Monday, 8 June 2009

We Will Not Go Quietly Into the Night

So, back in the dark ages when I was a competitive rower, our coaches used to make us write out these race plans for erg competitions. You don't need to know what an erg is. You just have to know it's an evil bastard of a machine that we did our winter training on, and that when we raced, it was usually so hard we made ourselves sick. In hockey-speak, it's like when Herb Brooks makes the US Olympic team skates suicides in 'Miracle.' Only this wasn't punishment, it was just our winter training.

The women's coaches always made us write out these unbelievably detailed race plans. Like what start we were going to use (1/2, 1/2, 3/4, full) down to how fast we were going to go from the 1250-metre mark to the 1375-metre mark of a 2000-metre race (1:05 split). You know how long it takes to row 2000 metres (standard race-distance) on the erg? Between 5 and 9 minutes, depending on how good you are. When you split it up into 125-metre segments, it means you've got like 16 chunks of time to worry about. Sixteen chunks in less than ten minutes is just too... ugh... too much thinking.

I hated race plans. Race plans meant having to pay attention when you're racing, it meant thinking. I don't like thinking when I race. When you have to think AT ALL, you start to think about how much effing pain your legs are in, and how your lungs are burning, and how you're only about a quarter of the way through the race and you already want to die. I hated thinking; I'd rather just close my eyes and pull hard until the clock runs down to zero.

I was always jealous of the guys. Their coach let them have simple race plans. Their race plans looked like this:

START
GIVE 'ER


That was it. That was their plan. And you know what? It worked. The guys did well. And when I finally told my coach to shove it and had that as my race plan, I pulled a personal best (by 14 seconds, which is substantial in rowing terms).

So that's all I have to say to the Pens. Tomorrow night, this is your game-plan: win the face off, and then just give 'er.

That's it.

Well, not quite it. Obviously you have to score and stuff. Geno, Sid, Staal, Letang, Gonchar; you guys are our boys, you guys can score. Talbot? You are a beast. You need to be the most clutch you can be. Gill and Scuderi and Eaton and Orpik have to be the best defencemen on the ice. And Fleury has to forget everything, and just play the way we all know he can play. He needs to be a beautiful butterfly, a beautiful butterfly (if you get that reference, I love you). And he can be. But mostly, your game plan can be pretty simple. Something like this:

WIN THE FACE-OFF
GIVE 'ER


If you do, you can win this.
If you don't, you'll lose.
You want it? Go get it.
It's all yours boys.

3 comments:

25superstar said...

i hope that this is what you are referring to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=755f0iUuJY0

simple game plans FTW.

mer said...

@25superstar - actually not what I was referring to, but also hilarious!!!

Val said...

BEAUTIFUL! 'Nuff said...