Some people would call it extreme air hockey. Environmentalists and Al Gore would cringe at the thought. But here it is - the latest, greatest sport to come out of Canada. Leaf Blower Hockey.
Move over Hockey. LBH is coming after you. Imagine fans packing in to outdoor hockey stadiums, watching Canada's most elite athletes donning ear protectors. They once went all out for the puck. Now they battle for domination of the wiffle ball. Are you hooked yet?
With an official band for inspiration (Air Supply) and an unbreachable code of conduct ("No aggressive blowing"), the inaugural game began yesterday morning at an outdoor rink at Bathurst St. and Dundas Ave. when the Windbreakers faced off against the Fallen Leafs. ("No harm intended to the other Leafs.") The game surface was slick with rainwater, not ice, but players from each team strapped on diesel-powered leaf blowers over their red and white jerseys, left their Tim Hortons coffee cups on the bench, and stepped up to do battle.With cold weather either on its way or already here, LBH is the perfect sport. You've got the leaf blower sitting in your garage, and now you finally have a real use for it. What was once the worst Christmas gift Aunt Mildred ever got you has now become cherished.
But before you head out to your local LBH rink, be prepared. There's real skill involved. And while you're less likely to lose any teeth playing LBH, don't think there aren't risks involved. For example, high proximity to lots of diesel fumes.
Chef Alex Johnston says that's one area where the game must evolve.
"We're looking for a bio-diesel sponsor for next year," he said.