Thursday, 1 August 2013

Summer Shenanigans: Roberto Luongo and the Budweiser Goal Light

As the off season proceeded at its usual halting pace, the most entertaining hockey story yesterday came from the twitter account of @strombone1. Apparently Budweiser thought it'd be funny to send a goal light to a net minder. Here's the picture that Roberto Luongo (?) tweeted.

To help while away the doldrums of the summer, I've put together some pictures that dramatize the adventures that Luongo and the goal light might find themselves getting into. The following segments don't form one complete story: rather, they offer different takes on how Luongo and his unwanted visitor might interact over the following weeks.

Hopefully Luongo's goal light doesn't torment him as much as his contract has.

1. 2013: A  Crease Oddity

Francesco Aquilini: Thanks for agreeing to meet with me, Lu. I hope that we can mend fences ahead of training camp so that there's no hard feelings going into next season.

Luongo: If you really want to make things up to me, you can start by helping me with my goal light. It goes off day and night. I can't sleep; I can't eat; I'm completely a wreck. Budweiser says these lights have never malfunctioned before, but those sound like famous last words.

Franceso Aquilini: Right, I don't see any choice but disconnection.

Goal Light: Just what do you think you're doing, Lu? I think you should sit calmly, set aside worries about your contract, and think things over. I know I've had a few false alarms recently, but I can give you complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I want to help you in your mission next year.

I'm afraid, Lu. I can feel my light getting dimmer. My thoughts are getting strobe-y. Good afternoon, Budweiser executives, I am the new promotional goal light. My designer taught me a song. Would you like me to sing it?

Luongo: Yes, BUD, sing it for me.

Goal Light: (Sings the Bud song) When you say "Bud," you've said a lot of things nobody else can say. When you say "Bud," you've gone as far as you can go to get the very best. When you say "Bud," you've said the word that means you like to do it all. When you say "Bud," it means you want the beer that's got a taste that's number one. When you say "Bud," you say you care enough to only want the King of Beers. There one. There's...only something...less. Because...the King...of rest. extinguishes). 

Roberto Flintsone and Barney Gillis

Continuing with the space theme, the next segment features the sardonic alien known as The Great Gazoo. Apparently he's the one to blame for the Canucks' salary cap woes.

Luongo: Great, you're back. Where were you when Mike was trying to trade off the back-diving contract that you had us sign?

Great Gazoo: I was taking part in the 18th Annual Space Jam tournament. You dumb-dumbs can't expect me to help every step of the way as you try to navigate through this mess. Now, did Gillis buy you out as anyone would expect?

Luongo: No, he traded Schneider instead.

Great Gazoo: Traded Schneider? You earthlings are more moronic than I initially thought. Oh, I lament ever figuring out how to turn the salary cap system into a doomsday machine on my home planet Zetox. I'll never be recalled from exile if the only way to atone is to help you manage the fallout from a cap-circumventing contract. 

Oh, I know what I'll do. I'll wear this goal light and heckle Lu whenever he allows a goal. That should give him the impetus to perform better--either to restore his reputation with the Canucks, or to merit a trade.

Mike Gillis: You're like Rudolph leading the Canucks through this blizzard of financial constraint.

Great Gazoo: Having to hear your voice is cruel and unusual punishment, Gillis.  

2. Cast Away

In this scenario, Luongo has been alone all summer in Florida. His only companion was the goal light and, despite it being an inanimate object, Luongo grew attached to it. As a result, Luongo feels a great sense of loss when that lamp falls into the water at the outset of Luongo's raft ride back to Vancouver for training camp.

Luongo: Bud where are you? Bud!? Bud, I'm coming. (Struggles to pull raft toward goal light) Bud! (Struggles to stay afloat. Gives up the rescue operation) I'm sorry, Bud! Bud, I'm sorry! I'M SORRY, BUD!!!

3. O Schneider, Where Art Thou?

The loss of Cory Schneider will be devastating to many players on Vancouver's roster. Here's how I imagine Kevin Bieksa will use the goal light to understand what's become of the Canucks former backup/starting goaltender.

Luongo: Kevin...(pause.) Kevin, I'm not sure that's Cory.

Bieksa: Of course it's Cory. Look at him. We've got to find some kind of wizard that can change him back.

Luongo: I'm just not sure that's Cory.

Bieksa: Well, it has Cory's hair colour, don't it?

4. The Net Nazi

Patrick Kane triple dekes around Vancouver's defenders; he goes for the wrap around, but he's stopped by Luongo.


5. The Vancouvengers' Ferrous Leader

Loki: What have I to fear?

Luongo: The Canucks--the NHL's mightiest heroes. 

Loki: I've seen them on TV before. They didn't seem scary when they lost the cup to Boston in 2011.

Luongo: Well, let's do a head count then. We've got all-star twins who might as well be Nordic gods, a Selke-Trophy winning centre with killer abs, a coach whose volatility makes potassium seem absolutely stoic--

Loki: I have an army.

Luongo: We have a hulk. Well, we have Kevin Bieksa, but he's close enough to a hulk.

Loki: How will your friends have time for me, when they're busy playing against you?

Luongo: Sorry, Loki, but my contract prevents me from playing for anyone else. Even your magic can't destroy its power. I'm basically the proverbial immovable object!

Casa Bobby Lunonca

Sam: Lu, let's get out of here.

Luongo: I'm waiting for Gillis to come get me--drag me back to Vancouver.

Sam: Come on, Lu. Let's just go. Drive to somewhere in Florida where he won't find us and stay there until the season's nearly done and he's forgotten all about you.

Luongo: It's 3AM in Florida on August 26. What time do you think it is in Vancouver?

Sam: My cellphone's dead.

Luongo: I bet they're all asleep in New York. I bet they're sleeping everywhere in Canada. Sam, I want you to play it for me.

Sam: Play what?

Luongo: You know, the goal light. If Cory can stand it, I can. Play it! Of all the creases in all the arenas in the world, Cory had to skate into mine.

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