there,
cover a few more balls."
And that increasing confidence was key, as his side twice fought back
from large deficits, and then faced match point three times through the
overtimes before Bird was able to slap a pass across the crease to Lak
Attack who scored the game winner.
"That was one of the toughest games in recent memory, that's for
sure," said Paul One of his side's shocking collapse.
"They didn't win it, we lost it," said Wink. "We couldn't
score when we had the chances. We got too cocky, too overconfident; we
thought we were all that, but we weren't even half that."
Bird's assist on Lak Attack's game winner capped a remarkable comeback
performance of his own, after he'd been shutout last week for the first
time in his road hockey career, and then struggled to find the net again
until late in the game.
And he could soon be getting a cap of another kind, after one of his front
teeth was broken when he was accidentally hit by the Colonel's stick,
which had become jammed in the fence behind the net. It was the first
dental damage suffered in Sunday Morning Road Hockey since DalMonte's
brutal mugging of Sexboy at the old lacrosse box, that left the veteran
forward with a cracked tooth and a dislocated elbow.
All the attention focussed on Lobsterboy's shocking absence helped
deflect criticism of Pig Farming Goalie, who was also a late scratch after
reportedly losing his own battle with the bottle the night before.