Wink's retirement lasts only one game
by Jay Suburb
Wink's retirement lasted only one game. But the return
of his commanding presence in his team's defensive zone couldn't save
his mates from making critical mental errors that cost them a hard-fought
21-19 overtime loss in Sunday's regular season opener.
Despite missing last week's training camp to consider
his future in the game he helped build, when the evil orange plastic
ball dropped to begin Sunday Morning Road Hockey's twelfth season, Wink
was planted in his usual position, defending the far side of the center
Afterall, it's where he's most comfortable, says the notorious
gameshow host gone bad. "I don't care about scoring. I just care
about coming out and playing."
And his goalie was glad for the help.
"He is steady like a rock," says Pig Farming
Goalie. "He never panic, he's always thinking. It was important
to have him back."
Even Wink's opponents welcomed his return.
"He's usually just loud, but he's not scary,"
says Billy Idol, who was a surprise starter between the pipes, after
Lobsterboy injured his toe in a "domestic incident" on the
eve of the opener.
"It would have been a sad moment for the veterans
of the game had Wink stayed retired," says fellow founding father,
the Living Legend. "We've come up through the game together and
to be left as the only founding father out there on my own, it would
have been tough."
Wink's comeback started with a bang, as he blasted the
season's first goal, a knee-high sizzler that eluded Billy Idol's outstretched
"You've gotta know if you give him room, and give
him time, he'll wind up and he's got a great shot," says the bleach-blonde
But Wink's one-week flirtation with Sunday morning sloth
eventually took its toll, as he coughed up the ball to aggressive forechecking
and lead passes bounced harmlessly past their targets.
"I think skipping training camp really hurt me,"
says the belligerent backchecker. "I was having trouble making
passes, we had trouble getting the ball out of our own zone."
"The guys who decide not to come out for the beginning
of the season, they're gonna feel it, they're gonna be a step behind,"
says the Living Legend. "The days when players could walk onto
the court in December and be the best player are gone."
"It's a mistake to miss training camp," says
Paul One, who also admits to suffering in his first game of the season.
"It's everything, it's your timing, it's remembering where you
should go, what you should do and where the ball should go."
Or where it shouldn't. And in a close, seesaw game already
in overtime after three late lead swaps, it shouldn't go to the stick
of an opposing forward cruising through the slot.
But that's just where a sloppy clearing attempt ended
up. With Pig Farming Goalie out of position after a mad scramble at
the edge of his crease, Elvis scored the game-winner into a wide open
Elvis' game-winner was especially sweet for the speedy sniper, after
he gave up last week's winning goal when his clearing pass from the side
of his own net bounced off Giebelhaus and past a stunned Lobsterboy.
"That was nice vindication for Elvis, because he was the goat last
week," said sophomore shotstopper, Billy Idol.
"We just capitalized on the other team's mistakes," said Elvis.
"It's better than losing the game."
Billy Idol hadn't expected to strap on the goalie pads when he arrived
at the road hockey courts for Sunday's regular season opener. But with
Lobsterboy nursing an injured toe, he took the new assignment in stride.
"I felt good out there," said the surprise starter. "I'm
into the game as soon as the ball drops, I just kinda have to will my
"He stood in there when we needed him," said the Living Legend
of his side's unexpected stopper. "We've seen him play before, we
know he's a standup guy, he has a knack for getting in front of the ball."
At the other end of the courts, Pig Farming Goalie made spectacular
saves on Lak Attack and twice robbed the Living Legend of sure goals with
his lightning glove. But mental lapses in the middle of the game cost
his side the momentum they had built into a two-goal lead.
"It was very tough game," said the agrarian goaltender. "It
was like Chernobyl, I melt down right in middle. I leave bigger holes
between legs than Eastern Front in World War II."
"We put unbelievable pressure on PFG," said Billy Idol of his
"It was just the bounce of the ball," said Paul One. "It
ends up on somebody else's stick and they were able to pop two quick ones."
Unlike past season openers, which were often sloppy, lazy affairs
as the roadsters continued to work off their Summer sloth, Sunday's game
was a taunt thriller in which the teams traded the lead a number of times,
and neither was able to gain an advantage greater than two goals.
"It was a pretty tight game the whole way," said Elvis. "I
think the intensity is always there, there's always the sense of competition."
"That's what we come out for, those type of games," said Paul
One. "You just didn't know who was going to win until that final
goal. That's the way it should be."
"We're right back into it," said Billy Idol. "Today was
like a good grudge match."