Top 10 playoff pet peeves

SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

As much as we love playoff hockey, it seems to bring out the worst in us.

Sure, sitting on the couch for hours on end, drinking alcoholic beverages and eating salty snacks sounds good in theory. But after a few weeks, the playoff beard gets itchy, our liver and bulging stomach start to complain and our office pool survivors dwindle to a couple of third-line wingers.

In short, we turn into bitter, angry people.

Hence, this list:

10. DAY GAMES

You will know the apocalypse is coming when you hear a hockey player say "today" or "this afternoon" in a post-game interview. Something about playing hockey makes everyone involved (announcers included) think it's the middle of the night. When they leave the rink, do players ever see the sunlight and think, "Dang ... I just told two million people on TV that we played 'real good tonight.' I feel so stupid."

9. GRANDPA SIMPSON

Would somebody please put Bob Cole out of his misery? Every time the whistle blows, it takes a couple of minutes and several replays before the poor guy is finally able to figure out what happened. With his beloved Leafs out of the playoffs, we were kinda hoping Bob might join them on the golf course, but no such luck.

8. MIKE EMRICK

If you want announcers who can actually follow the action, the place to go is NBC, where Mike Emrick is as good as it gets in that regard. Trouble is, the guy is so on top of the game that his mind wanders and he starts randomly making up verbs. A player doesn't pass the puck, he "swirls" it, or "ladles" it; he doesn't shoot it, he "knifes" or "twists," then "repeats." Gets annoying pretty quick.

7. BOOING SIDNEY

After everything he's done to them in his 19 years on this planet, you could hardly blame Sens fans for booing Sidney Crosby. The kid's got a lot of nerve -- leading the league in scoring while brazenly playing for a team that's (gasp) not the Ottawa Senators. Now that good has triumphed over evil, fans can focus their leather lungs on ... let's see, who's good on the New Jersey Devils? Martin Brodeur? Yeah! We hate Martin Brodeur! Booooo!

6. GLEN HEALY

Considering how much we like to criticize (Exhibit A: this list), you'd think we'd love Healy's take-no-prisoners broadcast style, especially compared to Cassie Campbell ("What an unbelievable play! They're all unbelievable players! Hooray for everyone!). But even if he's right most of the time, we find Healy's relentless criticism starts to wear on us. If he doesn't show a little professionalism and pick up his game, he's going to find himself nailed to the bench, or worse yet, up in the press box!

5. INJURIES

A few nights ago, we heard the CBC's Mark Lee say an injured player seemed to be "favouring his face." As hilarious as this may sound, Lee's description sets a dangerous precedent. Everyone knows there's only two kinds of injuries during the NHL playoffs -- upper body and lower body. And when a player who is nursing an injury hurts himself again, he's not aggravating an injury, he's "re-aggravating" it. Ask any sportscaster.

4. BANGING ON THE GLASS

It's OK to get up and cheer during fights. We don't mind it when you boo the ref or yell at your team to "shoot!" during power plays. But what's the deal with standing up and banging on the glass with both fists whenever there's a scrum in your corner? What are you, a gorilla? Sit down and go back to picking the nits out of your mate's fur.

3. THE COMMERCIALS

Take your pick ... they all suck. The ones that are bugging us the most right now, though, are those stupid Clublink ads we're seeing during every second stoppage on TSN. You know -- "Yesterday, you were playing the 14th hole at Angus Glen, but today you're playing the 18th at Glen Abbey," then you see some guy's ball going into the water. The whole thing just sounds confusing. If you're losing balls left and right because you can't keep track of what hole and course you're playing on, you should probably stick to Golden Tee.

2. PIERRE MCGUIRE

Speaking of commercials, McGuire would make a great laxative pitchman, since he's always extolling the virtues of a nice, soft dump. His latest annoying habit is telling his play-by-play man that he would've predicted that last goal or penalty or injury, if only he had been given the chance to speak -- "I was going to point that out, but I wanted to let you finish that story you were telling."

1. NOBODY TO CHEER FOR

Forget everything else on this list -- the worst thing about the playoffs is when your team has been eliminated, or didn't even qualify. You try to fill the gap with office pools and watching for "the love of the game," but by the time June rolls around, you're ready to get up off the couch, go out and enjoy summer. If only you could remember what golf course you're supposed to be playing at.


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