Being incredibly famous, one of the things you're most often asked is: Can I ever hope to be like you?
That's a fair question but, essentially, rather stupid.
Go to the mirror now and look at your reflection. Do you see a glorious glow encircling your head? Are there unexplained harps and/or trumpets playing? Do birds regularly land on your shoulders? Didn't think so. So, no, you can never be like me (or is it, Yes, you can never be like me?). Either way, you can never be like me. It's simply the burden I must bear.
One of the other things we famous people are always asked about is our opinions on stuff. Is the market due for a crash? Can I really drive an SUV and feel ethical? Are shampoos with jojoba really that good?
Truthfully most of us really don't have answers to those questions, but if we say things that sound logical and use big enough words, we can sell burnt cabbage to a walrus (or so the saying in Luxembourg goes).
Of course now, all the peons of the world want our fearless hockey predictions. Who's going to win the Stanley Cup? Are the Blue Jackets for real? Is this McGrattan's breakout year?
One at a time, heathens.
First off you should know that, for the most part, you're being played. There are but three types of predictions and predictors.
The first is the easy one: Go with the defending champ.
The predictor's reasoning will sound logical enough. The team hasn't sustained enough internal damage to warrant any other choice and they're still champions until someone knocks them off. Blah, blah, blah. These pickers are as spineless as Belgian jellyfish. When's the last time we've seen a repeat champion? When's the last time we've even seen someone getting within spitting distance of the Cup, the second year?
If you see someone (and there are lots of them) picking the defending champ, understand they have little imagination, are likely very lame in bed and probably work where they work because Daddy signs their checks.
The second mode of prognostication is what I call Fumes of Resonance.
This simple theory says the predictor will pick someone who either (a) finished in a flurry (b) made Â“hugeÂ” signings over the summer or (c) they won the Stanley Cup sometime within the past three years and still supposedly have the components and winning attitude to climb that hill again (I'm looking at you Carolina).
Understand that these pickers are also the ones who have pastel-colored rec rooms and most of Britney Spears' albums. They are the trendy types. They think they're being unique by getting that I am One in a Million tattoo and attending Anarchy Rules meetings.
The last group is the Stoned Coin Flippers.
Their picks are absolutely random and usually without reason or content. They are, however, the most adamant about throwing it back in your face when, say, Â“Columbus wins the CupÂ” (I love saying that). What they lack in sanity they make up for in for entertainment value. If nothing else, these folk make for excellent bathroom reading.
So, really the question becomes: Why are you so concerned who picks who to win what?
If 12 on-air panelists picked Toronto to win it all, what do they really have to lose and what do you really have to gain? When their prediction proves to be a failure it will do nothing but prove these prognosticators are (a) fallible and (b) from a distant galaxy.
Unless it comes with a money-back guarantee endorsed by Ed McMahon, take it for what it's worth: hot air.
And, as for us here at Loose Change? Who are we picking? Well, my predicted order of finish Â– and you can take this to the bank - is Anaheim; Atlanta, Boston followed by Buffalo.
But of course, I'm picking alphabetically.
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