A few days ago we were accused by one of our Diablogosphere peers of being too “orange and black”. We’re actually pretty short on Flyers content, though, when we think about it, and we wouldn’t want to make a liar out of him, so this is a perfect excuse for us to get to share a little gem of a video from our beloved Tranny Brides. This bit is from Comcast Sportsnet’s playoff preview show “Orange Line”, something we’d seen teased on our brand spanking new cable. It was a tantalizing look at How The Other Teams Live, where, instead of the Hockey Night New York Live craptacularly boring preview shows we get from MSG, this was a preview show that featured a “Day In The Life” feature, a “who knows this player better: his linemate or his wife” Newlywed Game-style feature, and then a mic’d-up-in-practice bit that elevates the art of mic’d up to a whole new level. The subject of the mic’d up was Mike Richards, our Tranny Bride husband, and it BLEW OUR MINDS. (Major, major thanks to kristin for YouTubing this up for us.)
Okay, our thoughts:
1. We thought mic’d up had reached its apex (well, short of just having open on-ice mics for entire games) two years ago during the All-Star Game when Marty Turco won everyone’s hearts and minds, but we were wrong. After a long plateau at the Turco level, we see here a leap forward for mic’d up. Sure, there’s tons of context-free mic’d up footage from practices, but it’s a genius stroke to then have a sit-down with the player afterward. We mean, it’s one thing to show Richards hitting Gagne during a drill and apologizing, but another thing altogether to hear him afterwards offering a PSA for kids about how you should always say you’re sorry when you hit him. Brilliant, Comcast! This was mic’d up direction for a case of Tastykakes.
2. Okay, two seasons ago we attended our first-ever Devils practice during training camp, and we came away convinced that the players have no idea what they’re doing in any of the drills. Of course, we decided that we were being funny in suggesting that; like, that we were projecting our own long-ago experiences from high school gym class, while NHLers are highly-skilled, well-trained professionals. A friend of a friend of ours was in the US National ski program, and was apparently just short of being good enough to compete at Olympic levels. He said that the difference between the 99th percentile and 100th percentile was bigger than the difference between the first percentile and the 99th. We figured that was probably true of NHLers, too. They were all supreme elite athletes, with unparalleled levels of focus, drive, and hockey intellect. There was no way we could be right that the players approach practice the same way we would, right? Right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Wrong!
3. On that same note, we are gobsmacked at how awesome it is that Mike Richards is apparently enough of a practice ditz that he admits to his assistant coach when he’s having a drill explained (for a second time) to him that he has no idea what’s going on, and is enough of a space cadet that his coach rolls his eyes and concedes grudgingly that he’s “not the worst” but is “getting better”, and was still named their captain. This is a guy who has inspired a media-wide mancrush, who is held up as an exemplar of a team’s heart-and-soul kind of player, and he admits to struggling to know what’s going on when he’s not allowed to be color-coded with his linemates in practices. If that’s what a captain is like, just imagine what the coach killers are like! We demand a retroactive mic’d up investigative video series on this season’s Rangers and Penguins.
4. We aren’t sure whether we’d find this anywhere near as charming if it was a Devil doing all this. After careful deliberation, we’ve decided we’d be delighted if Paulie gave this exact interview/mic’d up combo, or Oduya. We’d probably chortle if Travis did it. We would actually think more highly of Zach if he did it, but we feel like that would be impossible. We’d be stunned if Patty was any other way. But anyone else? We’d probably break our television in frustration. Seriously, imagine that was Langer. That would be awful. Of course, we’d understand that much more clearly why Sutter can’t wait to get back to Red Deer and never speak of his tenure with the Devils ever again.
5. On that same note, it’s pretty much a miracle that we’ve only seen one coach in all our years of hockey fandom have a nervous breakdown. Well, two, if you count Ftorek.
6. Would it kill the Devils to give us some better supplemental video content?
7. Finally, a year ago we entered into a quickie marriage of convenience with a tranny team, and now you can see, Gentle Reader, why that relationship has surprised us by standing the test of time. We really, really, really heart Mike Richards. If Lou wanted to trade for him — 12-year contract and all — we’d be pretty happy about that.