Billy Idol makes a save, early in Sunday's game. The battling backup overcame a sore back and shoddy equipment to lead his team to a 20-17 win.


Week 15
Tough enough

Backup beats back injury, and opponents

by Jay Suburb

As Lobsterboy lounged in his lair, polishing his claw, Billy Idol overcame shoddy equipment and a painful back injury to lead his team to a 20-17 win in Sunday's game.

When the veteran shelled shotstopper scratched for the fourth consecutive game, the last two despite assurances that he'd return to the lineup, Billy Idol was a capable backup, even in leg pads that had to be held together with duct tape. But only moments into his first goaltending start in two months, the blonde ballblocker was dancing with himself in pain. He had wrenched his back making a routine save.

With Sunday Morning's goaltending ranks garroted by sloth, sex and sadness, Billy Idol knew he had no choice but to go on.

"It was really tough," says the secondary shotstopper of his perseverance through the pain. "I knew they were going to push on it. I just had to try to pick my positions a bit more, try not to slide from side to side."

He also knew he'd have to rely on his teammates.

"It had the potential to be the game-turner," says Paul One of the added pressure to protect his side's pained goalie. "I think we did a pretty good job of coming back and helping him out. We knew we had to get some timely goals."

"When Billy hurt his back, it kinda made us second-guess everything," says Elvis. "You've got to think a little more defensively."

"Luckily I had a great team," says Billy Idol. "They played good defense and came out with a lot of offensive pressure."

That offensive pressure was established on the first shift, when Elvis, the Kid and the Living Legend passed circles around their flat-footed opponents who, with two rookies making their Sunday Morning debuts, seemed bewildered by the game's speed and quick transitions.

"I think after that first shift, we thought it was going to be a bit of a blowout," says Paul One.

But the furious playmaking netted them only one goal, a slim margin to protect when their goalie collapsed in a crippled heap.

"From beyond that first shift, we knew we couldn't take anything for granted," says Paul One. "You know how the ball bounces in this game and suddenly you're down. We definitely had the potential to lose this game."

In fact, they almost did, twice falling behind by three goals. But, inspired by their goalie's resilience, and some key saves late in the game, they clawed their way back.

"That win was for Billy, for sure," says Paul One. "The way he stood in there, it's like he literally forgot that he'd pulled his back out."

The Stick Pull (Cliff)
Gump (G) Billy Idol(G)
Lak Attack Elvis
Nibs Paul One
Bird Kid
Cliff Living Legend
Cowboy Bill  
Scratches: Beetle Boy (exploitative employer), Lobsterboy (healthy), Slick (legal problems), Ottoman (unsanctioned sex), Wink (exploitative employer), Pig Farming Goalie (stress), Colonel (unsanctioned injury), Giebelhaus (exploitative employer)


Lobsterboy's gametime decision to stay dry instead of venturing into Sunday's light drizzle disappointed a lot of the roadsters. Only five weeks ago he couldn't find a place between the pipes when four other rearguards had already strapped on the leg pads for a mini-tournament.
But since then, Ottoman has succumbed to temptations of the flesh and last week, Pig Farming Goalie, worn down by the mental toll of his position, announced his self-imposed exile.
And the venerable veteran has been unwilling to reclaim his position.
"I think maybe the game has passed him by," said Paul One of the truant shotstopper. "We had so many guys who could play goal, and people were just taking it for granted. There's no commitment to the game."
"The guys are feeling a little let down," said Elvis. "They're disappointed with our current roster of goalies, who've decided it's more fun to sit around than come out and play hockey."

Elvis played his first game in a month, after he returned from an international scouting mission. And by the end of the game, the usually feisty forward showed the effects of his extended layoff, walking back to the defensive zone, steering away from battles in the corners, and shortshifting.
"I was starting to feel it," said Elvis of his flagging fitness. "I was sorta running low on steam at the end."

Besides Lobsterboy, Sunday's roster was further depleted by three regulars, Beetle Boy, Giebelhaus and Wink, who were forced to service the onerous demands of their exploitative employers. But one roadster's exploitation is another's opportunity, as two rookies were able to step into the lineup to make their Sunday Morning debuts. Neither seemed prepared for the tempo.
Cowboy Bill, a big lumbering defender recruited by Gump, struggled to control the evil orange plastic ball until he finally connected for his first goal late in the game.
Cliff, a small, wiry bandmate of Billy Idol's, had trouble with his footing, falling heavily time and again as he slipped on the concrete courts, slicked by the morning's drizzle.
"I think they were a little shell-shocked," said Elvis.
And his side was only too happy to take advantage.
"We were looking for the match up whenever we saw both those guys out there."
But, said Paul One, the newcomers could hardly be faulted for their side's woes, as the treacherous conditions were a challenge for even the veterans.
"I think it's the slick court, there's lots of open breaks and odd-man rushes," said the aging forward. "If you're running up court, it's hard to stop and come back. The ball takes a bounce and starts heading in the other direction, but you just can't turn and get back in a hurry."