YEAR END AWARDS
Presented By Geraldo LaPortage
FLYING FARANG OF THE YEAR
Not really any argument, here - SCOTT WHITCOMB,
that dude from Wisconsin, whose coaching job in California was taken over
by Mel Bridgeman. He simply lived and breathed the Office Bar Thai World
Hockey League, the first league we’ve ever had where Thais and Farangs
played together on the same teams. If not for Scott there wouldn’t
have been a league. Great job, Whitcomb. Scott was also the only Farang
to participate in every tournament we played in this year: Singapore,
KL, Seoul and Bangkok.
– Stayed after every practice collecting dues, and keeping track
of who showed, and those who didn’t. Long before there was an OBTWHL,
Neil kept us entertained with tales of the Buriram Blades and Bangkok
Corruption on his imaginary league website. In being part of the Klong
Toey victory, Parkin lived his life-long dream of being part of a Whalers
– Our number one goalie, he played in all our tournaments and won
the Dave Brown Award as Farang MVP of the Bangkok tournament for the second
time. Cots also works tirelessly and for free updating our website and
taking and delivering team jersey orders.
– As he does every year John organized the Mekong Cup 2004 in Phuket.
He also took the Thai Stix to Hong Kong, invited the Canadian ambassador
to drop the puck at the Bangkok Cup and played the lead role in organizing
the first Flying Farang golf tournament.
– Yes, the team Casanova, but much more than that because as captain
of the Din Daeng Jets he helped his team clinch the OBTWHL’s inaugural
regular season and was also named best forward in the ‘B’
pool of the Bangkok Cup. Mike, the smoothest skater on the team, made
road trips to Singapore and Seoul and also helped organize the Flying
Farang golf tournament. Always one of ur best players in every tourney
he plays in.
– Definitely one of the most talented and classiest players to ever
put on a Farang jersey, Jamie captained the Office Bar Bruins and played
an outstanding role on defense in the Singapore victory. He also obtained
partial sponsorship from the Dubliner for the Farangs in Singapore and
helped get the Office Bar on board to sponsor our league.
– The Klong Toey Whaler MVP, McDonald is one of the few players
who can play well whether he plays forward or defense. Jamie, went from
the ‘B’ team in ’03 to being one of the best players
on the Farang roster. He also played a big role in organizing the golf
tournament, and made the trip to Singapore. Kudos for also always caring
how the Thai players are treated.
Unsung Hero Award
– The team’s Bobby Baun. Earlier in the year, it looked like
Rob’s career might be over after sustaining a nasty knee injury
in Singapore, but months of rehab later saw Rob not only suit up for the
Din Daeng Jets but as act as the OBTWHL’s Vice-president and referee
some games as well. Rob’s AP story on hockey in Thailand also got
more press than probably all the other stories ever written about the
Tough Guy Award
The Finn, separated his shoulder in the first shift of the Bangkok Cup,
and in intense pain that would have left most of us blabbering like a
baby, he walked out of the rink and tried to drive himself to the hospital
(Thanks to Michael for waiting through the night for Mika at Bumrungrad
to drive him back to Pattaya.)
Most Improved Player
Tough one, but
it would have to be Michael Crowley, who went from being a marginal part-timer
to a mainstay on the Farang defense, once he decided to show up on a regular
basis. The James Norris of the Office Bar Bruins, Michael used to play
pro hockey in Yugoslavia, and has innate skills and toughness as well
as a way with words as evidenced in ‘Crowley’s Corner.’
The Frequent Farang
Kirk Nell, who
knows what part of the world he’s going to be in next, but Kirk
always seems to make it back for a practice or game. Kirk also played
in the Kuala Lumpur and Seoul tourneys and helped Scott Whitcomb with
the logos for the league. He was part of the Din Daeng Jets infamous ‘third
The Old Faithful Award
Kevin Hall, as always, helped with the Bangkok Cup organizing
rooms, and transportation for the visiting teams and purchasing the awards
for the Bangkok Cup & OBTWHL. He also made the trip to Singapore and
his play in that tournament and the Bangkok Cup solidified his position
as one of the best defensemen on the team.
Well, we never promised him a rose garden, but Top did his best mixing
German with French, Finnish, English, Thai and profanity to led the Sukhumvit
Stars in their inaugural season. Top, also worked tirelessly with Scott
Whitcomb in recruiting Thai players for the league and making sure the
rink staff were happy and doing their job.
The Don Cherry Award
Bullpen Bjorn Turmann’s oratorical skills at the Bangkok Cup auction
raised more money for Father Joe than all of us combined. He also was
part of that feared 3rd line of the Din Daeng Jets and even kicked in
a couple goals for the Farangs during the Bangkok Cup.
The Whistle Blower
getting scared there for a moment, but Jason White is probably the best
referee we have and a true student of the game. In his spare time Whitey
watches the 87 Canada-Russia series – continually - in a spare padded
room at his school. Whitey also made the trips to Singapore and Kuala
Lumpur and was outstanding at forward for the Flying Farangs during the
Bangkok Cup. When he brings his ‘game’, there are few better.
The Lunch Pail Award
Razor Rick Rezac checks
in with this award. Always at practice, whether it be Lat Phrao or World
Trade, and always with a smile on his face. He never complains, he just
goes out there, tells bad jokes and works his butt off. This former recreational
pool cleaning executive was the leading goal scorer for the Farang ‘B’
squad in the Bangkok Cup.
The ‘Who is that
Nakayasan aka the Japanese
guy for standing on his head and stealing victory for the Klong Toey Whalers
in the OBTWHL championship playoff final.
The ‘I Really
Want to play Corner Linebacker’ Award
Colin MacLeod, for throwing
his body javelin-like across the ice at a puck with a minute left in regulation
time to preserve the Klong Toey championship victory. Another Flying Farang
recruited from the fertile Thai Stix playing field, Macleod was a mainstay
on the Whaler defense, and played for the Bangkok Bullies in the Mekong
Cup, the Thai Stix at the Canton Cup and the Farang ‘B’ squad
in the Mekong Cup.
The ‘See What
Happens When You Come Out More’ Award
This is shared by Klong
Toey Whalers John Stevens and Jamie Hunter, who with their great hands,
shots and finesse are two of the Thai Stix’ premier attackers. Neither
have been able to come out to ice hockey on a regular basis but when selected
for the Klong Toey Whalers, they made the effort and were a big reason
the Whalers won it all, chipping in key goals and assists at pivotal moments.
Over It’ Award
After a controversial
Mekong Cup, Kevin Dougherty pulled it together and along with Rob Kennedy
and Kevin Hall anchored the Din Daeng Jet defense. He also teamed with
Colin MacLeod to form the number one pairing for the Farang ‘B’
team in the Bangkok Cup, having a great tourney with a number of stellar
offensive and defensive plays.
The ‘Nicest Goal
of the Year’ Award
OOOH, that’s a
toughie, but it would have go to Dan Oracheski for scoring the winning
goal in overtime allowing the Office Bar Bruins to defeat the Sukhumvit
Stars in the consolation final of the OBTWHL. Dan, a father of three boys,
basically deked out the whole team Mario Lemieux style before putting
a puck past Stars goalie Greg Jones. Dan also turned in a fine performance
Let Looks Fool You’ Award
I know yesterday I gave
the courage trophy to Mika, but let me tell you, one guy you don’t
want to mess with is CHARLIE ARNOLD. Charlie who is fifty-something-going-on-
eighteen will go toe to toe with anyone, scream at anyone, outmuscle anyone
in a faceoff and basically just annoy you to death. A reservoir of hockey
knowledge, he knows more about the game than anyone on the team, period.
He’s just a good, tough hockey player.
The Hercules Award
Hands down, goes to Ryan
Haynes, the strongest player on the team. Ever look at his neck? Man you
don’t want to mess with Haynes. The proud father of Miles, Ryan
scored the Farangs’ nicest goal in 03 in the Bangkok Cup while playing
for the Bangkok B squad, he also was one of the Office Bar’s top
forwards in the OBTWHL, made the trip to Hong Kong last year and the excursion
to Kuala Lumpur this year. Though trained as a guidance counsellor he
opted to join the firm of Marriott, Crowley, Whitcomb and Haynes earlier
in the season.
Name to Spell’ Award, the ‘Now I’m gone, Now I’m
back’ Award, and the ‘Poot Mak’ Award. Jouni gets all
– spell it out loud ten times.
b) We had one of the biggest going away parties we’ve ever had for
Jouni at Bourbon Street a few years back, but Saarteinen who used to team
with Michael Nakvachara and Top as the Farangs top line in the old Bangkok
hockey league missed us so much, he rejoined the team.
c) Just cuz he talks so dam much.
Jouni by the way is the father
of three beautiful girls and his wife looks like actress Kyra Sedgewick
(Cots is hollering, ‘Don’t go there’ in the background.)
The ‘So Misunderstood’
those Tuetonic tendencies tend to obscure the fact Michael has one of
the best shots on the team, and is certainly one of our best passers.
Always trying to recruit players for the team, he makes that long drive
to play from Pattaya to play with us, and although some of his comments
get misinterpreted his heart is in the right place. He was seriously injured
in last year’s tourney playing for the Swiss team, made the comeback
and he helped Mika through his night of misery at Bumrungrad hospital.
training for a Surfin’ Movie’ Award
This blond beach
bum came out of nowhere to team with Jeff Lamantia and Scott Whitcomb
on the Farangs top line. And in the OBTWHL, the Sukhumvit Stars unit of
Per, Michael and Jouni caused the opposition all kind of grief and had
they been together all year would definitely have been one of the premier
lines in the league.
The Best Newcomer Award
If there was
hitting in on league, or at practice, young Japanese pick-up Uwano Masaharu,
‘Masa’, would be dropping guys left, right and centre. With
the heart of a Samurai warrior, this pick-up from the Japanese league
could turn out to be one of the mainstays on the Farang defense corps.
The ‘Geez, coach
I forgot my skates’ Award
Lee Damage, already a
legend in some circles and a shoo-in for the Farang Hall of Fame as part
of the Middlesex County Connection, returns to Thailand to study at Webster
College in Hua Hin, but doesn’t bring his blades, and doesn’t
practice once. ‘The horror, the horror.’
The ‘My wife
let me out so I can play’ Award
Last year, that
notorious scoundrel Michael White took Shuichi Hirabayachi ‘out
on the town’. Shoe did not return home until early the next morning
and his beautiful Malaysian wife was not amused. Result, banishment. But
a year later, Shoe, a member of the Farang B team in 03, resurfaced and
played a key role in the Office Bar defense corps employing a number of
hari-kari tactics. Catch the glare if Shoe’s wife ever comes in
contact with Khun Mike.
The Derek Sanderson
With the amount of substances
that Teemu Eriksson has pumped into his body, its amazing that he’s
still in the land of the living. I first saw Teemu play five years ago
and I have rarely seen any player at any level with so much talent –
the problem is some times his off-ice activities obscure it. But Teemu
made the trip from Finland to play in the Bangkok Cup, led the team in
partying and anchored a solid defense corps.
The Dedication Award
Ok, no doubt here, Walter
Konrad. Walt doesn’t make much money but I’ve seen him wait
for ever for a green bus late at night after practice at Samrong to go
home, and when we played at the Mall IV, Walt would drag his stuff on
the klong boat. It’s easy for those with drivers and cash to take
for granted how easy it is to get to the rink but when you’re teaching
English part-time and following the word of God, it’s a little harder.
The ‘Well, I
Almost Died, but I Want to Play Anyway’ Award
Guy Manchuck, whose life
almost ended in a nasty motorcycle ancient last year, and has the scar
to prove it. Guy moved to Laos this past summer and bought Shawn Kelly’s
jeep so he could motor around Vientiane. Along with Jason White, he is
one of the best referees on the Farang squad. He officiated in the Singapore
tourney last year and will do the same this year. Guy played for the Farang
A squad in 03 and the B squad in 04.
The ‘I’ve been to North Korea and You Haven’t’
Shawn Kelly, rumoured
to be a CSIS agent, because he keeps showing up at weird places in the
strangest times. Shawn has a gift with words and romancing the fairer
sex. Brought his dad over earlier in the year to watch and we were trying
to get the elder Kelly to lace up the blades. Shawn played in Singapore
this year, Hong Kong last year and laced up the blades for the Farang
‘B’ team in 03. And of course he sold his jeep to Guy Manchuk.
The ‘1,000 mile
What did Mark Majoros
really do? We’ll never know, but no one inspired more trepidation
in the opposition than Mark did when he would fix you with that stare
The Clark Kent Award
Darren Norman checks in with this honour. Don't let that mild demeanor
fool you. Stormin' Norman got in to more tussles on Wednesday evening
than any other player. Ferocious without the puck, Darren heads for that
corner like a man possessed and refuses to give ground to anyone regardless
of size or height.
The ‘I Think We Better Buy Him an Atlas’ Award
USMC embassy guard James
Seay. James, you know we all luv ya, but when learning he had been transferred
James thought he was going to Iraq, and when we asked him where, he said
The ‘Alumni Moment’
Luc Dumas, a Flying Farang
7 years ago, returned out of the blue and played a pivotal role on defense
in leading the Klong Toey Whalers to the OBTWHL championship.