I'm stupid. You're smart. I was wrong. You were right. You're the best. I'm the worst. You're very good looking. I'm not attractive.
Before the start of the 2008-09 NHL season, The Hockey News released their annual pre-season predictions. While most hockey pundits and prognosticators were ranking the Avalanche either just inside the post-season cutoff or just outside of it (while saying things like "IF the Avs stay healthy" and "IF the goaltending works out"), The Hockey News took a bolder step. They ranked the Avs in 14th place in the West, just above the St. Louis Blues. The Hockey News didn't care if the Avs stayed healthy or if the goaltending worked out at all, they just went ahead and ranked them at the bottom anyway.
"Outrageous!" I screamed. "Ridiculous!" I bellowed. "Have they lost their minds? Have they not looked at the lineup full of grit and experience? Have they not analyzed every aspect of Peter Budaj's career stats like I have?" I asked, in a fit. The Hockey News clearly wasn't doing their homework. Just another example of traditional reporters mailing it in to boost short-term sales and blog-generated click-throughs. Lazy bastards.
Of course, the Avs didn't stay healthy, and the goaltending struggled under its own problems as well as a horrendous defense that couldn't clear a puck or break up a strong forecheck to save its life. The coaching stunk. The trainers stunk. The general manager sat around in his own happy happy joy joy world without any apparent idea that he'd built a weak collection of grandpas and half-rate talent. But the end result was the same. Well, it was worse actually. The Avs finished worst in the West, and third-worst in the entire league.
So The Hockey News wasn't exactly right about where the Avs would finish this season, but they were a lot closer than I was, and where most everybody else was, too.
Upon realizing this, those lines from Happy Gilmore immediately came to mind. Happy realizes that in order to save his Grandma's house (not to mention beat Shooter McGavin and score the hot PR lady), he's going to have to apologize to his would-be mentor, Chubbs, and convince the former golf pro to take him under his wing and help him round out his game. So Happy grovels.
Now I'm groveling. To the writers at The Hockey News: I'm stupid. You're smart. I was wrong. You were right. You're the best. I'm the worst. You're very good looking. I'm not attractive.
I know it's too late to apologize for not believing them, but I figured I'd give it a shot anyway.
As for the movie Happy Gilmore, I think every player on the Avalanche team should watch it repeatedly this summer, and honestly consider whether a career as a golf pro would be a better choice than playing hockey.