What if I told you that one could suck at their job and continue to keep it? They could do just about anything to make matters worse for the business, yet can’t find themselves out of a job.
Enter Zach Sanford, a forward for the St. Louis Blues. But don’t mistake forward for anything positive. It’s more like Sanford sends the other team forward when he happens to touch the puck.
In his ten minutes of ice time Monday night, Sanford was a -1 and spent two minutes in the penalty box. As my good friend Art Lippo said, you could have taken the suit off pregame analyst David Backes, and plopped him on the fourth line to much better effect.
Let’s be honest. You could get Craig Berube out there for 9:55 a game and see better results than sad frat poor Sanford. Berube would choke two players out with his tie in the first five minutes. Sanford just brings you game-changing plays-the bad kind-at the worst possible time. He looks like Marc Bulger after an interception, like Clayton Kershaw after a Matt Carpenter double, or anybody who fought Mike Tyson before 1989. But don’t mistake Sanford for those players. He just looks like the people who get lucky every other fifth week on an ice rink.
Why exactly did the Blues pay this man before others? The guy drops 30 points in 58 games and the organization drops their pants immediately. But the mind numbing is that he keeps playing. He keeps starting over others. No one knows why, not even Bernie Federko-who has pretty much said every word and phrase ever invented inside 30 seconds flat without spotting the heat around the corner.
How does a guy with a single goal in the past month and two total scores since March 3 still find ice time? Is there not a one-armed man in the building? The only thing Sanford does well is cough up turnovers in his own zone. He’s like David Perron, but with a LOT less skill and a worse accent. He’s a poor man’s Patrik Berglund, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing.
Now, while I’ve stepped out of the hockey writing game, getting to the bottom of The Sanford starting mystery seemed like a good reason to briefly (very briefly) return with some hockey commentary. In other words, the five reasons why Sanford still starts.
5. He’s got uncompromising photos of Berube or the GM, Doug Armstrong. Is it a pic of the head coach driving a Prius with a Vanilla Frappuccino in his hand while listening to Nickelback? Did he catch Armstrong burning a “Seinfeld” flag or eating a bagel that was bread-sliced?
4. He’s up all night working on the Poplar Street Bridge, most notably the currently closed Sauget exit ramp to Mississippi avenue happiness. . Let’s face it. That’ll be a beautiful bridge when they’re done building it, and they need all the help they can get. Sanford must work slow. When approached in the locker room for showing all the intensity of a snail, Sanford screamed at Berube, “I worked all night building a way for drunk Blackhawks and Cubs fans to get home safe after the game, coach!” Berube couldn’t bench him for that service.
3. Sanford has been eating his cheeseburgers at Shake Shack-instead of Carl’s Drive In, Mac’s Local Eats, or any other burger joint in town. A wise man once told me that you could use his blood after eating at Shake Shack to change the oil in his car. Sanford can’t resist that central west end spotlight though. A double cheeseburger with extra artery clogging and vanilla milkshake is followed by a soothing (yet mosquito-infested) walk through forest park. The combination of pure fat and grease, along with the pint taken by bugs in the park, makes for a shitty hockey player on game night. But he brings burgers from O’Connells for the coaching staff, so he laces up.
2. He scored a goal in the same game where the Blues clinched the Stanley Cup Final, and that gives him magical powers for 2 years.
1. He’s really Craig Berube’s bastard child.
Most of this is bullshit, but here’s what isn’t: Sanford’s play being the opposite of what a playoff wannabe should desire in its starting lineup.
For the love of good scotch, bench the dude. Start MacEachern’s nephew or something. Cancel the woo and make Sach Zanford a healthy scratch.