Random Pro of the Week: Paul Kariya
The video game scene in Swingers was pretty much exactly how my Friday and Saturday nights were spent in high school (minus the tallboys and Pink Dot guy).
Hours and hours of playing NHL 96 on Super Nintendo turned my friends and I into bigger dorks than we already were. My parents were pleased, though, since they knew where I was on the weekends because I wasn’t in some orchard drinking.
Everyone had their favorite teams to use and I chose the Mighty Ducks. Why? Well, I wasn’t much of a hockey fan – although, there’s not many better in-game fan experiences than watching hockey live – and the two closest teams to where I lived where the L.A. Kings and the Mighty Ducks.
Gretzky was slowing down, but the Ducks had this scoring combo of Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya. In video games, the players that have the higher offensive ratings are usually the best. Plus, Kariya was left-handed and Selanne right-handed so you had this amazing tag-team coming from either angle (that’s what she said).
I tended to use Kariya more often because there weren’t that many uber-talented lefty goal scorers and my opponents weren’t usually ready for that. But, because Kariya was a Lady Byng Trophy winner over the two years we played, I was ridiculed for favoring a player known for sportsmanship and with the terms “lady” and “byng” – which was turned to “bung” – by my buddies.
So, I took their ridicule and then I beat their asses. “It’s not so much me as it is Kariya. He’s good,” I would mimic from Swingers.
Yet, if any of my friends were smart enough to notice, I had a plaque hanging in my room from my Little League days as the winner of the sportsmanship award. I guess me and Paul were kind of kindred spirits in that sense, so I didn’t mind that he was the sportsmanship winner and an offensive badass.
Kind of like me, but on a different level.