By Rex O’Rourke

Uniondale, N.Y.

HOKIE – I know it’s patently uncool to be a New York Islanders fan. I know they’ll be toiling in Yellowknife or Kansas City or Moosejaw someday; yet having attended Tuesday’s thorough 6-0 dismantling of the Detroit Red Wings, the home squad controlling every facet of the game, I detected a ray of light, an iota of hope. With Saturday’s win over Buffalo (a shoot-out victory for oft-injured Rick DiPietro) the Isles have gone 8-2-1 in their last eleven and have the league asking themselves, “Who ARE these guys?” Young guns Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo, along with rookie John Tavares are contributing on a very young, hungry squad. Grizzled vets Doug Weight and Andy Sutton are providing guidance to a team that could make a run at the playoffs.

But that’s not why I’m dedicating space to hockey this week.

Hockey is gloriously hokie! Tuesday’s Islanders promos included stunts that would make Jackie Moon proud. T-shirt guns and Kiss-Cams are probably not so old hat; but most of the goofiness (like Ice Girls)probably started with The Montreal Maroons or The Guelph Dominators, back in the day. Baby races and Chuck-a-Puck were so Bill Veeckian I thought a Disco Demolition was going to ensue. When the Isles were up 5-0 (ticket holders having earned free Wendy’s chili at 3-0) the crowd started chanting DOUBLE CHILI… clap clap…clap clap clap! Add two octopi

thrown to the ice by Wings fans trying to hex the home team and it’s Vaudeville on skates. I thought Uncle Miltie was going to skate out in a dress. So here’s to hokie… er… hockey; still goofy, unstuffy, and unashamed. What, no Dancing Bears?

HOKIE DOKIE – How about that Mark McGwire? I knew when he became hitting coach for The Cards, something was going to have to give. I never, for one second, thought he’d completely come clean (see Stoopid Skool 2/22/09, and The Trickle-Out Theory 2/15/09) and I was laughing my baseballs off when he said that steroids didn’t help him hit home runs. They helped him recover, SO HE COULD HIT HOME RUNS TOMMOROW! Ugh!!!!! What’s next, Barry Bonds hired as The Giants strength coach?

HOKIE POKIE – Only in America can we turn serial philandering and scumbaggery into sex addiction. This just in from “The Rumor Has It Department“: Tiger is being treated for his errant drives, use of his long putter and pulling out his wood at a clinic for what has to be the most hilarious of our many made -p disorders. Let me see if I understand this: Eldrick’s going to be in group therapy with a gaggle of sex-addicted hotties, discussing his most intimate blood engorged moments. Good. Great. What’s next, open bars at AA meetings? Better keep those linen closets and hallway bathrooms locked!

HOKIE BROKIE – The Washington Wizards (ironically, formerly The Bullets)are looking to use the morals clause in Gilbert Arenas’ contract to take $111 million back from the gun-toting uber-scorer. Will he call Plaxico Burress for advice? He’ll be young enough to play in the NBA when he gets out of jail, so we haven’t seen the last of him, but hopefully we’ve seen the last of guns in the locker room. Nah… who am I kidding?

Ain’t sports grand?

Until next week,

P.S. I think we need a Meet The Matts writer’s summit in NYC in the very near future.

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