Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Little PMB, you better have a good explanation for this...

2003-04 NHL Minnesota Wild Pierre-Marc Bouchard jerseyAs my lady-wife and I watched Adam Foote blast a slapshot over Nick Backstrom's glove in last Saturday's Wilds game, she turned to me and asked, "How do hockey players pick their numbers?" Being an asute sports fan, she knows that in sports like football the numbers players can wear are dictated by the position they play. (For example, offensive and defensive lineman have to wear big numbers like 66 and 98 because it makes them look less fat. Think how ridiculous those 300 pounders would look in, say, number 5? They'd just look extra fat.) Hockey's not lame like that, so players can wear any number they choose.

I told her that, in hockey, number selection all depends on the situation. In my usual longwinded, know-it-all fashion I explained, "For instance, Gretzky wore 99 because his favorite number, 9, was taken when he started out in Juniors. Same with Ray Bourque. He gave up his fav number 7 to Phil Esposito and switched to 77. Some players have better reasons than others. Jaromir Jagr wears number 68 - in honor of the year 1968 when a bunch of political stuff happened in Czechland and the year of his grandfather's death. Others choose the year of their birth, like Sid Crosby number 87. Then you also have guys like Rick Nash who reverse their number. His fav number was 16, but it also was taken in Juniors. So he decided on 61, the number he wears today. See." (I pointed at Nash skating by.)

Without missing a beat, my lady-wife turned to me and said, "So Pierre Marc-Bouchard's favorite number is 69?" (She pointed at Little PMB skating by.)

I swear that is a true story.

Sidenote: Seriously, is "69" Little PMB's favorite number?? God, I hope so.


Nae said...

You are deep in hockey my friend. Some might caution "Step back! The black abyss of obscure hockey knowledge spans before you." However I say embrace this creature. Wrap your arms around its neck and stare into its black hole pupils. Become the light that shines into the unknowable as you you catch a glimpse of the arcane.

John said...

The Wild's jersey numbers have little razor blades on them. How can that be safe?