Hello and welcome! With the arrival of NBCSN on the scene, we’ve been exposed to more Doc Emrick in the regular season than we had ever thought possible. The “Wednesday Night Rivalry” moniker is also kind of sad. Everyone has pretty much acknowledged that it’s a ham-handed, though expected, attempt to make regular season games read more like the playoffs to casual fans. Basically, this is exactly what you’d expect if the entirety of Canadian broadcast journalism fell into a dimensional rift and Americans were left in charge of Hockey Night in Canada. It’s sad, it’s on Wednesday, and alcohol is pretty much the only way to get through it. And thus this game was born. Tonight, we’ll watch the Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres go head to head in the first WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIVALRY match of this post-Olympic world.
For safety reasons, we recommend boxed wine for this game in general.
We will be combining a few simple rules to make this as easy as possible for you, your friends, and your family, or you alone, in your room, which we think is a totally acceptable way to play this game if you are being forced to watch Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN.
For reference, check out this thread on r/hockey.
And this post on hockeyfights.com.
All of this is inspiration for our grand design.
LATE EDIT: Tonight, we’ll actually be without the services of Doc Emrick and Company. HOWEVER, we will play to the best of our abilities and maintain these rules for future iterations of this game, and for posterity. Dave Strader is more levelheaded than Doc, but our favorite things about NBC, such as doofiness and general pandering, should be delightfully intact.
Take a drink if:
- The rivalry is mentioned by anybody. Drink with special gusto and enthusiasm if the team being mentioned as part of the rivalry is in last place in the conference or league. (Tonight, the Buffalo Sabres are in 30th place and it became official that Ryan Miller is being shopped, so basically at least have half a glass of wine before the game even starts to get started.)
- Doc uses any adjective to describe motion that isn’t exactly literal (such as “hoisted”, “spiked”—wtf is he talking about?)
- Doc exclaims “big drive!”
- Doc says “my goodness!”
- If at any point a failed NHL coach or management staff is asked to provide coaching analysis (ex. Eddie Olczyk, Mike Milbury).
- If NBC misses a faceoff or doesn’t explain a penalty.
- Special rule just for tonight: if Olympic medals are mentioned.
- The words “big body” are said.
- “IT WOULD NOT GO!!!”
Take two drinks if:
- A player “sashays”
- Pierre talks about someone’s junior team
- Pierre refers to a player in an objectifying/borderline sexual way by his number (i.e. “4 in white.”) Bonus drink if he’s accusing the player of committing a penalty.
- A graphic is shown on the screen to highlight a particular player for the national audience so insightful analysis can be provided by Pierre, Eddie Olczyk, or Mike Milbury (bonus drink if the player isn’t the captain of the team)
- Doc asks an existential question about the game (“Will it be an icing?” “Will it count?” “Will he make it?”)
Finish your drink if:
- Doc brings up the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball for any reason
- Doc brings up the New Jersey Devils for any reason in a non-Devils game
- Anyone mentions Sidney Crosby in a non-Penguins game
- Anyone mentions Shattuck St. Mary’s
- A graphic is displayed or discussion is opened about anyone’s extended family members who are also involved in the NHL
We’ll be back at this space later to post our liveblog and reactions. If I know anything from past experience it’s that this can be very dangerous, so play at your own discretion and, if necessary, be ready to go to work in the morning. See you all at 7:30PM EST.