Whenever the NHL stages one of their weekly outdoor games, we take the time to attempt to understand what it's like for the players playing in it. How will the ice conditions affect their ability to make passes, to step into one-timers? How will they battle the cold? How will they battle the glare without being insensitive to the black community? It's a lot to think about.
But we rarely try to put ourselves into the mind of the NHL officials, who are also out there, trying not to let their balls -- the ones in their whistles -- freeze over, gesticulating at things, and attempt to enforce the rules. What's it like for them?
On Wednesday, the NHL released a video that should give us a little bit of insight. As it turns out, Wes McCauley was fully wired at Yankee Stadium. The 13-year NHL official wore both a microphone and a MeCam on his helmet, giving us the chance to see things from his unique perspective:
In the end, five lessons were learned:
1. Watching an NHL official signal a goal from the first-person perspective is a lot like playing Goldeneye for the N64 on "slappers only" mode. Look at McCauley's karate chop. That thing could take down Oddjob (unless you're playing as Jaws, since it's pretty much impossible for Jaws to chop Oddjob in Goldeneye).
2. Players get annoyed with the officials for several reasons, but here's one I didn't even consider: they said really obvious things and annoying times. McCauley to Stephen Gionta, who slides into the wall in obvious pain after taking a puck to the neck: "That's gotta hurt, eh?" YES IT DOES WES THANK YOU.
3. McCauley is the most Canadian man on the planet. From "That's gotta hurt, eh" to "Can't beat this though, eh boys?", this video is pretty much a tutorial on how to speak like a stereotypical Canadian.
4. The NHL continues to keep the good stuff from us with these videos. You know they did because nowhere in here does anybody say, "Christ, it's frickin' freezing out here," and it's pretty much a guarantee that that was said by someone within earshot of McCauley several times.
5. At least based on these two minutes, it is possible for the officials to use their microphones without constantly screwing up the audio. Although maybe this video is only two minutes long because it still isn't.