Oh Say Can You C

How do you say ‘hike’ in French?

The man whose crotch is featured prominently in the photo above is Jean-Phillippe Darche. Darche, as you might infer, is a chirpy Québécois, a species well-loved here at MYFO. He is also a Seattle Seahawk. Not just any Seahawk, mind you. Darche, a long snapper, was expecting to wear the coveted “C” denoting a team captain, an honor he last held as a star defenseman for his hometown St. Laurent Abeilles,* an under-14 hockey team.

The NFL has always had team captains; 2007, however, is the first season in which these coin-toss-calling gurus will be wearing an actual “C” on their chest to advertise this fact. Where did this cutting-edge, innovative idea come from?

After much digging, MYFO has discovered that it was none other than Jean-Phillippe Darche. Kept from an NHL career by his marked lack of skating ability (funny, that hasn’t stopped Sheldon Souray), Darche is living out his backyard dreams in the only way he could–by convincing first the NFL and then his teammates that he was worthy of a “C.”

You just know that when he goes out to make that tough captain’s decision (Wind or ball? First half or second?), in his mind’s eye his is not wearing a Seattle Seahawks jersey, but a certain distinctive bleu-blanc-rouge sweater, specifically the soixante-dix-sept of his boyhood idol, Pierre Turgeon.

sneaky-pete.jpg

Sadly, Darche suffered an injury in the preseason, and was placed on injured reserve. Once again, so close to his dream, he was denied. Darche had been a team captain for the Seahawks, but he never had a chance to wear the actual “C”. Quel dommage!

In some ways, though, Darche may have been lucky. There are some minor but important differences between being the captain of a hockey team and the captain of a football team. To wit:

  1. Decisions: There is no coin toss to call in hockey, so a hockey captain’s job is that much easier.
  2. Weather: Wind is not a factor in hockey games.
  3. Leadership: In hockey, there is only one captain, so whatever he says goes. In football, each team has approximately 22 captains, so you have to work harder to be a real leader.
  4. Zebras: Hockey captains only have to deal with two refs and two linesmen. Football captains have to deal with side judges, field judges, back judges, umpires, referees, head linesmen, those guys holding the down markers, and end zone pylons.
  5. Office politics: Hockey captains only have to answer to one head coach and a couple of powerless assistants. Football captains have to negotiate an army of assistant coaches, all of whom are engaged in their own Byzantine power struggle to simultaneously look good themselves while undermining the head coach and angling for his job.

Comparatively, being the captain of an NHL team is a pretty easy gig. Darche would have gotten the tough end of the stick having to be a “C”-wearing captain of an NFL franchise. Once that hip heals up, Jean-Phillipe should head to the closet and dust off those old skates. After all, if Brad Marsh skates well enough to play in the NHL, so can he. Keep hope alive, Jean-Phillippe.

* May not be an actual hockey team.

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2 Comments

  1. There’s something so lame about a “C” on a football jersey. It just looks weird.

  2. You totally forgot the difficult task of captains fruitlessly screaming at refs that their calls are crap, even as the ref skates away. That’s tough work


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