Sometimes it takes looking at the standings and really mulling over the talents of your team to realize that you have been a total disapproving father.
I mean, we're doing well.
We're playing like heroes most of the time, but there's still a lot left to be desired. Our D can look soff, we have some dead weight hanging out on the team, and our goaltending is spotty.
But then a team like the Leafs roll around and we remember – oh.
Maybe we're the dad that's slowly chewing his bran over breakfast and looking over his glasses at our kid because he got a B+ when we wanted to see an A. It's not even finals time yet.
But still. Just like dad, it's only because we see your potential, boys.
We know what you're doing is good.
We're just saying…it could be better.
So welcome to the disapproving father awards show.
It's never enough for us, guys.
We just do it to keep you fighting harder.
(And obvs, you are playing only for our approval. RIGHT?)
THE "I SHOWED UP TO YOUR LITTLE LEAGUE GAME. WHERE WERE YOU" AWARD
I work all day in what is essentially a holding cell with fluorescent lighting. You think waterboarding sounds bad? Try listening to Toni-with-an-i talk about his IBS all fucking day just so I can come home to hear Kris slam his bedroom door because your mother bought the wrong flavor of poptarts.
And, you know, I wouldn't miss one of your games, because I love watching you boys play, it looks like you're having a lot of fun out there.
But I would appreciate it if you could at least capitalize on some of your chances when I make the effort to get there on time. This team shouldn't make you try so hard – this is basically a scrimmage.
I don't like sitting here for the first 20 minutes and feeling like you aren't even trying that hard.
What's that, Sidney?
You'll do better next period?
Don't be a brown noser, son. We'll see how it goes.
THE "SIT DOWN, WE NEED TO HAVE A TALK" AWARD
What exactly is it about this Scrivens boy?
I watched you out there at least a hundred times trying to get that puck past him, and nothing.
Didn't he go to school to be a hotel maid or something?
And here I thought I just had to worry about your bothers back in defense and now this Kosta kid is giving you guff in front of their net?
I saw that Johnny Liles down in your end, and he seemed to be shooting it just fine at your net. Yes, Marc, we'll see about that juice box if you can keep it up.
THE "I'M NOT MAD, JUST DISAPPOINTED" AWARD
Marc, you see? I offer you one little thing and you get all lost in your head and Bozak goes and gets it around you.
Don't you snicker at him, Kris and Brooks, I saw you there too. What were you doing?
I just don't think we're going to be able to make it to Chuck E Cheese after this. We're going to have to watch some videos to remind you what this is supposed to look like.
No, Tyler, not tonight. Maybe when you look a little better out there.
That's enough, you guys.
Marc, stop crying. It's just juice.
My father didn't even let us have juice when we were kids.
THE "ALL I HEAR ARE EXCUSES" AWARD
Sure, Beau. Sure.
Blame it on the ref blowing the whistle too soon.
From what I can tell, you've had almost 40 minutes to score. One blown whistle doesn't explain that goose egg.
THE "WHOLE LOTTA TALK" AWARD
Like grandpa always told you, "almost only counts in horseshoes." Last I checked I didn't come all the way down here in my work clothes to bring you your backup stick before the game for a horseshoes game.
Marc, you, on the other hand, were using your head when you covered the net there. But the puck still sailed just past, and there's a whole 'nother 12 minutes left here, so don't start counting on that juice just yet.
You better give a talk to your brothers about trying a little harder up front, too.
You have to inspire them, too, you know, Marc.
You have more than a net to protect.
THE "BETTER THAN NOTHIN'" AWARD
Sidney, Chris, Pascal, listen.
You're not going to get anywhere in life being showoffs.
Good hustle. And I mean that.
But let's make sure we remember the score up there.
THE "NOT BAD, SON" AWARD
When that Leo guy was rushing towards you I was sure it was going to get ugly out there, but I'll be damned if you didn't prove me wrong this one time.
No, Brooks, you do not get "brownie points" for breaking your stick out there and letting that breakaway happen.
Straight to bed when we get home for even talking like that.
THE "WHAT I'M SAYING IS…" AWARD
Sidney, Chris, Pascal, I'm really not going to mention this again.
Your mother and I are very proud of you. Chris, that pass was uhh…*scratch back of neck* pretty good. And Pascal, you really found it there and…you know. What I'm saying is you guys did a good job.
Remember, though, you don't have to get all cocky. It's not like you have the Cup in your hands or anything. It was just a good play.
THE "WELL, KEEP IT UP" AWARD
Brooks, remember what I said about going to bed when we get home?
Their net was empty, there's no reason to act like a damned fool and get them yet another attacker up on you.
But…Craig, you can get that magazine at the gas station you were lookin' at on the way over for getting it in shorthanded.
That was a pretty okay clear, all things considered.
Good aim, son.
Better late than never. I guess we can go to Chuck E Cheese, you guys. Well, ask your mother first. And don't none of yinz guys get any of them orange peels in my truck tonight, or we're going straight home.
Marc, don't you open that juice until we get home.
PENS WIN, 3-1
"WE NEED TO HAVE A TALK ABOUT WHAT YOUR MOTHER FOUND IN YOUR ROOM"
"ENOUGH HORSIN' AROUND OUT THERE"
ALT THREE STARS
We like you all the same, now go to bed.
It's tough love. But it's love.
Deep, overflowing, sometimes painful love.
What a game.
What a return to being a THIRD PERIOD TEAM of late.
What a team.
Of course, GO PENS.