A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Friday, October 27, 2006

RBH glossary in the works!

Due to a number of confused looks, and a number of requests for clarification on my nicknames, I'm in the midst of working on a Red And Black Hockey glossary of terms and nicknames.

Jes Golbez has one. Battle of Alberta has one from last season and an updated one for this season. I think there are a few others out there as well.

This is something I've thought about doing for a while, and now that the demand is high, I need to get started. Unfortunately, having two jobs leaves less free time than I've ever had, and I just got a hand injury which makes typing a little more difficult than usual, but I'll get started on some of the nicknames that I use.

It turns out I've never explained it thoroughly in this forum, so here are some of the strange nicknames explained:

  • Justin Williams -- "Viva"

    • This dates back to the beginning of the 2005-06 season. During every home Canes game, the jumbotron people throw together some clips that are meant for the fans to get to know the players a little better. They're all asked the same series of questions such as "what's you favorite ice cream" and "do you prefer comedies or dramas" and "who's the biggest goofball in the locker room". Once per game, we get to see all the players answer the same question. Early last season, the question was "Other than Raleigh, what's your favorite city?" Most players said New York, Eric Staal said Cary, and Justin Williams gave a very strange answer. I swear that he said "France". Which is funny because France isn't so much a city as it is a country. A few other people heard the same thing. Turns out we were wrong. He said "Phoenix", but my mis-hearing it led to a great nickname.
      I decided with the couple next to me that we needed to have some fun with our boy having "France" as a favorite city. For the rest of that game, every time Williams came with the puck on our end of the arena, we all yelled out "Vive la France", French for "Long live France". It would be a few weeks before we realized that we were wrong, or that the Canes PR folks had covered up. You can see the jumbotron clip here. I still suspect that they cut and spliced his "Phoenix" after the fact.

      Anyway, our yelling out "Vive la France" was a bit cumbersome, so we decided just to call him Viva for short. It's a bastardization of the original, an improper spelling, and a bit of an improper pronunciation if we wanted to be true to the original French. However, "Viva" looks better in print and flows off the tongue better than "Vive".

    There you have that one. See why I didn't explain that in the comments section?

  • Anton Babchuk -- "Yentl"
      Most hockey players get a nickname that is a variation on their first or last name. For example, Eric Staal is "Staalsy". Erik Cole is "Colesy". Craig Adams is "Craiggers" or "CrAdams". Those are pretty cut and dry. When it came time for me to assign a nickname to Anton Babchuk, the first thing that came naturally was "Babs". Barbara Streisand is also called "Babs". She wrote, produced, directed and starred in a film called Yentl. Most of us have seen that movie, but few will admit to it. That movie is set in Poland, and Anton Babchuk hails from Kiev, Ukraine (about 250 miles from the Polish border). That geographical proximity from one "Babs" to a fictional character played by the other "Babs" led me to the decision to assign that nickname to him. The facts that the movie character was a cross-dressing woman and Anton Babchuk has long luxurious flowing locks of curly gold (read: "girly hair") make the analogy work even more.

      Barbara="Babs"=Yentl :: Babchuk="Babs"="Yentl".

      I know. It doesn't make sense, but it doesn't have to.

  • Chad LaRose -- "Sharpie"
      At a season ticket holder's event last season, some friends of mine were standing in line to get their sweaters autographed by all the players. Obviously, some of the players had longer lines, while others had none at all. When they got to Chad LaRose, he was thrilled just to have them asking him at all. He was also excited that they asked him to sign on the previously untainted black part of the team crest. Most folks ask for autographs on the white or red sections of the logo. When they asked him to use the silver sharpie to sign there, he said "Really?!?! I get to use the silver Sharpie?!?!". His enthusiasm was genuine, unlike some former Canes players whose initials are Bates Battaglia and Sean Burke. My friends were as amused as Chad was tickled. They decided then and there that his new nickname should be "Sharpie".

  • To my knowledge, very few other people use these nicknames, and I don't even use "Yentl" that much myself. Of the three, I realize that the only one that has ANY chance of catching on is Viva. I also realize that the chance is very very slim.

    If BOA can have their "Orbs of Power", then I can have my "Viva".

    More nicknames and some other common use terms will be added to the glossary in the very near future.


    tj said...

    I was at that "Viva" game. Me and my wife both thought he said France. If you read his lips in the video clip, it still looks like he says France. Besides, whose favorite city is Phoenix?

    AcidQueen said...

    OK, so who's "The Horseman"?

    d-lee said...

    "The Horseman" is the English translation of Lecavalier.


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