A Manly Guide to the Hockey-Game, known originally as Ice-Murder.

Jonathan Daniel

Women aren't the only ones who need guides to hockey specifically geared toward them. Witness this guest post from our very own, and very knowledgeable, Paperwork Ninja.

A Manly Guide to the Hockey-Game, known originally as Ice-Murder.

by Prof. Fahrquar J. Ninja, Esq.

28th Jan., 1898

Sport is necessary to complete a Manly Education. While this should be as obvious as the nose on one's face and the moustache beneath it, Certain Forces who do not cleave unto the Traditions of Manly Virtue have deemed a Man's Education to require knowledge of things in the stead of Sport: things such as painting, drinking absinthe from a glass instead of directly from the bottle, table manners and weeping at particularly melodramatic motion-pictures.

NONSENSE! STUFF AND NONSENSE, I SAY! These Weaklings and Milquetoasts shall be the downfall of All Society with their Erudite Culture, Vaudeville Shows, and Suffrage of The Vote for all non-landowners. Before that happens I shall endeavour to stem that tide with a monograph upon the Manly Sport of the Hockey-Game, once known to a select few as Ice-Murder. Armed with this knowledge, Manly Virtue shall be replenished.

The Red Indians, perhaps the Huron or Mohicans, I forget, spoke of their Sport of Baggataway as "The Little Brother to War." We know this as the game of Summer-Stick-Murder, or Lacrosse. That was discussed as well as the Irish and Scots versions called Hurleys and Shinty, (or Summer-Stick-Murder-and-Whisky) in "A Man's Guide to Summer-Stick-Murder"and I will not repeat the story here. Indeed, our doughty English forebears have invented Mud-Ball-Murder in their lovely college town of Rugby. But leave it to our fine Canadian and American minds to add ice-skating to the sport of Summer-Stick-Murder for a better degree of challenge for any Man!

In the North American winter, one must move or risk death by freezing solid. In order to keep from having ice accumulate at our feet we wear knives attached lengthwise on the soles of our boots. This gives a particular gait to our winter strides, which is now known as ice-skating. While it provides some heat as we make our way from factory to work-house to bull-baiting-pit, a clever bunch have taken our Summer-Stick-Murder game and added ice-skating to it to ensure we generate more heat while waiting for our coal-fired stoves to bring their sooty warmth. As the saying goes "If your lungs aren't blackened, it's not heat at all!" But I digress, here we shall discuss the Hockey-Game.

1.The Hockey-Game and Its Armoury.

We may call them "hockey gloves" and "hockey helmets" and "shoulder pads" to assuage weaker men but make no mistake: this is armour like the knights of antiquity! These few items give a fellow sportsman scant moments to live. The celebrated researcher Dr. Fraudulent once calculated that the average career for an Hockey-Game player is fifteen seconds. Hockey-Game players often die in combat, but some succumb to the elements or are carried off by packs of wolves. A story has it that veteran Hockey-Game Player Chris Chelios has been eaten by killer whales twice. Once the armour is donned a sportsman must also carry his weapon with him, a shaft of scientific precision attached to a blade, polished to a mirror sheen to inspect for flaws. Usually these are tested for strength by having a native bearer engage a local beast in single combat. Should the native find himself successful against the Grizzly-Bear, Lion, Tiger, Cape Buffalo or Drop-Bear the "hockey stick" is returned to the factory for final approval for sale. Such a panoply is revered and envied by the working-man and the working-man's sons, so much so that each piece of surviving armour is handed down from generation to generation. (This is of course not true in the case of Chris Chelios, as he is immortal thanks to the Eldritch Schemes of the Infernal, known to the layman as Detroit, Metropolis of Despair.) Numerous boys are willing to volunteer to join the French Foreign Legion for a mere chance at purchasing Hockey-Game Armour and Weapons. Sadly, they fail to realise the logical mistakes here. First, they are joining their martial prowess to the fortunes of the French, and second the poor scamps are sent to the Desert. The Hockey-Game is a winter sport and requires ice.

2. Hockey-Game Play and Terminology.

To play the Hockey-Game, one must have Ice. This is preferably found upon a lake or nearby pond, but if played in-doors then the ice must be made at the facility itself. This is due to the results of the Ice-Tonging Incident of Jeremiah Woodbeam III in 1887. I trust my fair readers can avail themselves of a history-book to learn the dark details. Once the ice has been procured, one "skates" across the ice on one's foot-knives towards their enemy to place a token of hatred called a "hockey-puck" in their enemy's "goal-net," thus ensuring that the loser's name shall be henceforth known as a Word of Shame. How often have we found ourselves facing one of those Swarthy Finns and called him an Osgood to his face? And who among us hasn't imbibed too much of the Scotch-whisky and "accidentally" Balfoured all over our host's pure silk wall-coverings?

Regardless, it is your enemy's job to place that hockey-puck into your own goal-net. You must prevent him from doing so all while skating. This is from whence Hockey-Game gets its original name of Ice-Murder. You must use your armour, your blade & shaft (known among Milquetoasts as a "hockey-stick") and your Iron Will to murder your foe before he can murder you on the ice.

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"Hockey-Game In Action. None of these Men survived to see the morning."

3. Moustaches.

The only protection a face truly needs, though an impressive beard or mutton-chops are allowed.

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"Proper Moustachioed Players."

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"Try harder, boy! More effort!"

4. Sportsmanship.

Yes, mercy is required in some situations. Dispatching a crippled enemy with a slash from your hockey-stick is quite often the fastest way to send your foe to his Final Judgment. A man missing his limbs may be considered a burden to his team, and may find himself strapped to the side of a train bound for Edmonton in exchange for two draught picks or perhaps two draughts of the local ale. If he's been particularly vile to your team-mates, you may allow him to bleed until he begs thrice for release from this mortal coil. Failure to do so may result in a Suspension of Hockey-Game Privilege for up to Twenty-Five Games. There is an Exception whispered about in dressing-rooms that one may be absolved of Unsportsmanlike Actions if one volunteers to leave Vancouver for Detroit or Phoenix.

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5. Future Stars of the Hockey-Game

I shall now take an attempt at prognostication to find Significant Men of the future of the Hockey-Game. It shall be tough as time weakens the game and those who play it. With luck, at least one of them shall find this treatise and play the Hockey-Game in its original form of Ice-Murder. For simplicity's sake I shall watch one particular team of warriors. Hmm. I shall go to the Frigid South of Saint-Louis and pick from their "Blues." (Ah, clearly the Union-sympathizers have finally won their rightful due down the river from Alton!)

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"Now here's a Man who plays this game in a subtle manner! While he is often not the one depositing the hockey-puck in the goal-net, his play is a bulwark against foolish enemies. He also knows how to take his meat dishes at supper-time: straight from the moving chain-saw!"

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"The Romanovs clearly only allowed him to leave Russia after he defeated the greatest of Siberian bears!"

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"Ah, what a model of power and skill. It will be a shame if he leaves for another team."

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"Likewise these men."

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"To allow a genius such as this to flourish on one's team is a sure-fire guarantee of wresting Lord Stanley's Cup from that doddering English buffoon's fingers!"

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"ALL THAT IS MAN"

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"See previous caption."

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"The generation previous to Barret Jackman, no doubt. Yet they seem to have more desire to carry the hockey-puck to the goal-net. Such clean-cut boys! Obviously they were playing under duress without being able to wear their full panoply of helmet, pads and gloves. Perhaps tomorrow's milquetoasts believe the hockey-helmet makes the game too violent? That these boys survived in a dark time says much."

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via farm6.staticflickr.com

"Clearly the toughest man out there, as he wears no armour, carries no stick, and spouts nothing but platitudes and mathematical gobbledygook! And yet, no one attacks him. Is it because we are to show mercy to the invalid, or does he maintain some kind of power unknown to hockey-players everywhere?"

In summary, dear reader, the Hockey-Game is one of pure and unrestrained violence and derring-do. No longer does a man need to test his martial prowess away from home! One can play the Hockey-Game and prove himself a Guardian of Manly Virtue without having to hunt tigers in Kenya or go to war over bird guano in South America! It is indeed the finest game that Modern Man has ever invented.

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