Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Inside Gary Bettman's annual Halloween party

Well then next time, tell your friend
not to get lippy with Ben Eager.

Scene: An opulent mansion. The home is decked out with Halloween decorations, and various guests are milling around in costume. The doorbell rings, and is answered by a man dressed as a giant padlock.

Gary Bettman: Come on in!

Bill Daly enters, dressed as a giant crow with an "S" painted on his chest.

Daly: How's the annual Halloween party going, Gary?

Bettman: I'll be honest. I'm picking up on kind of a negative vibe this year.

He looks over to the other side of the room, where Donald Fehr and several players wearing cattle costumes are glaring back at them.

Daly: Understandable. Nice decorations, though.

He motions at a row of tombstones featuring a Thrashers logo, tickets to an Islanders game, the 2004-05 season, and the phrase "actual credibility".

Bettman: Thanks. I just wish Katz would stop trying to sneak an Edmonton Oilers one in there. But the costumes are cool. Ryan Suter went as a spinning weather vane, and the Sedins were great in that two-piece horse costume right up until David Booth showed up and started shooting at them.

Daly: And what about the guy in the straightjacket outside howling at the moon?

Bettman: Oh, that's just a hockey blogger trying to figure out how to put a fresh spin on his 27th consecutive lockout post.

Daly: Poor guy.

Bettman: Yeah. Sad, really.

Daly: Is there any food?

Bettman: Well I made some, but whenever I put a platter out and a player gets too close, Jeremy Jacobs makes me pull it off the table.

Jacobs appears wearing a Darth Vader costume.

Jacobs: Did I just hear you give an opinion that I didn't pre-approve?

Bettman (quickly): No sir!

Jacobs: Didn't think so.

The doorbell rings. Bettman hurries over to open it, revealing several adorable children.

Kids: Trick or treat!

Bettman (tossing candy into their bags): Here you go, from your pals at the NHL.

Kids: Gee, thanks mister!

Jacobs whispers in Bettman's ear.

Bettman: I'm told that we've changed our mind. (He starts pulling handfuls of candy back out of each bag).

Kids: Hey, you can't do that, you already agreed to give it to us!

Jacobs immediately slams the door shut and locks it.

Jacobs: Ingrates.

Kids (from outside): We'll be back on New Year's day!

Jacob: Make a note to cancel that.

Bettman: Two months early? That makes no…

Jacobs: DO IT!

Bettman (meekly): Yes Mr. Jacobs.

Roberto Luongo wanders by wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey.

Bettman: Interesting costume choice, Roberto.

Luongo: It's not a costume. Brian Burke hit me over the head with a club and stapled this on me.

Bettman: I don't think he's allowed to do that.

Luongo: Really? He said it was a new rule in that latest CBA offer.

Bettman: Yeah, I don't think that's… (flips through his copy of the offer) … no, wait, looks like he did slip that in.

Daly: We probably should have had somebody else read through that after we let Brian write the whole thing.

Voices from the rafters: Boo! Boo! Boo!

Daly: Aw… Halloween ghost?

Bettman: No, hockey fans. They follow me around 24/7.

Daly: Ouch.

Bettman: Yeah, it's pretty much constant unless there's no hockey fans around for miles. That's why I spend so much time in Phoenix.

Luongo: Non-stop booing? That must be rough.

Bettman: Oh, you'll find out soon enough.

A man dressed as a hobo and holding a "Will work for food" sign wanders by.

Bettman: Hey, awesome costume. Let me guess: NHL team game day employee? European league fourth-liner? Guy in charge of checking people for cell phone cameras on their way into focus groups?

Hobo: Costume? No, I'm the television executive who convinced NBC it would be a good idea to launch a new sports network featuring the NHL.

Bettman: Oops.

Hobo: Spare a dime?

Bettman tosses a dime into the man's cup.

Hobo: Thanks…

Jacobs: (clears throat)

Bettman: (taking the coin back): On second thought…

Hobo: Oh come on!

Donald Fehr (sliding up helpfully): You know, maybe you shouldn't have given it to him in the first place if you were…

Jacobs: That's it! Everybody out!

Bettman (sighing): Jeremy, we can't keep locking everyone out whenever…

Jacobs: You too short stuff! Move it!

Bettman: This is my house…

Jacobs: MOVE!

Bettman: Yes sir.

Everyone is herded outside. As the crowd slowly disperses, Bettman is left along with Fehr.

Fehr: Want to split the cab fare into town?

Bettman: 50/50?

Fehr: Oh, eventually!

They laugh heartily and hop into a cab that speeds off through a puddle, splashing water and soaking the group of sad children.

December 26, 1917 – Toronto wins the first ever meeting between the two teams by a score of 7-5, thanks to a series of rookie mistakes by Canadiens’ defenceman Chris Chelios.

From Leafs VS. Habs: Hockey’s greatest rivalry, one of 24 chapters of brand new material available exclusively in The Best of Down Goes Brown.
Buy today: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Nook | Chapters/Indigo | Kobo | iBooks


  1. No Chris Pronger??? He made an appearance at the last party...

  2. Writing yourself into the story? How very 'Adaptation' of you.

  3. Probably the first time in a long time that a joke involving hockey and a cab didn't involve Patrick Kane

  4. loved the escrow one.

  5. Exactly how I picture Jacobs in real life.

  6. A post about a holiday centered around Candy and NO Byfuglien jokes? I'm hurt.

  7. Halloween costumes 2012: Ghost of NHL and Big Lock

  8. As always...DGB: The World's Leading Producer Of NHL Comedy Gold

  9. Hahaha I like the ending best!

  10. This one is really solid!

  11. Sorry, but nothing hockey-related is funny to me any more.

    The NHL can go fuck itself, using Bettman as the double-ended dildo.

    Hopefully I'll get a sense of humour back in time for the next time my team makes the playoffs...

    Sincerely, a Sharks fan