December 12, 2011
You're looking at a group shot of The Fifth Holes, a team in the OSSC (Ottawa Sport and Social Club), one of Ottawa's intramural, co-ed, adult floor hockey leagues.
They're a lucky team, and not because they get outshot every night and still manage to win a ton of games, like the Minnesota Wild. Rather, it's because Geoff Hill, their current GM and coach, clearly loves them very much.
He's the creator of every trophy on the table, each a replica of a genuine NHL award, made of found materials from local thrift stores. They're awesome:
Yeah. Next time someone gives you a re-purposed bowling trophy from the Salvation Army with the $3 price gun sticker still on it, you be sure to throw it on the ground in petulance. Clearly, they could do better.
But seriously, these are incredible. What would possess a man to do something like this?
According to Hill, it's that lethal combination of Canadian obsession with hockey at any level and hardcore nerdity:
Being a Canadian, I tend to take hockey at any level seriously. The Fifth Holes is no exception. I've developed a team logo, stats book and team wiki in Excel (yes, I'm a giant nerd), and I've always enjoyed making things with my hands so the natural instinct in me said, "Make them trophies." In our inaugural season, I made some tiny ones out of plastic champagne cups and tin foil but they didn't last long. So I decided to make some that'll stand the test of time.
Speaking of time, one has to imagine these took some serious dedication to complete. Was there ever a moment when Hill thought he was in over his head? And how much did he sink into this project?
Passion usually drives you through hesitation. I just went out to thrift stores, bought what I needed, and built them during my free time between work, school, family and floor hockey over the span of about 2-3 months. Total cost was somewhere around $250, peanuts considering they'll last a lifetime.
But the big question: Did the team appreciate the work he'd put into this project?
The team was pretty excited to get their trophies. I find the older you get, the less opportunity you have to win anything, let alone trophies you can proudly stick on your mantle. I think it takes you back to a time when you were a kid racking up the medals/certificates/ribbons/trophies from all sorts of sports/activities.
And finally, Hill was kind enough to provide a little info on each of his pieces, so here's your handy, piece-by-piece guide to The Fifth Holes' remarkable NHL replica trophies:
• Richard - "Spray-painted Jason Blake (found him on sale). The tin reflectors are from a cookie box. Cut my fingers up pretty bad making those."
• Hart - "My favourite of the lot. Weighs about 6 pounds with the marble base and ashtray top. The tin accents cost me some more cuts."
• Selke - "Salad bowl base with whatever silverware my scissors could get through."
• Norris - "Brass cup neck with jewelry box base [most are built this way]."
• Vezina - "Candle holder houses a floor hockey ball atop a jewelry box base."
• Masterton - "This one is deadly. Nearly lost an eye."
• Calder - "Much like the Norris."
• Art Ross - "Wood box with silver bowl and cabinet handle accents."
• Pearson/Lindsay - "Spray-painted Brendan Shanahan and put him atop a candle holder I found."
• Jennings - "Big salad bowl with about 18 identical goalie foil sticks around the perimeter."
• Clancy - "Two silver cups atop some more salad bowls."
• Conn Smythe - "Spray painted a little tea house. Surprisingly there were a bunch of giant leaf-shaped candy dishes at the thrift shops."
• Foundation - "Candle holder atop a salad bowl."
• "Tiger" Williams - "This one I invented since the physical aspect of the game should be appreciated and respected as much as the other skills. Dave 'Tiger' Williams was the obvious name for this trophy since he's the all time PIMs leader. It's a penalty box with a tiny towel [corner of a dish cloth] and Gatorade bottle inside and is 'awarded to the league's most physical and intimidating force, while maintaining a gritty and determined attitude towards winning.'"
• Lady Bing - "Another candle holder and salad bowl."
• Jack Adams - "Upside down wall shelf with candle holders and silver cup. I put Scotty Bowman's picture in the middle to respect his NHL wins record and Cup rings, plus his style is what I try to mimic as coach of the team: culture and team first over anything else."
s/t to Reddit Hockey.