Despite Slow Start, Benign Sharks Doing Swimmingly
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio, Nov. 25 /YahooSports/ -- The Lake Erie Benign Sharks have already suffered through many trials and tribulations during this young fantasy hockey season. After being dealt the last pick in the first round of the draft, their selection, center Jason Spezza, went down with a strained groin within the first month. Round two selection, RW Jaromir Jagr, has impressed few this winter, and continues to whine about his struggles.
A goaltending controversy cost the team many wins, along with inconsistent scoring and a complete lack of chemistry. The Benign Sharks quickly lived up to their namesake.
“I’m not sure where that name came from,” said head coach A.T. Bails, a Cleveland native and bail bonds salesman by day. “I didn’t find out what it meant til last week. Saw a man doin a crossword puzzle across from me on the RTA. 36 down: BENIGN: Gentle; kindly. Ain’t no name for a hockey team, ya ask me.”
Sources close to the organization believe the title was originally meant to be ironic. Now, though, it seems the name may have taken on a literal meaning.
“Yes, if I had say, I might name team Knife Sharks,” said RW Mikael Samuelsson, “or Machine Gun Sharks. Not Benign. In my country, there is no word for that.”
When asked for a close approximation, Samuelsson said, “Oh, maybe ‘limp’ or ‘weak’ or ‘to be like woman.’ When I call home, if I tell family I play for Benign Sharks, they no understand. Think me disgraced.”
All is not lost, though. The level of play has certainly risen over the last few weeks, and the group is settling into their new practice space at the Cleveland Convention Center. However, a few practices were cancelled when a bass fishermen’s convention came into town.
“I came to work, saw all those dead fish, said, ‘you gotta be shittin’ me!’” said Bails. “I coulda been sellin my bonds. Got kids to feed. Shit. But, I guess we better off than last year when (management) told us to practice on the lake. Muthafucker wasn’t frozen!”
The new motto hanging in the locker room is ‘Benign Baby Steps.’ For a struggling team, this is a necessary disclaimer. They can no longer move backwards, or even laterally; it must be forward, no matter how minuscule.
“Shit, I guess a little step in the right direction is aight,” said Bails, “But a 32-51-22 record? Fuck, that’s bad. Ain’t nothing benign about that shit.”
Optimism is not in short supply around the Convention Center these days.
“If I call family to say we win, they happy,” said Samuelsson, “but I say team called Virile Sharks. And that I happy to play here. Sometime, you have to lie to family.”
Great seats are still available for next week’s match-up against the Flying Dutchmen.
*My team is terrible. This was inspired by a post on a fantasy football team from Let's Work With Orphans.