JCC Floor Hockey


Juranka's Corner

June 26, 2003

i have dreaded writing this email
and you all know how long its been
since the final game and the banquet

and you all know how fast the monday
night reports would fly off the press

i'm still in denial

and as long as i didn't write this letter
i could feel as though it was still last season

when i hit the send button it will be final

last year is over and this is a requiem

it feels as though if i don't press the send
button then Hooman and Loren are still
playing goal. Carl, Sugar and the Silvermen,
the Boys and Laurie's team are still the
genuine classics of my no longer premature

and i still can't believe that it's over

what a year

i never stopped having fun
i thank all of you for making it happen for me

all year there was a great vibe in the gym

and it culminated with a grand finale
i had never seen so many spectators
those old guys in the balcony
gave it all a historical quality

they were from 50 years ago
that's even before Jeff Loren and Tony
began the league we have today

i'm going to miss you Loren
and i hope you can reconsider
over the summertime

i appreciated the goalie to goalie
encouragement you gave me right from
the start and of course i'll miss the
great saves and competitive spirit
every game, every half right down to the
final minute

the league is really in trouble
because Hooman is going too so we
have no permanent goalies

Aron and I will jump in and fill
the void. I think I'll get better if I play
goal consistently and Loren said so
but Andrea demands that i promise not
to smoke pot on game days before
the game. That is all a very feasible.
Its non addictive.

But before we talk about the future
lets return to our glorious past.

the Pylons had a new game-plan for the
last game and it was to put Paul and
Larry on Jeff and Davy full-time

Since we knew that Jeff and Dave
would play most of the game that
meant that Aron Shiney Ron and I
would be the offensive third player
well rested and running like crazy because
we were taking really really short shifts

We thought that by keeping us super
fresh, we'd have the legs to do the magic
while Larry and Paul did the
heavy duty grunt work

What we should have counted on was
the Silvermen's third player would
also be well rested and ready to shut
us down our third ultra offensive player
which they did.

Also it was a new style and maybe too late
in the year to start making changes.
Regardless, it was a very close game.
Within two goals for the whole game.
I personally had a couple of great chances
on Hooman near the end of the game
and blew them both.
Thanks to Tim we have most of the game
on video and my best opportunity is right
there for me to go over, over and over...
it's painful but it feels good too in a
curious way. You hear the crowd let our a roar
and it brings back the excitement
and its that excitement that makes me
a jcc junkie.

Shiney had trouble hitting the net
with his amazing wrist shot and
basically it could have gone either way
with a couple of lucky bounces

but it didn't and that's what is so marvelous
about reality. unpredictable and
magically appropriate. the psychic element
is powerful but i don't claim to know
how it works.

as aron has long touted, team chemistry
is key and inexplicably some teams are
gelling at the right moment.
during the year i couldn't explain why the
pylons were hot or not

but the silvermen were hitting their stride
as a team
and it could be seen
by the intensity and quality of their huddles

they looked like natives sitting around in a
ritualistic pow-wow while we were looking
more like individuals. Our passing magic
which i think was at the core of our
power game was missing. The self-less
generosity which invented new plays and
scoring possibilities was out of sync, or
at least we couldn't maintain it steadily
like the Silvermen. Alan and Sander, Jon
and Aron were all on the top of their game.
And obviously Davy and Jeff were on a
mission. Their focus was steady. You
could read it on their body language
and in their eyes. They had a not so subtle
hungry smile. They had the momentum after
beating us for the first time this year
and so completely in the second last game.

We started acting like the underdogs and
i think they smelled it primally.

Its unfortunate that Carl was so badly understaffed
because they could beat anybody
but truly, all the other teams could have
been victorious in the finals

it was a great match-up and the argument
for keeping the teams the same definitely has

Loren had predicted that the Pylons and the
Silver men would be the two finalist
long before the playoffs began

The high scoring Silvermen against
the good-looking Pylons

Also, i see the merit of shifting the chemistry
of the teams around to let new partnerships
happen. Like mixing the pot alchemically so things
don't get over-cooked and everything is fresh.
So that the Pylons can go down in history
as the team it was and this could be a requiem.

The new season should bring with it new vibes.
This is another thing that makes us different from
professional sports. Just two differences: the wiffle
ball and new teams each year.

Well, i guess we should vote about it.
Most people, i hope come back next year,
maybe 12.375 % will be new. We could
keep the teams generally the same and
add in the new players with parity considerations
in mind.

Its an experiment that hasn't been tried yet
so in a way its more radical and exciting.
Paradoxically the status quo is sometimes
the more exciting

but the Toaist in me shudders at the folly of
trying to create permanence. All is fleeting and
changing teams may be a good spiritual exercise
in that respect.

this is something that should come to a vote

and i'll help each team next year design or pick
a logo but the spirit of that team should inspire it

i was writing an email about this to Aron which sounded
like something i should say to the league when i realised
that the time had come to write this final requiem

i wrote (about the designs for logos)

i would use a beermug for the ol boys
two crossed swords or an armoured knight
for the silver men
a spinning pylon for us
Carl would have the greek god mercury
with wings on the ankles
Laurie's team would have the Harley Davidson
and Sugar would have the Rolling Stone lips
its easy now that i know each team so well
but to design a logo for next years "red" team
is a bit confusing

but the talk of next year's teams was
something i'd address the whole league about
and the group email was an important outlet
for me

it was like a confessional

i needed to email the league

without this communication i feel disconnected

my need to write overcame my need to hold onto the past

out of that necessity i broke the spell

i'm forced to deal with the reality

i have to say goodbye to Loren and Hooman

i have to say goodbye to the legendary teams
which we were

by the way, Laurie's team unanimously
wanted to remain unchanged
and vowed to kick ass next year

and they definitely have the talent

my gut feeling is that most of the players
will want to keep the teams the same

it has to come to a vote

most of Carl would like to stay unchanged
(Chris, did you say you were also leaving?

someone did at the banquet but i was
also drunk and a bit brash about the future)

we should all give a heads up to the JCC
if we plan on coming back so no one gets
the bureaucratic boot because of a
vacation during sign-up week

it took a week to fill the spots last year

this is more popular than any other sport
at the JCC (i'm guessing with confidence)

naively i had wished
at the banquet
that the next year should start right away

after experiencing the joys of
pick-up with the season players

and observing the rites of passage
of last season into the great void

it is fitting and appropriate for the summer
to be a time of comfortable co-existence
with the notion that the season is over
and we are having a great off-season

the energy can dissipate
and be reborn next year

a cosmic order that is as old as the
winter and summer maybe older

the wobble of the sun's orbit giving us ice
and then ice hockey and eventually
the original nhl season
transformed by popularity into
a fall-winter-spring thing
coinciding with the Academic
school year becoming a template
for the JCC league having the
finals around the same time as ours.

its all so brilliantly perfect

the ultimate hoser's dream

leaving your beard to grow
exactly at the same time as
the nhl'ers

and this last wobble into the middle of
summer's heat urging me to do
the final spell-check and hit the 'send'

marking a fitting final resting place for
one of the best years we've ever had

love you all and thanks

Juranka's Corner Archive

The complete archive of anecdotes, game recaps, rants and ramblings.