Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Ugly NHLer

Mike has cast his vote for Darren McCarty as ugliest man on the face (ha!) of the planet, and it's pretty tough to disagree. This is an old picture, but McCarty still looks like he was doing sit-ups underneath the team bus. Even his forehead is lopsided. You begin to understand why McCarty plays the way he does when you look at him: the man clearly has nothing to lose.

Steve Smith nominates Igor Ulanov as pretty ugly, too, but I honestly have to disagree. Perhaps it's my latent Russian fetish, but I think Igor has an almost stately quality to him. Throw him in an army uniform and one of those wool caps with the ear flaps, and he's stone-facedly leading tanks through the streets of Prague. Hell, if he'd sneer a bit more, you'd probably willingly salute him. It's a damn shame Tom Clancy has moved on to having Jack Ryan fight other threats, because Ulanov could have a career as "Nondescript Russian thug #2" when he finally decides to stop giving the puck away for good.

Besides, Igor isn't even the ugliest current Oiler. I love Smytty, but there's no denying the guy is ugly. It's even more prominent if you get a side view. You really can't pinpoint one particular thing about him, either; is it the hair, which perpetually looks like Smyth has been showering with car-mechanic sweat? Perhaps. The extended nose that seems to collect sweat like a reservoir pool then drip it off at clockwork-like intervals? Maybe. The gigantic ears hidden by the mechanic-sweat hair? A little. I like to think that Smyth is really just more abstractally ugly than anything; as in, if someone told you to draw ugly, this is fairly close to what you would come up with.

He probably doesn't rank as the ugliest Oiler ever, though. Kelly Buchberger probably could have been a handsome man, had he not spent his career jumping in front of pucks, sticks, fists, skates and anything else hard that was around. I like to think Bucky earned his ugly, though; he was fairly nondescript to begin with, but years of grit and guts turned him into the Frankenugly creature currently working for the Oilers in some capacity. But man, that stuff is better than a medal. Kelly won't have to pull out a glass case from the attic to impress his grandkids, he'll just stare at them until his jaw goes numb and his fake teeth fall out, sending them screaming into the upstairs bedroom, refusing to ever visit Grandpa again.

But I still think none of these guys hold a shattered mirror to the master. It became sort of de rigeur to make fun of Ricci's looks a while back, but Jesus, come on. We could fill an old French palace with pictures of this guy and call it the anti-Louvre. The only thing scarier than picturing Mike Ricci is picturing Mike Ricci with close-cropped hair, which he has now (for a time). This is the nameless terror that haunted the dreams of innocents until it became flesh. To defend Mike, however, I believe it was Yogi Berra who said, "So I'm ugly. I ain't never seen anybody hit with his face." Amen, but we could at least avoid portraiture of any kind.

Of course, why forget Tim Hunter, aside from the obvious? He usually got picked on because of his nose, which is ample, but that's to forget those glassy eyes and that taught, almost-zombie quality to the rest of his face. I think the fact that both he and Ricci played for the Sharks probably puts San Jose in the running for ugliest all-around team of all time. Could you even imagine these two on a line together? They'd have to reinforce the glass.

(I realize making fun of people's looks is a petty bit of grandstanding, but hey, I didn't start it. Besides, they all got to select their wives from the banks of the Sexy River in the hottest part of Attractiveland, so I imagine they've all gotten over it.)


Randy said...

On the subject of Tim Hunter -- He's apparently always had that nose. I worked with a guy who went to high school with Hunter in Calgary, and the guy claimed that the nose came from Hunter's mother.
BTW-Mike Ricci's picture doesn't do it justice. Lately, his face is much more pitted. His face looks like a melted candle on High Definition TV.

mike w said...

Remember that crook in Robocop that gets disfigured by toxic waste until Peter Weller runs him over? That's what Buchberger looks like in the picture.

The McCarty photo you picked is too kind. He's older now plus he's got that ridiculous pubic billgoat thing on his chin. He wins the contest.

Nick said...

Well, I have got to say those are some pretty good choices. I was disappointed that Rod Braind'Amour was not included, but that's quite understandable. What isn't is that Lyle Odelein, aka the Ugliest Man In Hockey, was completely ignored. My God, he is something else.

swabbubba said...

Well Ricci is a given. maybe we should spin this off on the ear tangent as someone has mention Ryans hearing attachments. Both Reghr and Phaneuf would win hands down. Phaneuf might also win the ugly rookie contest with "people time forgot" forehead and mono brow?

Tex Texerson said...

Guys, come on.. Ryan Smyth might be ugly, but he's not even on the same level as Steve Rucchin and Jan Hrdina. Those guys are mutants.

I'll add Stephane Robidas and Milan Hejduk (does he not look like the wicked with of the west) to the list.

And if you want to talk about noses, check out Ian Laperriere's.

Colby Cosh said...

The 2003 edition of Ken Daneyko, with the missing gnashers and the playoff beard, has to get some consideration here. Don't act like you don't remember. The dude looked like he'd just come from the boxcover of the Bumfights DVD.

But let's face it, Ricci is the Gretzky of this category. He's hockey's answer to Don Mossi.

MikeP said...

I can't believe Bill Guerin doesn't at least rate an honourable mention.

mike w said...

Bill Guerin isn't ugly. A little bug-eyed, but not ugly. At least I'm sure the girls at Barry T's didn't turn him down.

(I suppose no hockey player is turned down, but you get my point).

Pleasure Motors said...

I agree with Mike W--Bill Guerin is perhaps a bit funny looking, but certainly not in the same league of ugly as some of these folks.

That being said, it's well worth looking at the rogue gallery that's been suggested here, if anyone hasn't already done so. I had no idea this many hockey players were ugly. I mean, I may be a slow, uncoordinated, overly passive fifth defenceman at best, but at least I'm pretty.

mike w said...

I think 10-15 years of pucks and sticks in the face can make even the good ones ugly.

Look at poor Doug Weight. He's mostly got scar tissue where eyebrows used to be, so he kind of looks like a tranny now.

Yzerman was once a pretty boy, too. But now his face is just a collection of divets and scar tissue. He's also got Buchberger's seemingly boundless lip-herpes look that comes from too many stitches in the mush. That poor, extremely rich guy.

The kind of girls I'm after like guys with teeth, so I'd probably be a total pussy and wear a total face cage if I was a professional hockey player.

That's IF I was a professional hockey player. I made a choice early and I stand by that choice.

aquietgirl said...

In dissing all the seasoned guys, you've forgotten Alexander Ovechkin, who in the wrong angle and equipment, looks like an ogre. It's the unibrow, it's the crooked smile, and you can't blame the pucks and sticks for this one. Put on him the ice with that reflective visor of his though, and he improves drmatically -- that's the big difference between him and these other guys ...

Phaneuf isn't ugly. He just looks really mean all the time.

Maybe I'm biased, but the girls I know don't really care if there's a few scars or two ...

aquietgirl said...

Oh, one more thing -- the Oilers have Shawn Horcoff, and *he* has two different coloured eyes. That makes up for Smyth's eyes being too close together and his bad haircut.

Is it just the Western bias in general, or are there just more ugly people in the West?

Pleasure Motors said...

I was actually going to add Ovechkin, but I couldn't find a suitably ugly picture. I agree fully, though: the kid eats billy goats, of that I'm sure.

Randy said...

I'm on aquietgirls' side Phaneuf is just being phaneuf. I remember a young Mike Rathje on draft day, He had that extra-genetic-material look to him.

Tex Texerson said...

Best nose on an NHL player:
Ian Laperriere.

Best Muppet impersonation:
Steve Rucchin

Wicked Witch Award:
Milan Hejduk

Participation award:
Stephane Robidas. And

Anonymous said...

I wonder why Scott Mellanby hasn't been mentioned yet? Recent photos of him are anything but flattering.