Lak Attack emerges with the evil orange plastic ball from a crowd of players. As one of Sunday Morning's speediest forwards, he was able to weave his way through the throngs of players to drive his side's offense.


Week 25
Crowded house

Speedsters weave through throngs

by Jay Suburb

With 18 roadsters crowding the court and littering the sidelines Sunday, it was hard to tell the players apart without a program. But while one side counted bodies, the other counted goals, weaving their way through the throngs to a decisive 20-9 win.

Bright, cool weather and a dry court attracted a near-record number of players, and a host of new complications. While the roadsters on the court at any one time remained as it always has, three to a side plus the goalie, the faces were ever-changing in a whirlwind of line juggling and defensive matching.

"You don't get chemistry between the lines like you would if you were playing with set lines," says Bird, who found himself paired with half a dozen different wingers through the game. "It's just crazy."

Like a fox. Or maybe a hare. Because as Bird and his mates tried to sort out their line combinations, their opponents laced up their runners and raced deep into the offensive zone, creating opportunities. And capitalizing on them.

"There was a lot of fast guys out there today, and they all decided to show up," says Billy Idol, still dizzy from trying to catch them.

That was the plan, says Rudy. With the odd number of players making consistent line combinations unlikely, the team that could best move the ball and drive to the open spot would prevail.

"I think we kept building confidence and finding new ways to play together," says the speedy centerman, who was most effective when paired with another fleet forward, Elvis. "When the entire team is paying attention to what the gameplan is, that's where we're gonna beat 'em."

A gameplan is just what his team lacked, says Paul One. They were too busy just trying to figure out their teammates.

"It does sorta take you out of the game," says the veteran forward, who played through a sore back that had kept him out of last week's match. "Our heads were never really in it."

And that carried through to the scoreboard, as Bulldog opened the barrage. His side never looked back.

"Once we had momentum, it was tough for them to come back," says Pig Farming Goalie, who recorded his second straight victory.

"They seemed to be able to create chemistry," says notorious gameshow host gone bad, Wink. "We had trouble getting on track."

"With so many guys, it's hard to build up some momentum because you're off for so long," says Bird.

Sunday's population explosion was bolstered by the return of Slick, who's back at the courts after missing the first 23 games of the season, and another refugee from the afternoon game. And for the first time since Lobsterboy's unexpected semi-retirement, there were more goalies than nets, as New Guy was relieved early in the game by Ottoman.
But neither provided much of a barrier to the onslaught of their opponents, who were able to take advantage of breakdowns in the defensive zone.
"That's always an easy excuse to blame the goaltending, but I don't think that was at the heart of our woes today," said Paul One.
"I don't think we did anything out there defensively," said Bird.

At the other end, Pig Farming Goalie's second straight win was also one of his strongest games of the season, as a new set of lightweight pads gave him unprecedented mobility to throw himself across the crease.
"Pig Farming Goalie came up really big a few times," said Rudy.
"I mean, how many times did we have a guy in front of the net going tic tic tic, and PFG would make a big save," said Wink. "Our goal scorers just couldn't score."
While the new equipment may have helped, Pig Farming Goalie said it was equally important to maintain his focus despite the array of players coming at him.
"You can only look at individuals and just focus on stopping ball," said the barn-slopping shotstopper. "What you have to look out for is the good two-on-one players."

But even Pig Farming Goalie wasn't prepared for the most unlikely goal of the day, a one-handed flip shot from the left side of the net by renowned pointman, Wink.
After battling into the corner with fellow founding father, the Living Legend, Wink emerged with the ball, one hand on his stick, the other holding off the check.
"I felt lucky just to get close to the net, let alone get a shot on goal," said Wink.
But he did, as he wheeled around and lofted a thigh-high floater into the short side.

Another sniper, Nibs, struggled on the scoreboard, scoring only twice in Sunday's game after counting a career-high ten goals last week.
But as he faltered, his frequent linemate, Lak Attack, filled the net.
"Lak was on fire today," said Billy Idol. "He put away some beautiful plays."
"The skilled guys really seem to shine on a day like today," said Paul One. "They're smart enough to jump on the opportunity to go 100 percent. When you can go really quick your whole shift, you've got a distinct advantage.