Chumming as a Strategy for Winning the Stanley Cup
In hockey, victory hinges on unhinged fan behaviors at home.
The 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final has begun between the San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins. I realize that most stoners don’t follow sports, and even if they do, it’s not hockey, but I thought I’d share my thoughts on this year’s final in case there’s anyone interested in reading some nonsense about hockey. First some background.
I grew up playing hockey in California from the time I was about four years old until I was 15. I was really good—in California. I lived in Canada for a few months at one point to see if I had any real potential. That’s when we learned that I, and the rest of the California All Stars, were the hockey equivalent of the Jamaican bobsled team. Outside of California, we sucked. So I quit hockey to pursue skateboarding and punk rock, subcultures that are incompatible with team sports. I have, however, followed the game ever since.
After living in L.A. for a couple of years, and frustrated that I didn’t have anyone to watch hockey with, I started The Gentlemen’s Beer Drinking Club (GBDC) in 1999 in order to lure my friends into hanging out and drinking with me while I watched hockey. And it worked: We’ve been gambling and drinking while watching hockey for 15 years now. The GBDC, it should be noted, is not one of those fancy shmancy fantasy sports leagues. No, ours is completely stupid because it was created by cavemen: At the beginning of the season, we pick teams. Whoever owns the team that wins the Cup gets the $500 pot. Simple. But, as the rules on the back of the official GBDC card clearly state, the winner must use his winnings to throw a party for the losers “with a keg, and meat, and ice cream, and it better be fun.”
Additionally, each Gentleman receives an official GBDC membership card that I create at the beginning of each season: There’s a stupid picture on one side and a list of everyone’s teams on the other. Three out of the five Gentlemen in the club are now parents; so I’ve taken to making the most obnoxious, kid-unfriendly cards I can. This year it’s just the close-up of a dick.
The front and back of this season’s GBDC card. Interesting fact: The lamination machine I use to make these cards comes from Larry Flynt.
So, as you can see from the back of the card, the Gentlemen remaining in this year’s GBDC contest are David Peters, owner of the San Jose Sharks, and myself, owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins. David vs. Dave. The battle of the Davids.
They’re bears, so bacon makes them more aggressive. I imagine bacon would work for sharks as well, but as anyone who’s ever watched Shark Week knows, sharks love chum.
This final is a win/win for me: I’m rooting for the Sharks because I’m from Cupertino (which borders San Jose) and have been a fan since the team’s inception in 1991, but if the Penguins win I’m not going to be mad at $500. Even though I hate the Penguins. I picked them for purely gambling reasons. Even with $500 at stake, they have always been a difficult team to root for. I hated Jagr (despite his sweet mullet), hated Mario, and now I hate Sidney “Ole Novelty-Poop Lips” Crosby (look at his lips, they look like fake shit), Phil “Might Be Autistic” Kessel, and Kris “The Wang” Letang. Fuck Shitsburgh.
Now on to my expert analysis of the matchup and how I’m going to make the Sharks score more points by the end of each game than the other team: Chum. That’s my secret weapon. I am going to chum my living room. For the Boston Bruins, my favorite team, I discovered that they sometimes respond to a plate of bacon placed just below the television. They’re bears, so bacon makes them more aggressive. I imagine bacon would work for sharks as well, but as anyone who’s ever watched Shark Week knows, sharks love chum.
Unfortunately, my wife doesn’t share my enthusiasm for hockey. She said, “No way, nuh-uh!” to my proposal of soaking the living-room carpet in fish blood and hot trash. Fine. So for the first game between the Sharks and the Penguins I was forced to make a small plate that I called “Chum Deconstructed”: Three slices of Black Forest deli ham, a spicy yellow chili pepper, and a dollop of anchovy paste. I put it on a stool below the TV. By the midpoint of the game, however, the Sharks were losing. I began to question the “chumminess” of my Chum Deconstructed. For one, it looked edible to me. “I like all three of those things…” From what I understand about chum, there should be nothing palatable about it at all. So I wrapped the pepper in a slice of ham, dipped it into the anchovy paste, and took a bite. BLEH! It was bad, but apparently it wasn’t bad enough for the San Jose Sharks. They went on to lose that game.
Which made me wonder: Perhaps the Penguins are mistaking the chum as an offering to them? After all, penguins eat chum as well and then regurgitate it into each other’s beaks. It’s like chum barf, which is probably even worse than chum: chummed chum. I’m thinking that maybe I should just put dog shit on a plate? I have a lot of dog shit in the backyard. Maybe a piece of dog shit with some anchovy paste on top of it? I don’t know, but I’ve been researching chum recipes on the Internet. I even discovered that people sell it. “Wait. People buy hot trash?” I thought aghast. Then, “Of course people buy hot trash. How else does one explain Trump?”
So I’ll be experimenting with chum recipes for the next week or so. It’ll be disgusting, but it won’t be as disgusting as another Pittsburgh victory. I prefer it when Canada’s national treasure, Lord Stanley’s Cup, resides in California. Where it belongs. Go Sharks.