I don't get it.
Allow me to elaborate. Let's say I was a boxer, and a really good one. Not a champion or anything, but quite skilled. Which would be better for me to fight guys at or near my skill level, or to go beat on schlubs who are just starting out and don't have a chance against me? I can only answer for myself, but it seems option one is the better way to go. What am I gaining by picking on overmatched and outclassed opponents? They could possibly learn from me if I was cool about it and made it more of a sparring session with pointers instead of just embarrassing them, but let's say I don't go that way. I just knock them around, humiliate them, and gloat while I do it.
That would make me an asshole, right?
So we had a game last night, against the team made up of our former teammates (less the goalie, who is having knee issues and took the summer season off). I think it's safe to say we've moved beyond bruised feelings over the details of the original split - we've made a new team we like, one that doesn't seem to have a 'That Guy' on it (unless I'm That Guy and nobody will tell me. Our House team had a couple of That Guy guys on it, neither of whom seem to be in the league anymore). Sure, we're not going to threaten the league's consecutive win record, but we always have fun.
Well . . . not so much last night. The team we played had two players that dominated like my boxing example above. They skated end to end, they skated in circles around us, they basically did whatever they wanted on the ice because we couldn't stop them. And I don't get it. If I were that much better than my opponents I think I'd rather rise until I met my level of competition so that I felt challenged, as opposed to just kicking around inferior players. Then again, the jerkweed wearing #13 pumped his fist and yelled 'YEAH!!!' after scoring his fourth goal of the game, one that made the score 7-1. Yes, he crowed in our faces for extending a five goal lead to a six goal lead with 3 minutes left. His partner in douchebaggery was #23, a defenseman of preternaturally smooth skating who hung by our blue line repeatedly during the last two minutes so his teammates could hit him with a breakaway pass and he could score. Our fill-in goalie stuffed his first breakaway, but not his second. He also whooped it up.
Maybe I can't understand being that much of an asshole because I've never been dominant in a sport like these guys were, but I want to believe I would not be such a tool. I'm also curious about what being their teammates is like. We have guys who are great skaters, but when they hit the offensive zone they look to pass because they understand what kind of league it is. These guys pretty much just passed to each other and would circle around in our zone multiple times until they were open enough to shoot, with the thought of their teammates secondary. They have another guy, #34, who is probably one of the better players in the league, but he's not a dillhole about it. Last season he and I had an epic (well, to me anyway) battle in front of our net as we kept trying to muscle one another out of position. It stayed clean, and after the game he came over me and praised me for a battle well-fought. That's a guy who understands playing against those who aren't at his skill level. The others, not so much.
Obviously I didn't have one of my better games, which is why I sound like an old man complaining that there aren't enough clams in my clam chowder and why are they so stingy with the damn oyster crackers! I'm trying to defend against a guy I can't catch up to, turn anywhere near as quickly as, and aren't allowed to hit. The results were predictable, as I was either a -3 or a -4. Some good passes, but mostly getting juked by jerks. I swear, if they were on our schedule again I'd bring up my nephew, who split his freshman year of high school between JV and varsity, and suit him up. At this point all I can do I shrug and look toward assembling a lineup (damn vacations!) to take on a beatable Hoboken squad next Thursday.