Not this kind of fox hunting...
Minor confession: As much I go on about stats being the buzz kill of hockey pleasures, I have a masochistic side that occasionally enjoys them.
For instance, a couple of years ago, I went about studying why people were poo-pooing +/- numbers as a way to judge a player’s defensive effectiveness. I’ll admit, I learned a little and certainly look at that statistic in a more “shades of grey” way now.
But in general, unless the numbers are wildly compelling and also, let’s be honest, goalie-related, you’ll get a pair of glazed eyes and silent nodding if you try to engage in stats-talk with me.
Occasionally, however, I wish for stats that actually would engage me AND become part of the statistical lexicon of hockey. The one I wish for every year when it comes time to draft my fantasy teams is Relative Foxiness.
It’s not that I want to sacrifice fantasy hockey success in the name of an all hot boys team, but if I’m torn between two marginal players, I’d love a stat like RF to turn to as a tie breaker.
But the more I think I about it, Relative Foxiness has to be based on a variety of less-processed statistics, like the following:
"Hey ladies..." "We're married." "I'm a professional hockey player." "Oh! Well, hi there!"
AF (Actual Foxiness): Let’s face it: Some guys don’t need the ol’ “I’m a hockey player” line to get the girls. Some… well, they really do. The more handsome a guy is if you imagine he’s an accountant instead of a hockey player, the higher his AF rating.
TS (Twitter Savvy): Any player with a Twitter account gets some points here, but if his Tweets consist of “Game tonight. #getemboys” and the like, then we’re talking a TS rating in the cellar. If he’s like Ryan Whitney, tweeting pictures of a Hangman game between teammates where neither of them can spell, that’s high Twitter Savvy marks.
HS (Backward Crossovers): This is a defenseman rating only, and it measures how good a d-man is at backward crossovers. (HS=Hip Swivel, by the way). Some d-men (I even see it in rec league occasionally) just have a really sexy way of skating backward. The best way to judge is to stand behind them in the crease and watch them on a 1-on-1. I will gladly participate in creating this rating.
Foxy points for you, Jon Blum! Awww....
GL (Goalie Love): Every time a defenseman or forward skates out of his way to give his goalie a pad tap or a pat on the head or a fist bump, his Goalie Love stat goes up. If he’s just scored a goal, fist bumped his way down the bench, and STILL goes down to give the goalie some love, he gets double.
BWL (Beat Writer Love): How often the team’s beat writer goes to them for quotes because they don’t give the usual cliches, have a sense of humor, and can string an intelligent sentence or two together.
BS (Blocked Shots): Yeah, that’s right. I can dig real stats, too. My grandmother used to say, “Cleanliness is next to godliness” (though I don’t really understand why), but I think shot blockiness is next to godliness. Also, if Shots Blocked-to-Goals Scored isn’t some sort of proper statistic, it totally should be. That is my kinda player. Get after that, Cam.
Stephane Veilleux gets high marks for Kiss Cam Awareness.
KCA (Kiss Cam Awareness): When the Kiss Cam hits the visiting players bench and the guys just sit there, spitting or shooting snot rockets or checking out the talent, that is poor Kiss Cam Awareness and bad for your foxiness stats. If you react in any way, even just a giggle, but better yet, you play along (even better still if your teammate/victim is caught by surprise), your KCA rating improves.
RFMT Ratio (Real-to-Fake/Missing Teeth): There’s just something about that toothless hockey grin, isn’t there? I figure the more teeth you’ve lost, the harder worker you are. This one is gonna hurt the goalies, though, so you boys better either be blocking shots with your face when you play out in summer hockey or work on your Savegasms.
SGI (Savegasms Induced): Goalies only, obviously. One of the goalie coaches I follow on Twitter said the other day, “Inconsistent goalies suck.” And this holds true in the area of sexy glove saves, too. Every goalie (even my lousy ass) can bust out the occasional glove save that makes the crowd go, “Oooooooohhhhh!” and the ladies knees weak. But some goalies do it consistently and they should be rewarded for that statistically.
Oh yeah, Millsy! That's the spot!
TDI (Third Defenseman Indicator): Another goalie-only stat, which rewards goalies who can launch an outlet pass to a forward in the neutral zone and effectively increase possession time in his team’s offensive end. So few goalies can do this successfully on a consistent basis, it’s almost not fair to include it, but it’s such a hard skill to master and it’s so damn sexy, those guys deserve credit.
All these attributes would, in my fantasy land of fantasy stats, combine somehow (I’m a writer, not a mathematician) to give us the Relative Foxiness of any player. I’m pretty sure this would be a VERY popular stat, so if you stat nerds want to impress the ladies with something other than your Corsi or your Fenwick, get on this pronto.
But I’m sure I’m missing a bunch of great ways to
objectify, er, I mean objectively rate foxiness. Whatcha got?