clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Why a Segway With a Broom Attached to it is Better than Dan Girardi

New, comments

"Will robots inherit the earth? Yes, but they will be our children." -Martin Minsky

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

It appears that some of HockeyBot's kin have already been on NHL ice before.
It appears that some of HockeyBot's kin have already been on NHL ice before.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The idea is as simple as it is bold my friends- much like a swift slap across the face or a note pinned to a door with a menacing dagger in the dark of the night. A Segway, or personal-person-mover, with a broom attached to it would be a more effective defenseman than Dan Girardi. What's that you say? The idea is too bold? We are still years away from having robots play a central role in our lives? Shut that sweet mouth of yours and behold...

Behold HockeyBot.

HockeyBot

Note the protective housing on the wheels featuring fresh battle scars (dude goes hard in the corners), the hockey helmet placed on the handlebars to humanize our little robot friend, and the high-quality curling broom. Not clear in the mock-up above are the all-terrain tires, compartment to release an oil slick like a Bond car, and artfully concealed cattle prod for the playoffs when penalties just don't get called. Not sold yet? Well here are some benefits of having an automaton on defense instead of the cleft-chinned, dashing anchor now commonly referred to as "[insert profanity] Girardi".

1. The potential of AI- Artificial intelligence, as terrifying and apocalypse-bringing as it may be, has come a long way since it computers and technology looked absolutely stupid during the Y2K scare.

"Increasingly scientists think there should be some regulatory oversight maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don't do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there's the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it's like yeah he's sure he can control the demon. Didn't work out."

-Actual quote from actual Tesla chief executive Elon Musk

A demonically-possessed personal-people-mover would probably be mostly upside. Do you think a demon is going to lose any puck battles or tolerate any nonsense if Henrik Lundqvist gets a snow shower? I doubt it. In my limited but intensely personal experience with demons they tend to be quick to evisceration, eye-eating, and curses to bloodlines.

On the other hand, no demonic possession is also a good thing. Probably a better thing. No demonic possession means no concerns about other teams blessing the water in Gatorade bottles and things of that ilk. We should probably go without the demon-thing if we have a choice, but I don't want to tell the demon that. Make Joe Fortunato tell the demon that.

2. It hasn't done this.

It still hurts to watch, doesn't it? Like a cut on the roof of your mouth it just won't go away. Just like you can't stop tonguing that little cut, you can't forget plays like this one. Just the other night I woke up in a cold sweat, muttering about how Tom Hardy took my boy and how I'd survive alone in the American frontier with fresh bear mauling wounds to get him and bring him to justice.

BAD GIRARDI

HockeyBot would not hurt us like this. I promise.

3. No more snow angels- As far as I'm aware, a Segway is incapable of doing ineffectual snow angels to play defense and it is not redeemed by having enchanting blue eyes that hum with a quiet passion like pregnant storm clouds rolling over a hungry sea.

Just look into those eyes, like glacial donuts buoyant in pools of unicorn milk.

Let's call this little fella Jeffy the HockeyBot from here on in to humanize it and level the playing field a bit. HockeyBot might fall over from time to time due to the physicality of the game, but he can easily be designed to have gyroscopic balancing and spring right back up. All we would need to do is add a few hundred more horsepower than is technically safe and he should have all the ruggedness and grit that an NHL blueliner should have.

4. Cost Effective- After twenty seconds of research, it appears that a Segway costs several thousand dollars and a high-end curling broom (why would we not get a curling broom?) costs about sixty dollars. The duct tape required to attach said broom to the aforementioned Segway would naturally bought from a local hardware store for under ten dollars from an elderly man wearing overalls that eats canned peaches using only his grease-stained fingers. Support your local businesses, people. Basic programming? I can't imagine that costs more than... you know what, let's just go ahead itemize this and make it more digestible for your sake.

Segway with Broom

Daniel Girardi, First of His Name

Personal Person Mover

~$10,000

-Year two of a $33,000,000 contract, seven-year contract

-Paid $7,000,000 this season

-Cap hit of $5,500,000

Sweet Ass Broom

$100 (with S&H)

Duct Tape

$8

Battle Armor

~$500

Reprogramming

~$250,000

Upkeep

~$50,000 a year?

Total

About $310,608

Total: ~$26,000,000

Money Saved: North of $25,000,000 over the next five years.

You can't argue with math so don't even try it. Numbers are cold and without emotion much like robots. They cannot be persuaded or reasoned with. They are in your mind right now, aren't they? You didn't want them in there, but there they are. Multiplying away, just like numbers.

5. "But a man will lose his job!"- What's that you say, you're concerned about a human being and a good man like Dan Girardi losing a job to an automated worker? What are you a Luddite? Well, with all that money we saved we can employ several handlers for HockeyBot. One of them naturally will be a translator for postgame interviews. It will probably be someone with a bow tie and corrective lenses that are repaired by Scotch tape.

"01001000 01101111 01100011 01101011 01100101 01111001 01100010 01101111 01110100 00100000 01110111 01101001 01110011 01101000 01100101 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01100101 01111000 01110000 01110010 01100101 01110011 01110011 00100000 01110110 01101001 01100011 01110100 01101111 01110010 01111001 00100000 01110111 01100001 01110011 00100000 01100001 01100011 01101000 01101001 01100101 01110110 01100101 01100100 00101110."

-HockeyBot

The rest of the handlers will be there for repairs, public relations, and the like. Also, we can trade Girardi to Columbus, because Tortorella and jam and all of that good stuff. I know how much you people like your cap space.

6. EMP- I know what you're thinking. Yes there are legitimate concerns about the threat of an electromagnetic pulse being used against HockeyBot. I too have seen The Matrix trilogy and I'm still working on a solution. I'll make a post on reddit or fiverr and see if anyone has any novel ideas to make HockeyBot invulnerable to electromagnetic chicanery. Where there is a will there is a way and we can ensure that HockeyBot's will programming system will be the best that a quarter of a million dollars can buy (we will put the money where it matters and do something different than recent Rangers' general managers).

7. Penalties- Based purely on his design HockeyBot will be incapable of committing many penalties. HockeyBot cannot hold because he does not know what it means to embrace a human being. HockeyBot cannot slash because he can only push and knock the puck about with his broom like a stick hockey player. I would imagine that there will be some serious issues with tripping, what with the curling broom sticking out awkwardly like it does, but if we made him too perfect people wouldn't relate to him and kids wouldn't buy the toys...

8. Merchandising- Just think of the merchandise opportunities here. I've seen a BB-8 minifridge on thinkgeek.com. It's f---ing shaped like a rectangle. It doesn't matter that BB-8 is spherical. A refrigerator is metal and tiny and people want it painted like BB-8 so it exists and people are making money.

If we can make HockeyBot half as marketable as other popular robots like Optimus Prime, Rosie from The Jetsons, or Wall-E he will more than pay for himself. HockeyBot Tamagotchis, HockeyBot badminton set, HockeyBot fanny packs, HockeyBot beer coozies, HockeyBot staple guns... the opportunities are endless. The toys alone will make us all filthy rich. We're talking cursed Aztec gold rich. We're talking Smaug belly-covered with gemstones rich. We're talking Scrooge McDuck swimming pool filled with treasure chests and pearls rich (according to Forbes, McDuck is worth a cool $44 billion).

9. Unflinching loyalty- Will HockeyBot ever join another team after his contract expires? Absolutely not. Arnold Schwarzenegger obeyed Edward Furlong's pubescent yelping in a way that no flawed organic sentient being could in Terminator 2. The threat of hackers does exist but that is why we'll keep HockeyBot unplugged from the internet for his safety and our own. Seriously, have you not seen Avengers 2? If we leave our newly sentient robotic defenseman alone with the internet he'll be building his own army like Ultron and using human skin as the wallpaper in the horror tunnels that he would undoubtedly burrow beneath Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. No, no internet for HockeyBot.

10. The children- Got fifty bucks? You get five minutes of riding HockeyBot around, kid. HockeyBot doesn't need time away from hockey unlike our soft, fleshy bodies do. He only needs recharging or for someone to swap in a new battery pack when he is running perilously low on energy which is great news should we want to use him for 60:00 TOI/G. Hell, we can throw some more money at the design and have him be completely green and powered by solar power. Swap out that curling broom and attach a mop and Jeffy the HockeyBot can help clean up the Garden in the middle of the night.

11. Ryan McDonagh deserves this- The team's captain has been dragged down by Girardi for too damn long and it is time for a change, even if that change is powered by hydraulic servos and has copper wiring instead of crappy human arteries and veins. Have you not read madeupcall's article about how McDonagh is being strangled by Girardi much like a beautiful, innocent lagomorph being crushed in the ropy muscles of a constrictor? Have you not seen the anguish in Lundqvist's face after all of the inexplicably bad turnovers and bad plays? Don't you feel their hearts breaking? If you don't you're more of a soulless tangle of wires and cables than HockeyBot is and you should be ashamed of yourself.

-

Have you perhaps detected a flaw in my argument for the construction and utilization of HockeyBot? A flaw? Oh, how very HUMAN of me. Check and mate.

The bottom line is that there are many things that would seemingly be more beneficial to the Rangers than continuing to give Girardi top pair minutes at this point. What makes this abundantly clear is not just that there are so many mistakes, but that so many of them are repeated mistakes. Perhaps more so than any other team in the league turnovers in the defensive zone and during zone exits have proven to be the thermal exhaust port in the Death Star that is the New York Rangers. It's time for a change, no movement clause be damned. Come HockeyBot or high water the Rangers need to do something about Girardi and his contract before it's too late.

Thanks for reading. May HockeyBot serve and protect you all. Let's go Rangers.