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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Penguin Fan’s Guide to Surviving a Deep Cup Run by @ChicksDigHockey

Hockey gets it right when it comes to championship playoffs. Best out of seven is the perfect format. It takes devotion and dedication to make a deep run for the Cup. The stress, the overtimes, the inevitable hockey fatigue all take their toll on the fan. I can only imagine how the players get through it.

It takes grit and determination to survive four rounds of playoff hockey. Here are a few tips to help you persevere so that you can function in your daily life while still remaining in the game:

Do something non-hockey with your significant other

Before the conference quarterfinals are over, consider a nice dinner during which you neither speak of hockey nor check your game app to see how other games are going. You’re doing this on your team’s off night, of course. If you can’t take your love for dinner, consider bringing dessert. Who doesn't love some sugary goodness? Plus, there’s a possibility they’ll get sleepy from the carb over-load and you can watch some of the rival’s game. 

Avoid unnecessary social engagements

When among friends who don’t like hockey, be boring and unpleasant. They'll be less likely to invite you to some stupid cocktail party in the middle of the first round. Those often start at 7:00 p.m. as do many playoff games.

Develop a dramatic (yet fake) cough. Tell everyone you think it’s allergies but it could be Bubonic Plague. Say your doctor is running tests but the results could take weeks.

Analyze your alcohol consumption patterns

There is a possibility of seven games per series. You must pace yourself or face the possibility of A&E showing up at your house to film an episode of “Intervention” before the Cup is even awarded. Drinking games such as ‘down a shot every time the refs blow a call’ are ill advised as you will likely be shit-faced by the second intermission. Consider drinking Miller Lite on week nights; no one can drink more than 2 or 3 of those. (watery yuck)

Take a selfie before the playoffs start. Monitor the color of your sclera along the way. At the first hint of yellow, consider eliminating the vodka from your Red Bull.

Think twice before you start that playoff beard

Many of you will want to show support for your team by growing a ‘Playoff Beard’ (or by letting the hair grow on some other body part). It may seem like a good idea at the time but be prepared for some grooming. Early on in the growth process the itching can be remarkable. Moisturizing is essential. You also need to be cognizant of the fact that if your team makes it to the finals, you’ll have a big old bushy growth to deal with in 85 to 100 degree weather. Trim your neck. Chicks do not dig beard sweat….why do you think Adams was so GRIZZLY?

Try to avoid nervous carb consumption

Frito-Lay is the devil. They will tempt you with a variety of seemingly irresistible beer accompaniments.  ‘Cheesy Garlic Bread’ and ‘Sriracha’ chips are proof of their attempt to induce carbohydrate debauchery. The next thing you know, Ben & Jerry will come out with 'Hockey Puck Crunch' featuring nuts, caramel and puck-shaped chocolate goodness. If you begin on the carbohydrate highway to hell you will have acquired a good fifteen pounds by the time the cup is hoisted. Make smart choices; fruits, veggies, pita and hummus will keep you from waking up in the middle of June to find you have Cup-Ass. 

Guard your mental and physical health

Do not attempt to watch every game available. You need sunshine on your skin. It is, after all, how your body gets Vitamin D. Consider watching from a room with a treadmill or stationary bike. Try to match Kris Letang’s minutes on ice with minutes of exercise.
Do not engage trolls on Twitter. True trolls are unemployed and have all the time in the world to be a thorn in your side. You may win a round but they’ll win the game. You’ll be left with 7 followers and a lingering blood pressure problem.

Maintain perspective

The only positive thing about the 2012 lockout is it proved we can survive without hockey. It isn’t pretty and it isn’t fun, but more than 3 days without hockey is possible. If your team isn’t in the playoffs or makes an early exit, try to not linger on bridges or make any irreversible decisions. Consider watching baseball; the slowness will frustrate the hell out of you but the simplicity of the game will be good for your blood pressure.

How do I plan to survive the playoffs? I plan to have no voice from screaming loudly when the Pens hoist the Cup.

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