The Barnstormer has secured the cooperation of a locked-out NHL player who has agreed to document each day he is kept out of action on the condition that we do not reveal his identity. Ever. Read all the daily diary entries of “Cheapthroat” here.
8:45AM — Ate 24 eggs.
9:00AM — Sportsnet feed. Holy Ryder Cup. Who knew? TSN loop twice. A lot of talk about Switzerland. Fucknuts over there in New York must just be cringing at that Nasher’s injury over in Switzerland. Speaking of Switzerland, when it boils down to it, the gear we play in really is just padded lederhosen. If I didn’t play hockey, I would rib hockey players about that. If someone ribs me about that, I’ll make his teeth bleed.
10:12AM — Oh, that date the other night? Lemme just say this: she was no Alyssa Milano.
11:00AM — I can’t tell you what just happened in the bathroom after those 24 eggs. Anyways, decided I need to make a change in the world. All this stuff happening in Syria is cray and I don’t like being sad. If fucks with my chi. And figured since I’m retired on NHL2K12 with just about every accolade a man could get, I could start new again with a new player. Only he’d be from Syria. He wouldn’t speak much English and he’d commit to lots of skating drills. I made him skinny like he didn’t eat because his fridge got bombed and he came over here because some Canadian family adopted him, like me, retired me from the future, no better yet FUCKING LOCKED OUT OF MY WORKPLACE BY SOME SHAVED HOBBIT IN A CLEAN SUIT, and took him into my home and got him into hockey. His name’s Fatih. Fatih Damascus, but the boys on the team call him Fatty but it’s ironic because he’s 150 pounds wet and clothed and couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag.
11:35AM — Mad skating drills for Fatty today. Come on fuggin Fatty! Be Hungry! I yell at the screen. It’s gonna take him a while to make it but the kid’s got drive and a half decent wrist shot. Fucking horrible slapshot. No heat. No nuthin. This could take a while.
3:40PM — Had a talk with the coach of the Marlies where the guy I created back in 2012 (whoa) came up. Coach agreed to take him on. Now I know all of this is playing out in my head, but still. When you sit this close to the plasma TV in the dark, shit gets real. Fatty’s playing fourth line tonight against the Bulldogs. Game day. It’s on.
4:00PM — Gym. Lats. I fucking love my lats. Sometimes I think if I fell out of an airplane I could flex my lats and it would slow me down enough to not die so long as I landed in a lake that wasn’t shallow. Course I’d have to pull up and pike last second and I would accelerate a bit but I’d still keep my lats flexed even in vertical descent. Then when I hit the water I’d go crucifix and all Jesus lats then float to the surface and be on TV as the only survivor and then go on Ellen and she’d say how’d you do it? And I’d say, honestly Ellen, it was my lats. And she’d say, Lats crazy, and we’d both laugh and she’d touch my knee and then say, but seriously, and then say something serious.
4:01PM — Focus.
5:14PM — Bike. Key to the bike is visualization. Sometimes I imagine there’s a fire and there’s not water to put it out so I have to sweat to make the water. Other times I imagine running from stuff I’m afraid of. Like a bear with a chainsaw.
5:35PM — Can’t get Fatty Damascus out of my head. I mean he’ll probably play all of five minutes and it’s really a victory just for him to step on the ice. He watches the news a lot though and he has to stop that. I think Syria is getting into his head, and he knows people see him as a bit of a charity case and an outsider. Well I guess he’s both but still. Something tells me maybe he wants this more than people think.
6:01PM — I hate the bike. It’d be different if it went somewhere. I should just get a bike and ride it. Call it my Michael Rydesy. Gotta name stuff. Gotta name everything. Then add ‘sy’ or ‘er’ to the end of everything. My Lincoln Navigator: Lincsy. Or sometimes just ‘Gator’.
7:11PM — Sped home to get Fatty a few more drills in before puck drop. Made a two litre jug of Gatorade with a few crushed Sudafeds. Major nerves.
8:11PM — Fuuuuuckkiingg Faaattyy!! One assist. Fucking bute setup off his face on the game tying goal. He’s hungry! Fatty is hungry! That’s what the papers will say. Hungry Fatty Spits Out Helper. Kid’s got fire. Fiesty crosschecker – took three penalties for cross-checking but not gonna lie – if the kid’s in the box then the kid’s on the ice when the PIMS expire and there’s nothing a coach can do about that. Gotta get ice.
2:01AM — Fatty’s on the third line, 26 games into the season. 9 helpers, still no goal. Everyone in Syria watching. Even their president or prime minister who looks like a sawed-off Alf. Member that show? That muppet alien. Saw off that snout of his and you got that guy. Anyways…Fatty won’t get sucked into all that. He’s mum about it in interviews. Where did the time go?
3:56AM — Was too wired from all the excitement around Fatty Damascus that I couldn’t sleep. So I created Gary Bettman and sent him to Rochester. Had him pick a fight with every goon he shared the ice with. Trying to see how long it takes for him to be forced into retirement with a head injury. So far six concussions. He’ll never make the show. Not on my watch.
- “Cheap Throat: The Diary of a Locked-Out NHLer“. Read all the other entries here.
- “Complicit in the NHL’s Demise: How the NHL & its players hate hockey, and how the fan is at fault” by Mike Spry
- The Barnstormer’s Take Hockey Back fan protest event