A lighter view…Hognose hockey

A lighter view…Hognose hockey

By Karen Morris

By Karen M. Morris

Freelance Writer

Canadians invented hockey to attract wives. Seeking companionship, lonely males would proudly display their ability to whack a lawnmower wheel across a frozen lake and impale an iceberg. What woman could resist such charm?

Some people wake up wishing they could go to a hockey game…I’m not one of them. So, when my husband, Wayne announced we were going to an Ice Hog game, I protested.

“I’m against extreme sports.”

“Really?” he replied. “What would you call racing across an icy parking lot to catch a sale at Marshall Fields–during a white out?”

Before I could explain my theory on economic relativity, the car was backing out of the driveway.

We sat in front of a family wearing pig noses, who blew plastic horns at anyone not sporting snouts. These terrorists were without a hint of compassion.

“What’s our team’s name again?” I shouted.

“The Ice Hogs.”

“They look so tiny.”

“That’s the Pemberton Preschool Choir. They’re singing the anthem. Our team’s over there in the black and burgundy uniforms.”

“I wouldn’t dress a Ken doll in those outfits. No satin, sequins or slits? They’re no Elvis Stojko,” I yelled. But Wayne couldn’t hear me over the honking behind us.

Hockey would attract a larger audience if they followed my bathing suit rules: The puck should be flashy neon and the size of a hot air balloon , making it easier to see and a lot more entertaining to watch. My family have never lost me at the beach.

The players were announced and the game began. Music blared over the loudspeaker whenever a great play was made–which, of course, I wouldn’t recognize because I’m not Canadian.

The players were huge. They looked like rolls of paper towels with tiny feet hanging out the bottom. One poor guy’s hands were so big they just stuck potholders on them. Ashamed and barely able to hold them up, he played alone by the net. Wayne explained they were wearing protective padding and I nodded, “For unnecessary roughness?”

“You really don’t understand hockey do you? The padding is for aggressive play. Unnecessary roughness is when someone spills your beer.”

“Is aggressive play the same as violence?”

“NO,” Wayne scowled. “Violence is what happens at one of your family reunions. Aggressive play is kneeing an opponent without the referees catching you.”

The referees were the skinny ones who occasionally escorted players to a soundproof glass booth…to escape the endless horn blasts. Otherwise, they just free skated willy nilly. To avoid being mistaken for spectators from the stands, the refs dressed alike in flattering vertical stripes.

“Why can’t they hit and score?” Wayne yelled.

“Maybe they’ve been watching training films of you in the bathroom.”

Ignoring me, Wayne leaped to his feet shouting, “NO! That’s impossible. How’d that one get by?”

“I bet that’s what Einstein said when he realized someone else had unraveled the mystery behind the Zamboni machine.”

Pushed to the brink, Wayne snapped, “I treat you to a night out, and all you do is complain and display a bad attitude. It’s just like the night you went into labor.”

I sat quietly until intermission, bobbing my head to the rhythmic blasts of the pig people. The half-time entertainment wasn’t Mick Jagger like Wayne promised, but an audience participation game, instead. The object of this contest was to throw a puck onto a paper plate from 500 yards. Wayne threw pucks like a pitching machine but we never had a chance. He hasn’t hit a trash can with a tissue in thirty years.

Disappointed, Wayne went to get a super snack pack and that’s when I noticed her…Janeal Diamonique from Women’s Club. When Janeal told me she was going to one of Rockford’s best kept secrets, I assumed it was Farm & Fleet. Wearing a hog nose with a black and burgundy jersey, she was flashing a horn. Maybe there’s something to “hockey.”

When Wayne returned, I not only understood the game but was cheering on my favorite players. Number 17 was one goal short of a hat trick, which meant free hamburgers for everyone.


Mortified, Wayne sank into his seat hogging the box of popcorn. To regain possession of the snack bucket, I had to cross check and hook him. After the game, I insisted on making a stop. “I need a horn.”

“For what? Obscene phone calls?”

“No, silly, our next game.”

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