There Are No Rules Tonight.

December 30, 2010

The other evening, as per usual, I perused the magazine section of Food Lion  while grocery shopping.  Pickings were slim; my mainstay King had long gone out of business. Food Lion never has Transworld nor Thrasher for some reason. However, I was shocked to see an actual physical issue of Maxim . I recall the publisher or editor-in-chief appearing on Stern about a year ago, explaining that the publication would be going FULL DIGITAL. Maybe they were able to outsource their photoshopping to Bangladesh, or some shit.

ANYWAY, I randomly opened the publication to an article about this dude Mike Green–#52 above–who, in addition to playing defense for the Caps, apparently skates. I wonder if Dan from youwillsoon knows this dude; he served with the Saskatoon Blades of the World Hockey League from 2000-2006.

However, one detail from the interview leads me to believe that, as the interviewer infers, Green resembles a board collector more than your typical skate rat. When asked where in D.C. he would like to skate, he replies “inside the white house.” This blew my mind for two reasons: firstly, isn’t the White House just like any other old-ass house? Secondly, how is it possible for one to work and  ostensibly live in D.C. and not even deduce that Pulaski would, at least theoretically, kill it for skating. The place could not be in a more central location. I wonder if anyone has told him that his workplace (Verizon Center) buried the second-best ledge spot in town, and probably the third-best ledge spot on the East Coast.

Maybe he simply assumes that Pulaski is off limits because of the legendary bust factor.  However, center-ice tickets would theoretically function as the perfect get-out-of-jail-free card, should the park police come a’callin’. Truth be told, this is one of the reasons I haven’t traveled up there to skate in recent years. It’s a zero-sum game.* The neuroses that accompany traveling to and skating in the middle of DC negate any possible enjoyment.  Although, truth be told, I briefly toyed with the the idea of using my own offspring as a decoy–kind of like on The Wire when that one  knucklehead took the stash and ran, and the narcotics officers gave chase, later kicking themselves at the dealer’s underage status.

I am aware that this is a delusional strategy.

***

Truth be told, I have not attended a hockey game in a long, long time. This bums me out because live hockey is fucking awesome–a majesty that doesn’t translate over television. Come springtime, though, I might go skate some low-bust-factor spots and take in a game. Make a day of it, or some shit.  The last NHL game I attended was at Nassau Coliseum. Gino territory. At the time, the best dude on the Islanders was this dude Alexei Yashin, whose talent I remember as somewhat transcendent. My hockey knowledge doesn’t encompass enough statistical real estate to categorize him as the Gino of hockey,  but according to some internet research, the dude still lives in Westbury, LI in the offseason, when he’s not playing in some Russian league. Harsh, I suppose, but not as absurd as, say, Iverson playing in Turkey. For the love of G-d–don’t even think about bringing any hash back here, bro.

Ironically, just as Canadian hockey minds re-export Russian hockey talent   back to Russia,  the finest Canadian skateboarding talent managers import Russian skateboarding talent–specifically Weiss and that Sewa Kroetkov dude. I’m going to wait for the upcoming bLind video to issue or retain a co-sign, but the Euro-internet  footage of him skating bleak, abandoned former Soviet beurocratic office plazas is interesting as fuck. Geopolitically, at least. Kind of like a more Kafka-esque version of Shenzhen, or some shit. Hopefully any footage he produces will originate from deep within the womb of Mother Russia and not, like, Stoner.

“In Soviet Russia, granite ledge wax you.”

***

Skaters and hockey players have more in common than one might think. I believe very strongly that both respective groups of pro’s would do what they do for $20 an hour and/or beer money. Besides Vallely (of course) I recall some other dudes stating in interviews that they fuck with or have fucked with hockey–Eli Reed and…one of those Minnesota dudes? Torgeson maybe?

And then there’s Gino. In addition to the Islanders graphic–a decent image of which I failed to locate on the internet**– from Keenan’s part in Paco, I think Gino eluded to growing up playing hockey in his EL. I don’t know if this influenced his style to any degree, but when I interviewed Dill he compared him to an “ice skater.” Indeed, when Gino rolls up to that municipal prefabricated park in Eastern Long Island, tic-tacs around and does some varial flips, it’s probably comparable to that moment at an NHL game when the dudes come out of the tunnel, skate around in circles or whatever, and shoot some practice shots. Shit’s majestic as fuck. Procedurally, badassery in the realms of skating and hockey both require speed, power, and balance. Explosion (nhjic). Some of the shit dudes pull in order to finagle a puck past the goalie is so intricate, though, that it’s almost physically and mentally beyond skating. Like, with skating, most times one can predict what a skater is setting up to do. In hockey, though, dudes pull shit so fast, and it’s so ornate,  that the skating equivalent would be combining some Chris Fissel maneuver with, like, a circa-1998 Huf ollie. Or some shit.

Of course, pro skaters and pro hockey players both pull mad bitches. However, the specifics of their bitchery differ in one key aspect: I used to know a dude who knew the Devils’ trainer, and he said those dudes [allegedly] bang escorts on the reg. For some reason, I can’t envision any of the top-tier elite skate dudes utilizing an escort service. It just seems counterintuitive to the skater ethos. Drugs have been enmeshed in skating since the Nixon administration, but employing an escort service seems like some old man, governor-of-New-York shit.  Like having a gambling problem.

Who the fuck knows, though. With some of the top-tier dudes banking almost as much as lower-tier hockey dudes, maybe this is that “next” shit–the last frontier of the new corporate world of elite pro skateboarding.

Let’s push it to the limit here, y’all. If the Kostons of the world aspire to “ball” like their beloved Lakers, then it behooves them to engage in similar recreational activities. Trip the fuck out–skaters want to be basketball players, basketball players want to be rappers, rappers want to be actors, actors want to be  R&B sangers. It’s a vicious circle made even more convoluted by the word around town that some skaters also want to be rappers.

ANYWAY, with dudes like the Malouf brothers machine-gunning cash into skating, upper-tier pros fucking with escorts is not that far-fetched of a conceptual leap. I can see, like, Dyet or The Lutzka getting psyched on that shit. Although, perhaps my imagination is being influenced by the epic sagas Artie Lange used to relate on Stern about playing poker in AC for 14 hours or whatever, then taking a car service back to Hoboken with 2-3 strippers/hookers who, of course, serviced him on the Garden State Parkway, stopping mid-route at the Burger King at the South Amboy rest stop. This was an effective story because I used to drive past this particular rest stop on my way to work every day.

Get well soon, Artie. We miss you bro.

Although, come to think of it, one company early-adopted this trend.

Menace/City Stars, of course. Back in the late Nineties/early 00’s, astronomical board royalties subsidized all sorts of crazy shit. Case in point: my Canadian friend once told me the following apocryphal tale: after a City Stars demo in Montreal, the more mature members of the squad skipped the semi-official after party (where the ratio would undoubtedly be horrible) and retired to a “no rules” gentleman’s club on the outskirts of the city. A Canadian version of the Gold Club***, if you will.

To paraphrase Bill Simmons, if you’re ever at a post-demo party at a strip club with Caine Gayle and someone exclaims “there are no rules tonight,” run. Run fast.

*I may have not used this term correctly.

**This dude still might have t-shirts with it, though. decent.

***If you haven’t read this column about the Gold Club trial in a couple years, it warrants a couple minutes of your time. The Ewing quote, in particular, is GOLD.

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3 Responses to “There Are No Rules Tonight.”

  1. Rich said

    I’m a skater who also love hockey. And I just wanted to tell you that this is probably my favorite post that you have ever put up. It was hilarious and extraordinarily well written. Like, some pilot light level shit. Well done.

  2. Keith said

    LOL

    Well written sick post. Haven’t visited in a while.

    Yashin’s a douchebag. He played his best years in my hometown (Ottawa) and even then he was a total jackass.

    I sometimes quantify skaters in relation to the power forward of hockey… player with power, size, strength but with soft hands equivalent to skater with pop, power but with light feet. Danny Garcia comes to mind.

    Winter Classic is a great tradition.

    lol at Mike Green being a skateboarder.

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