Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Revenge of the AARP: Part I

“It’s kind of like Revenge of the Nerds,” I said to my driver, fellow AMHLer George Morton. He had just described the goals he and Brion Bickerton had scored on Thursday morning.

Morton, a Capital, and Bickerton, a Bruin, are among the league’s leaders…in age. They’re closer to greeting St. Peter than they are to leading the league in scoring, and it’s rare that the all-but-bald quinquagenarians score in the same game.

“The AARP,” George corrects me.

“Revenge of the AARP!” I say as I pull my gear from the back of his Subaru. “That’s my blog!”

George and Brion will later describe how, on behalf of the American Association of Retired Persons, they exacted revenge on Generation X.

George writes, “Well, you know it's tough remembering details, especially at our age. However, I'll do my best.

“For Brion's goal, my recollection is that he received the puck from one of his defenseman behind his own net, skated through some vicious forechecking in his own zone, escaped from a hook and an attempted trip in the neutral zone, and then shredded the Capital defense.

“He executed his patented spin move just over the blue line, causing one defenseman to fall down and then faked the slapper and walked around the remaining d just before deking the goalie and deftly depositing a nifty backhand over the right shoulder and into the net.

“I may be a little off on a few of the more subtle details but I think I caught the flavor of the whole experience.

“As for my goal, it occurred early enough in the game that the memory has totally faded but I think it was similar to Brion's.”

Brion basks in the afterglow—all weekend—before he reciprocates George’s generosity, “It's not that age affects remembering the details. It's just at this point, George and I have so many seasons behind us with so many game-winning goals that it becomes difficult to isolate a single goal amongst the many achievements.

“What struck me about George's goal last week was the sheer strength and balance required to pull it off. George and I had been pounding each other all morning. I had just taken a slap shot that hit the rear glass so hard that it richoted [sic] almost back to the blue line where an opportunistic George caught it mid-air with the blade of his stick perfectly redirecting it to his line mate who didn't have to break stride to get the puck. At that point, I tried to grab George to slow down his pace but he slashed my wrists to make me lose [my] grasp.

“George sprinted down ice catching up to his line mate who was sprinting down the left side of the ice. It was a 2 on 3 situation, with both Mike Moore and Chris Powers perfectly positioned on defense to put a stop to the rush. George heads for the top of the key with both Mike and Chris starting to pinch him. Notwithstanding the double-teaming of George, George's linemate passed it into George. Chris then grabbed George by his shooting arm and Mike started pushing George down toward the ice. Remarkably, George kept the puck on his stick and more remarkably, as he was falling down to the surface of the ice, George with only one hand on the stick (the other one being pinned by Chris), backhanded the puck over the goalie's right shoulder. How anyone could have one handed a backhand shot with any power and direction is beyond me, but George did it.

“Despite our goals and our altercations during the game, we were most disappointed not to notch a "Gordie Howe" -- a goal, an assist, and a fight, with the assist eluding us.”

What has eluded us is the truth, but I don’t think the AARP will mind that—or the free publicity.

Stay tuned for Part II of Revenge of the AARP, starring…

-Aaron Ward (as himself), Boston Bruins
-Adolfo Gonzalez (as Ed Asner) from WBCN
-Yours Truly

Here’s a sneak peek at the trailer.
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