| The first step was to find a suitable country in the NHL 2002 roster. Well,
actually, the first step was what the first step always is in EA's NHL series: replace all
of the shitty default music and every audio sample with Crazy Train. The second step
was to find a suitable country in the NHL 2002 roster. To my dismay, blowing up
children evidently leaves Arab nations without much time to play hockey. The lack of
Middle-Eastern teams appeared to be a real show stopper until I noticed this:
Both the flag and the name seemed vaguely swarthy to me. After some
research, I discovered that Kazakhstan's population is 47% Muslim. Strictly
speaking, they're not Arabs since the country is largely Russified, but the World Trade
Center wasn't filled just with Americans, so, according to the example set by the
terrorists themselves, a little ideological slop is permitted here. Electronic Arts
helped validate my disrespect for Kazakhstan by not even bothering to spell it right.
With the opponent chosen, I next had to lay the ground rules for the game:
I tried to call the tournament "USA!", but NHL 2002 didn't
accept the punctuation, so I had to settle for what you see. Since this is supposed
to be a tournament that, like Rollerball, replaces war - which I guess I forgot to tell
you - I turned off all the penalties. In other words, anything goes, and Allah help
the hockey players of Kazakhstan because I left injuries on. Though you can't see it
here, I also turned off icing, offsides, and 2-line passes. If you're not a hockey
fan, those are all things that in various ways contribute to a more generalized rule
against killing other players.
One thing I've learned from slobs vs. snobs sports movies such as
Ernest Goes To Camp and The Replacements is that, while heart doesn't hurt, cheating is
the real prequisite for winning against all odds. Whether it's suiting up a
football-playing donkey for the big game or, more absurdly, having a girl on your team,
breaking the rules is the only way to really guarantee victory. To most accurately
simulate that, I set the game to beginner, a decision I felt would surely give me the edge
I had planned to make the tournament one-on-one, but the game requires a
minimum of eight teams. I decided that each bracket would represent an International
coalition, which ended up giving Operation Infinite Goals a truly global sense of
Representing us, we first have Team USA, for obvious reasons. Next
in line, the glittering jewel of America's unofficial states, Canada. Rounding out our
team are Belarus and the New York Rangers.
On the side of evil, we start with Kazakhstan. Second in line is
Japan, who you may remember from the time they attacked the U.S., though
I'm sure they'd like to forget about it since, afterwards, we fucked them up pretty
There are only two things that all the peoples of the Earth can agree to
hate equally: the gross inequity of hate itself and the French. So France is number
three. The fourth spot was a tight race between Germany and just having France
again. Germany can thank Hitler for just barely squeezing them in.
If you studied the game setup screen, you may be wondering at this point
how I can justify giving Kazakhstan home ice advantage when Operation Infinite Goals'
stated strategy is a combination of premeditated deck-stacking and outright
cheating. The fact is that I can't. I simply felt that beating Kazakhstan in
their own home would make the defeat that much more humiliating. I did, however,
develop a two point strategy for countering Kazakhstan's home ice advantage.
First, I made a surprise, last minute substitution: Team USA, too busy
cleaning up the mess left by Islamic madmen, was replaced by the much, much, much better
Second, thanks to NHL 2002's "Create-a-Player" feature, Team
Canada's aging goaltender, Patrick Roy, was traded for Jason, who is invincible and
already has his own goalie mask.
Thanks to Pit of Horror dot com for providing Jason's vital statistics.
I jacked up all of Jason's attributes to maximum so as to accurately simulate how totally
unkillable he is. However, I left his defense score kind of low to reflect how many
times it appears that he's dead.