signing Redden was uncanny.
Today we’re going to go over some strategy for the coming season, diagram a few plays, and run a couple of drills. We may also have to send a few of you home. I know, I know, it won’t be fun for me either, but what’s a training camp without a few cuts? Everyone do you best and I’m sure you’ll stick around.
OK, let’s get started. First up is special teams. Now imagine your favourite team is on the powerplay. What are you fans going to be doing? Yes, that’s right, you’ll be yelling "SHOOOOT" for the entire two minutes. Let’s all practice that right now. Hey, good job! The Jets fans are a little rusty, but the rest of you guys are in mid-season form!
Hold up, I think someone back there had a question? Could you repeat that so everyone can hear? “Shouldn’t we wait for the players to get set up before we start yelling for them to shoot?” OK, well, looks like we have our first cut. The rest of you work on your “SHOOOOT” while Mr. Smartypants here packs up his gear and heads for the nearest exit. It’s over there next to the confused guy in the Thrashers jersey who really should have kept up with the hockey news during the offseason
For the rest of you, the next topic is fighting. Now this is going to be tricky. For years, this was the easiest part of being a fan. When a fight started, you stood up, screamed for a while, high-fived your buddy and then sat down happy. But over the past few years we’ve been learning about the damage these fights can do, and it’s not pretty.
So here’s the new process, effective this season: Stand up; Start to cheer; Realize you’re not supposed to be cheering; Look around to see if other fans are cheering; Cheer half-heartedly so you don’t seem like a wimp; Sit down awkwardly; Be consumed by a haunting cognitive dissonance for the rest of the evening. OK, everyone got it? Begin!
Hmm… I guess this one is going to take some work.
You know what, let’s come back to that one. Instead, let’s lighten the mood a little. Who’s up for “The Wave”? Everybody ready? Three, two, one… go!
OK, that was actually a trick question. Everyone who stood up just now is cut. Thanks for coming out. We hear they may be having MLB tryouts next door.
While we’re at it, the following fans are also cut: Anyone who stands up to wave at a TV camera while holding a cell phone. Anyone who reads anonymous trade rumour web sites. And anyone who makes jokes about how fat a player is while simultaneously weighing 100 pounds more than that player.
OK, we’ve been at this for almost a half hour, which means the Toronto Maple Leafs platinum season ticket holders have finally started arriving. If anyone wants to pelt them with empty water bottles, be my guest. No batteries, Flyers fans! Leave that to the Canucks fans… we’ll just blame the NHL for anything they do.
Alright, time for the “buying a team jersey” drill. When I blow the whistle, you sprint to the sales display and grab your favourite team’s jersey. Then grab a match and light your pay cheque on fire. Now sprint back, and see if you can put the jersey on and wear it for a few minutes before the team announces they’re being replaced with brand new ones. Hmm. Nobody made it. Oh well, we can always work on …
OK, who threw that waffle?
Look, folks. While we admire your passion and even your creativity, one of the areas we really want to emphasize this year is only doing things that make sense. That means no throwing waffles or dressing up in a spandex bodysuit or buying Calgary Flames playoff tickets. Let’s keep it in the real world.
What’s that? Yes, of course you can still hide an octopus in your pants and then throw it at the national anthem singer. Like I said, we’re only trying to get rid of the strange stuff.
OK, I see we’ve just been joined by a group of NBA fans who realized their season is getting cancelled this year. While I go chase them away, the rest of you divide up for our last drill. This one is called “reacting rationally to seeing your team play poorly in one meaningless pre-season game”. So everyone line up over there, next to the big pile of torches and pitchforks.
What’s that? The Habs fans brought your own? Um… yeah. Well, that’s why you guys are the greatest fans of all. No question about it. You guys are the best.
Please don’t call 911.