Well folks, broomball is the ultimate sport, most likely developed in Canada, for those who prefer a few beverages before a game. (Gotta love them Canadians, eh?) As with many "sports" I play, there is an optimum level of inebriation required to truly achieve great things in broomball. The consensus among my teammates is a two drink minimum will suffice - just enough to lower the brain's natural tendency to wish to divert the body from injury, and to raise the body's ability to shurg off said injuries. We have, of course, obtained this number scientifically through trial and error - we find that four beverages is definitely too many because the brain is required to remember a few basic rules, and the bladder needs to remain un-emptied for the 40 minute game time. Three beverages is sort of hit and miss. At this point, the test data is inconclusive and warrants further study.
Broomball is basically street hockey, played in sneakers, on ice. Instead of a traditional puck, there is a small nerf ball, which is batted around by sticks that look like little plastic brooms. I am quite certain that the original "sticks" were actual brooms, but the sport is evolving and so participants are no longer able to get by so cheaply. In fact, there are even special broomball shoes now, owned by most of our opponents and none of us. Nothing says "I am way too serious about broomball," than a pair of those ugly clods.
I have not played broomball since college, and when I played there, it was pretty much a disorganized bunch of co-eds who just had a few beers, running around on the ice with vague aspirations to smack a nerf ball into a net. This league has actual rules with actual refs and assigned positions with specific locations on a "field". I was a tad nervous. Luckily, my teammates appeared to be fun and several had never played broomball before.
As my Constant Readers would surely guess, I am not the star player. It turns out:
- I am deaf. My raging cold is on its way out, but the eviction process is sort of like those Mucinex commercials. You know, where the fat cartoon mucus guy and all his fat relatives get simultaneously sucked through a teeny little door? There's a bit of clogging in my wee pipes, and my ears and nose are totally stuffed, making it difficult to hear and, sadly, impossible to smell.
- I am dumb. Broomball is freaking tiring. You run for the entire period, wacking at a stupid rubber ball that should be easy to wack, then sliding past it as your opponent (with ugly shoes) slides on in to push the thing into your goal. Talk? I could barely breathe, let alone talk. After the game, I was informed that the defender does not need to run so far out, as the offenders will have to approach the general net area in order to score. That makes sense. Too bad I was too dumb to figure this out while actually playing, and too deaf to hear this advice yelled during the game.
- I am blind. In addition to the knee and elbow pads, a properly equipped broomball player needs a pair of gloves (it is cold), a stick, and a helmet. These last two are supplied by the league, but I forgot to take into account my abnormally small head. I would run towards the ball, then stop short to hit it. Unfortunately, the helmet inevitably kept going due to some crazy law of motion. It fell over my eyes, effectively blinding me. Every. Time. Luckily, I was somewhat effective at defending due to my completely erratic and obviously uncontrollable demeanor. At the very least, I made people fear that I would fall on / near them and they attempted to get out of my way.