Above the Glass
by Samantha on 10/17/12 at 09:08 PM ET
I opened my personal calendar this week to a horrifying reality that I knew was coming, but had ignored until now. Between now and October 28, there are no NHL games and alas, there is only one Portland Winterhawks home game. What’s a girl to do? I know: watch a slightly creepy, really smart, well-written and well-acted TV show filmed right here in Portland: Grimm. If you’ve tuned in, you know it’s full of strange characters, stranger plotlines and bizarre creatures who seek to harm the human race. In spending way too much free time bringing myself up to speed, I realized Grimm’s creatures have some eerie similarities to hockey.
Grimm reality: Descended from an elite line of hunters, Grimms are charged with keeping the world safe from mythological creatures called wesen. No one can see the wesen except for Grimms. Wesen are mythological creatures that can “woge” or transform from their human to creature state. Over 25 species of wesen have been introduced in the creature world thus far. So, using my logic, the hockey equivalent of a Grimm is an enforcer and the counterpart of a wesen is a dirty player. Of course, everyone can see a dirty player in action, so it's not exactly the same. But it's close, in that enforcers are charged with keeping the hockey world safe from unscrupulous players. The only thing I can’t quite figure out in hockey and fantasy is this; if Grimms keep the rest of the world safe, who watches over the Grimms?
Listen up: In Grimm, a Murcielago is described as a hideous bat-like creature that has glowing red eyes and vicious rows of teeth when morphed. This creature emits an ear-splitting sound that is fatal to humans; blood comes out of the ears and nose, eyeballs burst and any nearby glass shatters.
Clearly, the hockey equivalent of a Murcielago are referees and linesmen and the ear-splitting sound is that of the whistle being blown to make a ridiculous call that causes fans to bleed out of every possible orifice and pound on the glass in an uncontrollable rage. So naturally, there must be a counteroffensive that one could launch to defend oneself against the Murcielago’s hideous act? But of course: “It is best to face off against a Murcielago with a hand-crank siren known as a Murcielago Matraca; this weapon emits a noise that temporarily renders the bat-creature incompetent.” I think the clear hockey equivalent is a sold out arena of fans simultaneously blowing on vuvuzelas in unison, rendering referees completely incompetent. Emphasis on “completely.”
Blutbad: Described as a wolf-like creature with an incredible sense of smell that can be weakened with an herb called Wolfsbane. Wieder Blutbaden stay reformed through diet, exercise and drugs. So pretty much, Wieder Blutbaden are hockey players: 1) They dull their sense of smell by way of playing hockey since birth, thereby rendering them unable to detect hockey’s unmistakable smell. 2) They can switch on their aggressive side when need be (60 minutes on the ice) and go back to behaving in a civilized manner off of it with the help of their personal trainer, nutritionist and team doctors.
Beastly, thing, shoo!: A hexenbiest is described as a witch-like creature that resembles a goblin or a demon. With their seductive qualities and beauty, they can put any man at their mercy. Obviously, hexenbiests can be found in every hockey rink in the world: they are better known in the real world as puck bunnies.
Hawkey time: Steinadlers are “hawk-like creatures with exceptional vision. Known for being heroic and noble.” We can see here that the hockey equivalent of a steinadler is a sniper, players who have laser-perfect vision and aim. Most also have a knack for heroically winning a game with a perfect goal in the final two seconds of regulation. Alternatively, they are also known for scoring the game winning goal in overtime.
Excuse me while I go get a hobby: This is the part where I acknowledge NBC’s web site as the source for the character descriptions. Check it out at: www.nbc.com/grimm. It's also the part where I must go find a hobby; maybe two. Therefore, I hereby renew my commitment to spending at least one hour of my day pursuing hobbies that have zero risk of being related in any way whatsoever to hockey. So if anyone in the greater Portland area knows where I can find such things, drop me a line on Twitter.
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About Above the Glass
Welcome to Above the Glass, a definitive anti-expert’s guide to hockey. I started blogging in 2009 as part of an effort to learn all 87 rules in the NHL Rulebook in 107 days before the 2010 Olympics, 30 years after I discovered the sport. You can peruse the archival results here. Growing up in Arizona, I didn’t even know hockey existed until February 22, 1980, when the USA played Russia in the Olympics. And just like that, the game of the century changed my life. I still don’t quite understand the icing rule or which faceoff circle goes with what offense, but I do know that every aspect of hockey has something to teach us about life. That’s what you’ll find here, along with my unadulterated passion for the game.
I live in Portland, Oregon, home of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. I invite anyone who wants to know more about hockey in the Rose City to visit here, where I blog exclusively about the Winterhawks. I’ll post an occasional musing about the Hawks, the WHL and junior hockey here as well.
Follow me on Twitter: @AbovetheGlass