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Just Because You're Invited, It Doesn’t Mean You Belong

In the last 15 years, I have attended at least 30 weddings. When attending weddings, you know exactly where you rank in importance based on where the happy couple seats you. The further you are from the head table, the less you matter to their lives. In my experience, I am either the Emcee (most important guest in my humble opinion) or I am sitting so far from the head table that other guests mistake me for the wait staff.

Your table situation not only defines your relationship with the couple, but also the expectations other people have for you at the wedding. As the Emcee, I have to monitor my day-drinking, maintain professional discord with the 2 families, and develop a close bond with the DJ (I require WWE-like song intros for myself and all guests). People expect laughs from the Emcee and absolutely nothing from the hacks at the back table. The Leafs are the Emcee of this series and the Habs are shot-gunnuing Michelob Ultras with whiskey shooters at the back table, hamming it up with the 4th cousins of the groom and other afterthoughts.

As Emcee, it is your job to quiet the crowd down, get people focussed and guide the guests through an unpredictable evening of amateur speeches. All eyes are on you and you have to treat the crowd like a baby bird. If you squeeze too tight, the bird dies. If you don’t squeeze hard enough, the bird flies away. The Leafs are carrying around a bunch of baby canaries as we speak. They beat the Habs 7 of 10 times this season and finished 18 points ahead of them. They dominate the head table at the wedding with Matthews, Marner, Taveres, and Nylander. Their wedding guests are demanding an absolute show. Their fans have been the “bridesmaid but never the bride” since 1967. When I got married 14 years ago, my guests outranked my wife’s guests 240-40 (6-to-1) and our Emcee, Mike Junior, came through under harsh circumstances. Is it a stretch to say the Leafs should be at least 10-to-1 to win this series? The Habs are sitting at that faraway table with those cousins that the groom had to invite because 50 years ago, those cousins’ father helped your Nana install a patio made of 25 tons of Italian cement so you still owe her a favour somehow. Speaking from experience, as Emcee, the week leading up to the wedding is where the pressure builds. What if the crowd hates me? What if the bride is even more demanding on the wedding day than right now? On the big day, as I sit in church, my mind is racing. Can I make fun of the bridesmaids’ dresses? How about the fact the best man is hammered but holding it together? What if they don’t serve pizza at the midnight buffet? The Leafs have to deal with all of this mounting pressure as the week goes on; not the Habs. The Habs cannot believe they are even invited to the wedding! They show-up the day-of the wedding, skip the ceremony because the church has no air conditioning and go straight to the wedding hall for the free drinks. They even buy a gift like a toaster for the couple because no one cares about them anyways. This Thursday night, the Habs with toasters in hand, are showing up to the out-of-town wedding in Toronto with no pressure. They even have a little something in common with the Leafs: a train wreck of a power play. Watching both power plays is like watching the Maid of Honour give her speech. Every Maid of Honour’s speech is the same. She stares at the bride, scowls at the groom, and says: “Hi, everyone. I am Karen, best friend of the bride, and for the next 30 minutes I am going to detail the minutiae that is our friendship from the moment we were each conceived in our mother’s wombs to 30 seconds before my speech started.” Like each team’s power play, the speech is so cringe-worthy we are all better off if we do not have to watch them. Unfortunately for the Habs, the similarities end there. The Habs' goal scoring is as unpredictable as the Best Man’s speech. (Either the guy is prepared and eloquent or he is hammered drunk and awkward.) Their defensive zone coverage looks like the bridesmaids by the end of the night. (A drunken disaster crying out, “When is it my turn?”). It is 48 hours before faceoff as I write this and they don’t even have their guest-list finished! (Caufield and Kotkienemi may not even be invited!) All that said, some of the best times I have ever had at weddings were the ones where I was barely invited. I somehow end up in the middle of the dance floor, tarps off with the wedding party, bouncing to “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC and getting invited to the after party where there is pizza! The Habs had the worst winning % of any of the 16 teams that qualified for the playoffs. All things considered, they do not even deserve to be invited to the wedding, but here they are. May as well ruin the Leafs’ party and infuriate all of their guests! By Waldo1947 | Sens Nation Hockey

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