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?
Are you a lonely soul? Do you need a constant reminder of others in the world and long for the anonymous touch of another human being through the magic of cyberspace? Well, if you do, I have just the thing.
1. Get yourself a column/blog
2. Grab a stereotype
3. Write about that stereotype
4. Wait for the hate mail
I think writing about sports in general and eliciting responses is the proverbial shooting-fish-in-a-barrel (in Minneapolis they call this trolling). Sports fans are so rabidly and blindingly partisan that it takes almost no effort to get their chubby little Neanderthal fingers (there they go) in front of their VIC 20 to type the four words they (think they) can spell. While you would hope for a well thought out, detailed argument, it usually ends up being some variation of Â“you suck,Â” which most times stands on its own as example to why cousins aren't supposed to marry (or drink too much wine).
This isn't to say I haven't received intelligent retorts to certain articles that have been written. Bravo to those brave and ambitious individuals for (a) progressing past Grade 6 and (b) moving out of Nashville (for a similar result, insert any of the following: Raleigh, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, New Jersey). I have great admiration for these people. There is hope for the human race.
Don't misinterpret this particular piece as jaded (jaded-adj.- Cynically or pretentiously callous). It's not. It's just that the viewer mail is as predictable as geese flying south or Georgians being injured while cleaning their weapons.
Want to get guaranteed responses writing about hockey? Use the following guide:
1. Equate anyone who likes fighting in hockey to cavemen or people who eat glass. If they understand the joke or get someone who understands it to read it to them they will punch out a six word reply.
2. Question the manhood of anyone who doesn't like fighting in hockey. Their response will be well thought out with a huge hint of pretense. They'll also use words only used by literary professors, botanists or guys with, well, questionable manhood.
3. Hygiene, intelligence and interbreeding humor for anyone south of Ohio, east of Indiana and north of Florida.
4. Ask anyone who has a team in area where there are beaches, cacti or Disney theme parks to define an offside. Wait for response. Laugh at response. Await more hate mail.
5. Suggest that anyone north of the 49th parallel is pompous and scared that Americans will take their rightful place in world hockey domination. Mention how Nashville can fill the building but Toronto can't (empty corporate seats aren't Â“fillingÂ” much like American beer isn't Â“fillingÂ” or real either).
6. State unequivocally about the Achilles Heel each team in the league has and how that one item is going to keep them (a) from winning the Cup (b) out of the playoffs (c) all of the above and Â“in Ottawa.Â”
That last one should be worth at least two emails.
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