© Geoff Brookes
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
“’Tanking’ may refer to the following…Match fixing, more specifically when a competitor deliberately loses without gambling being involved”
“’tank’ – …fail completely, especially at great financial cost.”
We hear a lot about NHL teams “tanking”, when they are (realistically) out of the playoff race. The idea is that the tanking team would sink lower in the standings, so as to have a better chance at the top 3 draft picks for the best 18 year-old draft-eligible future hockey stars.
We hear a lot about it…except that no-one admits to doing it – on the record, anyway. And then the teams that are supposedly tanking go out and put together some of their best hockey of the season, stringing together 2, sometimes 3 or 4 wins at a time. (For example, Edmonton is 6-4 in their last 10 games, including a 3 game winning streak).
I have a better word for this recent sports phenomena –
You can’t call it tanking, because tanking in the true sense of the word would involve “throwing games”. The stories about the 1919 Chicago White Sox come to mind.
So why not “Gantink”? Of course, it’s an anagram of tanking. But I like the ring of the word “Gantink”.
You can use it freely. You can even admit to it:
Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff: “Hey Peter, how’s your Oilers? You know, again, they’re a young, developing team, and they’re going to be a fabulous young developing team someday, but Peter, they don’t seem to get the idea of Gantink, do they?”
Edmonton Oilers GM: Peter Chiarelli: “Buzz off Kevin! Yeah, they’re a bunch of first overall busts (Kevin I never said that, right?), except for that McDonalds kid. But hey, we had to get one right – and I did pick him – but they don’t know Gantink from a baby bottom, Kevin, and it’s killing me every day. And I couldn’t freaking trade the busts, Kevin. It’s killing me. I love to trade great young hockey players away, but I can’t trade these guys!”
Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff: “Hey Peter, don’t worry, we should keep talking, because after you talk with me for 10 minutes, Peter, you’ll feel like you know a whole lot more than you did 60 minutes before that, or at least it feels like it was an hour ago, anyway.”
Edmonton Oilers GM: Peter Chiarelli: “Yeah, thanks Kevin. I could use that some days here. And nice job with your Jets’ Gantink! I think they really are a great bunch when it comes to that! Later!”
See! You can actually say that your team is Gantink, without any shame at all! You might get the occasional quizzical glance, or older friends might adjust their hearing aids. But you don’t need to be scolded, for example, if you should happen to run into Matt Liebl at the hockey game.
So when your beloved Winnipeg Jets outshoot their opponent by a 3 to 1 margin in the first 2 periods, and are losing 2-1? Fabulous! Great Gantink guys! Pavelec lets in 2 soft goals en route to a 4-1 loss? Ondrej is the “Giant Gantink” , or “Andre the Giant”, for short.
No longer must NHL General Managers live in fear or shame of being accused of tanking. Not to worry. “Gantink” isn’t even in dictionaries, let alone rulebooks.
If, like the Oilers, they can’t even lose at the right time, it’s not a problem either. You can’t be blamed for deliberately losing, because, well, you’re not losing, but also there is no stigma attached to the non-word, Gantink.
You can’t even incur the ire of departing star players. Kevin Cheveldayoff has banished Andrew Ladd not once, but twice – once as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks organization, and again as the GM of the Jets. Tanking – no. Gantink – maybe, well, yes dammitt… could be Gantink, boys. How’s a potential top 3 pick looking right now, guys? Even the competitor Mark Chipman must be smiling faintly as he muses over his morning coffee.
Tanking – never!
At this point, why the heck not?