One day last year -- I believe it was during the NHL playoffs -- I was flipping through the channels and stumbled across an ice hockey game involving the local Philadelphia Flyers. I'm not much of a sports fan; I hold interest in only one sport, baseball, and then it is only mild interest. So ordinarily I would have continued on in my search for an interesting program.

(A search that, alas, has had no favorable conclusion, leading me to largely abandon the medium. Not consciously, but ever since I lost interest with this season of The Simpsons I've had no motivation to turn the idiot box on. Besides, Everything is more alluring. But that's another story altogether.)

But in this game His Eminence Lucifer was playing; for SATAN was spelt out in large letters across an enemy jersey. The opposing team was trouncing the Flyers, of course, and naturally I objected to having deities in the game. Aren't they banned, like midgets in baseball? But someone told me since that this player is one "Miroslav Satan." He is quite talented, apparently. Let's see: otherworldly powers and such an.. unsubtle name. How do you know this is not the devil made flesh? For we know He has appeared as a human before: as Margaret Thatcher, as pinchemadre, and as Justin Timberlake of teen sensation N'Sync. (Also a rather contrived name!)

No believes me but Eric Lindros, and he has suffered through innumerable injuries. I fear what may happen to me. Should I die or lose my mind, all evidence is secured in a safety deposit box in a certain Philadelphia area bank, including a decoded Bible and goat entrails examined by an augurer and interpreted to be a Very Bad Sign. (Madame Voltari, on the Boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ, if you must know.)

I tell you this because I trust you.
The Washington Post changed its format in March 1998. The day before this change, Miroslav Satan scored a hat trick in a game against the local Washington Capitals.

The headline of the sports section that day read, "Satan Runs Amok In Washington," and the inside header on the story's continuation read, "Satan In Control In Washington."

You just know headline writers all over the NHL were waiting for this guy to do something significant so they could put up a headline like this.

I spent most of my spare/lunch periods high school in the library. I'd complete homework assignments, peruse odd books, read the funny pages, and, most importantly, read the Sports Section in extreme detail...every page, every minute statistic. Around my last year of high school, a small cadre of fellow sports nerds and I had formed an informal band, and we'd convene everyday to read the sports section and hang out. Sometime during those years, one of my friends came up with a momentous epiphany that will never be paralleled:

"You know what'd be the greatest? If Miroslav Satan was traded to the New Jersey Devils."

(OK, maybe it was paralleled by another one of my friends, who discovered that an anagram of the name of notorious Maple Leafs thug Tie Domi is "Me Idiot".)

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