Pig Farming Goalie steers the evil orange plastic ball away from a waiting Bulldog. But the agrarian goaltender struggled with his concentration most of the game, as his team succumbed, 20-17.


Week 19
Slipping his mind

Goalie's game one he'd rather forget

by Jay Suburb

Pig Farming Goalie would prefer to let Sunday's game slip from his memory. Instead, his teammates slipped all over the slushy courts, and allowed their opponents to slide past them, 20-17.

The neophyte netminder struggled with his concentration all morning as he frequently found himself out of position or whiffing at long shots he'd normally smother with ease. Twice he let the evil orange plastic ball escape his trapper and drop behind him into the net.

"I don't know what wrong with glove today," says Pig Farming Goalie. "It keeps you from focussing. I found myself second-guessing all time where ball is going."

Or where his defense was hiding.

"They not pick up guys coming back," says the freshman shotstopper of his scarce support. "Lots of people get behind them, set up two-on-ones, two-on-nones, make deflections."

But the wet concrete, and patches of icy slush, the lingering remnants of the foot of snow that had covered the courts last Sunday, made the quick transition from offense to defense treacherous, says Billy Idol.

"A lot of people were falling."

"The conditions were pretty slippery out there," says notorious gameshow host gone bad, Wink.

And it was the team that was best able to adjust their game to stay on their feet that emerged with the win, says Giebelhaus.

"You can't pull those fancy moves out there, because of the slippery surface," says the returning roadster, playing his first game in six weeks after an extended vacation to a faraway country. "If you tried to do the big cuts across the courts, you'd find yourself flat on your ass pretty quick."

So his side adopted a passing game, headmanning the ball quickly up the court, cycling it to the open winger, twisting flatfooted defenders into helpless knots.

"It was like a passing clinic out there," says Giebelhaus.

"Opposition move ball very well," says Pig Farming Goalie. "Our players not learn. Our players just leave them open. It's frustrating. I yell much from back, but nobody listen."

And not the kind of play from which happy memories are forged, says the agrarian goaltender.

"Few goals I get very mad on. Some goals just inexcusable. I let it get the better of me."

Three days of warmer temperatures, and an overnight rainstorm melted most of the snow that had caused the cancellation of last week's game. But Sunday's game couldn't start until a spirited shovel brigade dispatched the banks of heavy slush that lined the boards and scraped the stubborn patches of ice still frozen to the concrete.
"It was hard," said Pig Farming Goalie, who was the first player to arrive at the courts on Sunday and had already cleared about a quarter of the snow before the rest of the roadsters arrived. "It affects your game."
"It was tiring shoveling all that ice and snow," said Billy Idol.
"I was a little worried about having to scrape the courts," said Giebelhaus.

Rain, that continued to fall through the game's first period, and a thin film of semi-frozen slush that clung to the concrete in nearly invisible patches, kept the courts slick and sent a number of players tumbling.
"When the courts are wet, you've got to respect them," said New Guy, who was a surprise starter in net after Ottoman was an unexpected scratch.
The most serious fall was suffered by Giebelhaus, who appeared to aggravate his already fragile knee, stiffened by surgery almost a year ago.
"You had to play a cautious game," said the veteran forward, who limped off the court, but returned for his next shift.

The break in the wintery weather was a relief to all the roadsters, who were itching to play after last Sunday's unexpected break.
"Last week was terribly disappointing," said notorious gameshow host gone bad, Wink.
And the pause seemed to have a lingering effect, especially early in Sunday's game, said New Guy.
"You have to shake off a little rust," said the rookie.
"Both teams have responsibility to be ready when come back," said Pig Farming Goalie. "Whole team has to be focussed."

New Guy's venture between the pipes was a surprise to everyone but himself. Usually a feisty forward who likes to mix it up along the boards and drive to the net with abandon, he arrived at the courts Sunday eager to strap on the pads.
"I've been working to get better," said newly-minted netminder.
But his enthusiasm was tempered when the pre-game stick pull put three of the game's most potent snipers, Lak Attack, Wink and Nibs, on the opposite side of the court.
"When you've got three of the hardest shots in the game playing for the other side, you've got to try to square up to the shooter and take away as much of the net as you can," said New Guy. "There's not a lot you can do, you just try to play positionally and hope they shoot it at you."
And, for the most part, that's exactly what happened, said Wink.
"We just couldn't buy one against their goalie. We seemed to have trouble finishing."
"We were trying to shoot them in long and go for the rebounds," said Billy Idol, of his team's strategy to take advantage of the inexperienced goaltender. "But the defense was always there, they were back the whole time."
"I think players were a bit cocky with new goalie in net," said Pig Farming Goalie. "They lose their focus on putting ball into net. They think they be able to get easy goal, and New Guy deny them."