Look at the photo above. That’s Keith Ballard. In a hockey bag. In a trash can. The photo is so embarrassing that he asked Derek Jory to do a story on it so he wouldn’t look so bad. Guess what? Turns out, having the facts makes it worse.

I’d like you to join with me in imagining something. Close your eyes. Well, don’t, ’cause you can’t read that way, but imagine just the same. Imagine you’re in a big blue bag, waiting to say boo and scare someone when they open it. Imagine how funny it’ll be. You hear footsteps. Is that your target? You hear a voice. Who’s in there? You have been swiftly busted. Then you feel the bag being pushed onto the floor and you’re being kicked repeatedly. Grasping for the zipper, you have a hard time getting to it, as your intended target is beating on you. I want you to roll that Fail around in your mind.

Keith Ballard really needs to step it up in the pranks department.

Workplace pranks are entertaining, but really, hiding in something? There are about a million ways for such a prank to go wrong, not to mention there’s very little payoff. Best-case scenario: Bieksa–the target–jumps a bit when he opens the bag. Worst-case scenario: you’re gift-wrapping yourself, defenseless and unable to see, for the person you’re trying to play a prank on. Even after being instructed of this concern by Kesler and Burrows (hence Ballard’s trip to the trash can in the photo that started all this) Ballard still went along with the prank.

Worst of all? He couldn’t fit into Bieksa’s hockey bag, so he used a goalie bag and put Bieksa’s number on it. How fooled was Bieksa?

“He crawled into my hockey bag there and thought for whatever reason I wouldn’t notice my bag being three times the size it usually is,” smiled Bieksa.

“I come over and looked at it and I see that obviously it’s huge, so I start kicking him and then I tried to pick him up and throw him in the garbage can, but he’s a hefty boy so it was hard.”

Good job, Ballard.

Ballard, let me take a moment to speak to you directly. I’m not here just to criticize. I know you’re willing to go pretty far for your pranks, and that’s endearing and valuable in a locker room. You just need a little help figuring out what to do. So here are a few ideas.

  • Offer Tanner Glass a Scrabble board “to help him prepare.” Change the values of the letters, and add an extra blank tile.
  • Change Alex Burrows’s doorbell so that, instead of making a ringing sound, it says “that’s a sleeewfoot.
  • Start leaving cards around the locker room for Bieksa, Raymond, and especially Luongo, that say “I hate you because you’re Canadian. Hugs and Kisses, Ryan Kesler. P.S. Present this card at anywhere FIRSTAR gear is sold for a 15% discount off RK17 apparel.”
  • Switch the nameplates at the Sedin twins’ lockers. Accuse Daniel of impersonating Henrik to get a taste of the glory of being the most decorated Canuck of all-time.
  • Organize a team effort where you all take turns sitting in Henrik’s seat on the plane.
  • Distribute Bieksa masks in an effort to remind everyone that We Are All Bieksa. Get as many people as possible to answer whenever someone says “Bieksa.”
  • Make a fake twitter account for Mason Raymond and keep challenging @BizNasty2point0 to a fight.
  • Put paintings of Raffi Torres on the walls of teammates’ hotel rooms. Claim the eyes seem to follow you. Shriek whenever you see Raffi in person.
  • Have a bunch of elementary school Canucks fans make Cory Schneider a really big card that says, “To our favorite goalie.” Talk about it a lot in the dressing room.
  • Pie Aaron Rome in the face during the superskills. When he says he’s not a rookie, look surprised and say, “that’s the first I’ve heard of it.”

Pranks are fun. They make for good television — they’ve been keeping The Office afloat ever since they were foolish enough to let Jim and Pam get married. They also make for great stories, even the dumb ones that don’t go right. For this reason, I’d never ask Keith Ballard to stop.

But I will ask him to step it up a bit.

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8 comments

  1. Anonymous
    January 16, 2011

    LOL hilarious! I love them all, but I especially love the Kesler cards, Sedin tag switch, and favourite goalie one

    "they've been keeping The Office afloat ever since they were foolish enough to let Jim and Pam get married"

    bwahaha

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  2. Anonymous
    January 16, 2011

    hahahahahahah…this is funnier than the actual story.

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  3. a
    January 16, 2011

    -Buy a crate of silver polish. Sneak it into Kesler's bag. Always have a spare on hand to replace it when he throws it out.

    -Steal Luongo's phone. Change the name attached to your own number to "Martin Brodeur." Call Lu. Breathe heavily. (Or weep uncontrollably, if you prefer.)

    -Impersonate the lingering presence of Kyle Wellwood: leave take-out boxes and library books everywhere. Write vengeful messages on the mirror in ketchup.

    -Consistently refer to Bieksa as Bieska.

    (Love the list. All HIGHLY ADVISABLE. Though I'd say "helping Tanner prepare" should also involve inventing words and swearing up and down that they're allowable.)

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  4. Qris Johnson
    January 16, 2011

    I like the silver one and the Brodeur one, a, but if you're going to consistently mispronounce Bieksa's name, you're going to have to wear some really colorful suits.

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  5. Kevin Burgundy
    January 16, 2011

    Good post Qris. Highly amusing. Especially the Luongo jokes. I approve of this.

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  6. J21
    January 17, 2011

    Wait, Keith Ballard pranks the very guy who is getting all his minutes and no one sees this as an "out for blood" scenario?

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  7. Qris Johnson
    January 17, 2011

    No, J21. We've seen what Ballard does when he's out for blood. Ask Vokoun if he thinks Ballard's REALLY angry at Bieksa.

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  8. Rachael
    January 17, 2011

    Whoa. I thought that was a picture of Andy Samberg in a hockey bag. Crazy.

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