The following is purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laugh while reading this, while framing this, or while burning this. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?
Truthfully, you know it's pretty much the ultimate job. You sit in an air-conditioned, supposedly soundproof booth and you watch hockey, from the best seat in the house. All you have to do is flick that little light switch, or press that little button, or whatever the hell you do that causes that red light to go on. You're basically Captain Kirk, only that your chair doesn't turn and Mr. Sulu doesn't keep nattering at you about some warp factor issues he keeps having. Such is the life of the NHL goal judge.
Loose Change had a chance to sit down with, perhaps, the league's premiere Goal Judge Guy in a short, but insightful interview. I would like to say he will remain anonymous to protect his identity, but, frankly, do you really give a flying flip what his real name is anyway? About the only thing this guy has to worry about is someone offing him, taking his parking spot and watching a game from the prime seat in the house. For purposes of clarity and creativity let's just refer to him as Old One Eye.
Loose Change: So how does one train to become a goal judge?
Old One Eye: The league standards are actually pretty high. You have to be able sit in a chair to start with.
OOE: That's about it. Although it's recommended that you have a strong index finger as well.
LC: To turn the light on?
OOE: Yes, that, but the booth is very, very dry and your nasal passages do tend to get rather clogged by third period so, to alleviate your discomfortÂ…
LC: I get it. Do you ever have problems concentrating on the game?
OOE: I fall asleep all the time.
LC: That doesn't seem very professional. Don't you miss seeing goals scored?
OOE: If, for some reason, I do fall asleep, the goal judge at the other end also has the ability to turn on my red light from his location.
LC: But how can he see it from 200 feet away?
OOE: He rarely does. He goes more by the crowd noise. Usually, that also wakes me up and naturally I tend to flip the switch upon waking.
LC: But you didn't actually see it go in, so how do you know it did?
OOE: The guy upstairs most times confirms it.
LC: The video goal judge?
OOE: No. God. Dude's huge on hockey.
LC: Any other special training go into becoming a goal judge?
OOE: Well, you have to be comfortable in enclosed places and, to ensure that, trainees are often buried below ground for countless hours at a time.
LC: And what does that prove?
OOE: Â…that trainees are weak-kneed wieners.
LC: Is goal judging very prestigious? Does it impress the women?
OOE: Well, let's just say, a certain type of woman is really stoked by what I doÂ…
LC: I mean, other than your mom.
OOE: There are other women?
LC: Do you see a day when goal judges will no longer be needed in professional hockey?
OOE: I hope not. We have a long and storied history of blowing calls and being consistently overruled. When's the last time you won an argument with a VCR?
LC: If that was to happen and you were to find yourself unemployed, what would you do?
OOE: Goal judges are very resilient and resourceful people. We're like dogs in that we always end up on our feet.
LC: You mean cats. Cats always end up on their feet.
OOE: Really? Looked like a dog from here.
Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Tuesday and Friday only on thehockeynews.com.
Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org