Brett Weir: Hockey Coach of the Year

Due to my recent banishment from all UVM sporting events because of my inaccuracies of reporting on the men’s soccer game that featured four goals scored by Matt Chavez (none of which I actually “saw”), I was forced to concentrate my resources in other areas. I did some brainstorming about something that would be truly worth my time. I considered starting a sports-card trading club but remembered that I received constant harassment and threats when I tried to start the same club in high school. I thought that maybe I could train for a marathon but quickly realized that I hated both sweating and running. Winter camping could be interesting were it not for my phobia of dark places. Then it occurred to me that I could do some volunteer work in the local youth hockey leagues. This would be a good idea for me because I liked hockey, and even though I don’t like kids at all, I liked being a kid. So I called up some local youth hockey organizations and a false alias and a $50 bribe later I was on the ice with the kids. I took many of my childhood experiences and applied them to the way I would handle the kids: I was easily swayed with candy and physical threats. It didn’t take long to figure out where the work was needed when I arrived at the first practice. Half of the kids were twirling on the like figure skaters while throwing their sticks in the air like batons, half were testing the water out of every water bottle on the bench, and the other half were actually doing drills. This didn’t sit very well with me so I took matters into my own hands by ordering those not paying attention to start doing push-ups. The head coach of the Czech Republic national hockey team reinforced the importance of the positive endorphins and the pectoral build-up that results from repetitive push-ups while practicing. His team won the gold medal in the ’98 Olympics so he must know something about this. Fifteen minutes later I had all the kids in tears screaming comments like, “I just peed my pants,” and “My parents are going to sue you.” I figured they’d had enough so I stopped sitting on their backs and stood up. Realizing that the average NHL player nowadays is at least six feet tall and over 200 pounds, I would have to focus these kids on playing a more physical game than they were. I gathered a few mothers and fathers who were casually observing from their vans and instituted the Gauntlet on the ice. The Gauntlet consists of five or six players, in this case parents in suits and high heels, lined up against the boards. A player will then skate as hard as he can through this gauntlet while being checked by every person in the line. Needless to say the Gauntlet was about as successful as an R Kelly babysitting service. Two kids hyper-extended their elbows after their parents taunted them with phrases like, “Bring it bitch!” and “You got nothin’ Jamie!” One of the mothers also had a tooth knocked out in a fight with another father who had elbowed her child in the Gauntlet. It didn’t take long to realize that my on-ice techniques were too new school for this group. I thought I could be help in another sort of way by driving the Zamboni. But when my feet slipped off the steering wheel, crashed through the boards and into the snack shack I was asked to leave. But not very politely might I add. Seven-year-olds and their parents can be so whiney.