(vol. 35W, no. 3; newsletter by b.n.)
You know, I remember a couple of years ago when the Rutgers football team started their season an impressive 9-0. Everyone thought it was the start of great things to come. They decided to pay their coach millions of dollars (they also worked some side deal where a marketing firm would pay the coach too, that way they could hide the fact that they were paying him even more money). They also gave the coach land so he could build himself a house! Since the coach was so great, he could make demands like, “If you don't expand the stadium, I will be able to get out of my current 10 year contract and the football program will be left in shambles.” So somehow the stadium expansion got started (even though no one is quite sure where the money is to pay for it). The coach is so great and his commitment to Rutgers is so great that the coach turned down offers to coach from Miami and Michigan (or maybe all that money he was being paid had something to do with it). Anyway, while all that was going on, tuition was increased (no doubt to pay for the coach and the stadium) and other sports programs were being cut — guess they didn't raise tuition high enough to pay for the coach, the stadium and to keep the other sports.

Why is any of this important? Well, probably because after all the money that was spent and all the proclamations about how great the team was (I think they were supposed to have their best recruiting classes over the past 2 or 3 years), the team started the season 0-3. How does that happen when they have such a good coach and such great players? (Their quarterback was even undefeated in High School). Hmmm, I guess they are missing something ... Could it be that their success over the last few years had less to do with the coach and more to do with a great player (Ray Rice left Rutgers early and is now on the Baltimore Ravens)? I guess only time will tell, but already lots of fans are jumping ship. Even Tim Hand has quit on them. (If I had written this newsletter any sooner, he would have been able to offer up his tickets for today's game against Moorehead State).

Anyway, going into Wednesday's game against the Bottom Feeders, the Pirates were sitting at 0-2 and watched as their nemesis, the Geriatrics fell to 0-3. And like Rutgers, the Coastal Pirates were missing one of their key players that led the Pirates to many victories. So much like Rutgers has failed to win after the departure of Ray Rice, so to it looked like the Pirates were doomed to fail after the departure of Mike Farrell. Well, maybe that is not such a great comparison: You see Ray Rice declared at the end of last year's football season that he would not be returning and gave the overpaid coach some time to prepare his replacement; Mike, on the other hand, quit after the start of the season and left Harris scrambling trying to fill the spot — but more importantly replacing the $155. Fortunately, Bob Currao stepped-up at the last minute and took the vacated spot. (And thank God for that. One can only imagine where Harris would have scrimped to come up with that $155. Unlike Rutgers, the Coastal Pirates can't raise tuition. They can't cut any other sports programs. About the only thing they can do is buy cheaper beer. And since we are already drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon there is not much farther down we can go!)

Oh yeah, the game!
The Pirates suddenly broke out this season! #67 opened the scoring on a shot from the point (after a nice face-off win by somebody not named on the scoresheet). The 1st period also saw goals by Wildman (from Gucci) and Marty (from Kenny G). The roll continued in the final period when Scott Miller scored (from Marty), Russ scored unassisted, and Gucci closed-out the scoring (from Marty).

But that wasn't the end of the excitement. As mentioned above, Bob Currao was supposed to by filling-in for Mike who quit. But Bob ended up being a scratch and Kevin McLaughlin stepped in for Bob. At somewhere around the 2:00-minute mark remaining — and with the score a healthy 6-0 — the only question was whether Harris would get the shutout. The defense pairing that was on the floor was Kevin and #67, while Dave Matthews and Gucci were on the bench. Then, Kevin decided to chase a puck behind the Bottom Feeders net. Somehow the puck got deflected up into the air and into Kevin's face. After being helped from the floor (Kevin had sustained a cut just above his eye), the call went out for ice and paper towels. There must have been about 15 people standing around waiting for the next game to begin, but nobody moved. A second call went out .... nobody moved. After the third call went out with no response, Gucci leaped from the bench and raced toward the snack bar, barreling over as many players from the Bruins as he could in the process. Meanwhile, with Gucci and Kevin unavailable it was #67 and Dave Matthews left as the defensive pair to try and preserve Harris' shutout. I don't really want to say this, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist (or a Rutgers graduate for that matter) to figure out that that duo was probably the weakest defensive pairing that the Pirates sent out all night. (By the way, Harris has been know to proclaim in the past that a head of lettuce makes a better defenseman than #67 when he is out trying to preserve a shutout in the final minutes). And true to form, the final 120 seconds were played mostly in the Pirates end. The only solace coming when #67 blocked a shot with his ankle and was forced to the bench and Kenny G stepped up to play the final :30 seconds on defense (which, oddly enough, were spent in the Bottom Feeders zone).

And Kevin ?
Word is that Bob Brooks wanted to call him, but lost his phone #, therefore he contacted us and wanted to pass along the following statement:
“Kevin, don't worry about the puck you took to the face. Every time I have taken a puck or #67's stick to the face, the scars and bruising have actually improved my looks! I'm sure it will work the same for you!"

Attendance (players): Nicolosi, S. Miller, Matthews, Newcomb, LeMatty, Gucci, Wildman, Maccanico, Genalo, McLaughlin (sub). Net: Harris.
Scratches: Bobby Currao.
Scoring: 1st period: 3-0 Pirates: Goals by Newcomb (none); Cassens (Gucci); Maccanico (Genalo). 3rd period: 6-0 Pirates: Goals by S. Miller (Maccanico); Nicolosi (none); Gucci (Maccanico).
date of game: 9.24.08

WON 6-0


For the 3-point night.

For some stellar defense.

Get stitches, get a skull.


In the waning moments of Wednesday's game, Kevin got hit above the eye with a stray puck. To add insult to injury (no pun intended), Bobby Currao had asked him to sub at the last-minute because he couldn't make it to to the game. Even worse for Kevin, revisions in the Pirate Health Plan no longer cover facial injuries. Kev's text with this photo read simply: “No mask =10 stitches ;-(” Kevin has since said that he would “Implement a 6-pack Import fine on myself if I don't wear a cage going forward.”