Did you guys know that they were playing hockey again? Me, neither. Hence my surprise when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman contacted me today at The House on the Hill and asked if he could come by for a Snapple and some conversation if he provided the whoopie pies. Never one to pass on a free whoopie pie, I insisted that the man come visit immediately.
Why was the Commish in Maine? Why would he want to talk to this Modern Philosopher? Would he know to bring me a peanut butter whoopie pie?
Bettman soon appeared behind the wheel of a pimped out Zamboni. Apparently, he is a huge fan of the blog, and since he had news that he wanted to share with the people of Maine, he thought it would be best to come to the Modern Philosopher who has his finger on the pulse of every human, Alien, Zombie, and other creature in the state.
After polite introductions, a quick spin of my own on the Zamboni, and some ribbing from Bettman about why I never write about hockey in my blog (make the Islanders good again and I’ll consider it!), we retired to the living room for Snapple, whoopie pies, and our interview.
For those of you from away, I am including a photo of a whoopie pie so you can see the tasty treat of which I speak.
So why is Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the least popular sport in America, currently in the great state of Maine, which does not have an NHL franchise? “You are the first member of the press to hear about this,” Bettman began in a matter that made me pause before taking another monster bite of my whoopie pie. “I was meeting with Governor LePage about bringing a team to Maine to play in the new arena in Bangor.”
He now had my full attention. A professional sports team in Maine? How awesome would that be? If we had an NHL franchise, my friends would probably stop asking me if Maine had indoor plumbing, paved roads, and cable TV. Probably…
What’s the catch? There’s always a catch when Maine’s worst Governor is involved. “In order for the deal to become finalized, Maine would have to secede from the United States and agree to become part of Canada,” Bettman dropped the bombshell as he helped himself to more Snapple. “The NHL wants more teams in Canada, but no cities currently in Canada want a team. This would be the perfect solution.”
I probably need to bring you folks up to speed. Canada has long been trying to expand its empire, but doesn’t have the army, the nuclear capability, or the nut sacks to make a move on the United States. So, they’ve been trying for a long time to lure Maine to cross the border to live under the maple leaf.
Canada has made some very tempting offers (cheap drugs, jobs as Mounties, all the Canadian bacon we can eat), and several Presidents have had to made secret trips to Maine to talk Mainers into staying with the Union. President Clinton’s “Forty-Nine Stars Won’t Look Right” speech was one of the most impassioned I have ever heard, and it’s a shame that the rest of the country will never get a chance to hear it (Maine’s almost leaving has been kept top secret so as to prevent the more “impassioned” patriots from demanding that we nuke Canada).
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is very intent on turning Mainers in Canadians because he campaigned on a platform of expanding his country’s borders. “Has any President ever promised Maine a baseball team if it stayed?” Bettman asked as he slyly pushed another whoopie pie in my direction. “I think not, but the Prime Minister can promise you a hockey team. The sweet part is that I’ll give you a brand new one…you won’t have to take on a bad team relocating from a city that no longer wants it.”
I must say, it is a very tempting offer. Hockey is awesome, and I’ve missed being able to attend pro sporting events since leaving New York and Los Angeles. There’s already a Tim Horton’s up the street from The House on the Hill, so it does feel a little like Canada in these parts. I don’t think I’d be willing to give up my flag, though (how cool is this double flag photo with that handsome guy on the left?). It’s so much better than Canada’s flag, which just reminds me of how much I hate raking.
What did Governor LePage have to say about the offer? “He sounded very interested once I told him we’d throw in a sky box for him and make sure it was right near the Tim Horton’s and Molson Canadian concession stands.”
Bettman and Harper were very good. I don’t know if President Obama is going to be able to sway America’s Worst Governor from making us switch our allegiance from SNL to SCTV. You can’t blame Canada for trying…I keep telling you Maine is an amazing place.
So what do you think, Modern Philosophers? Would the lure of an NHL franchise be enough to get you to sing “O Canada”? Would you hold out for a better sport before you’d abandon the ”Star Spangled Banner”? Did you even know that Canada had a Prime Minister and was no longer ruled over by Queen Elizabeth?
I’m going to do my best to enjoy what could be my last weekend as an American. I look forward to reading your comments, and I hope you’ll still read my stuff even if it’s coming from a Canadian blog…
I can’t wait to tell The Devil that he missed a chance to meet Gary Bettman. He’s a huge fan of the league that named a franchise after him and made rooting for The Devil cool again. The one time he’s not lounging around here, and he misses his hero…