Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Episode 1: Ronnie Ponce

                                        These were a few of the shots from BEFORE he got wasted. 


I caught up with Ronnie 'poolside' at the National City Motel 6 where he 'hangs out' on his ‘off days’.  We 'hung out' a bit by the 'pool', I watched him down an alarming number of expired Four Lokos, and we talked life, love, and SDFHL.  This is how it went down...

Pope:  Ronnie, first let me say, f**k your 'Doyers' for sweeping my Giants this past weekend.

Ronnie: Doyer Doyer Doyer Doyer Doyer Doyer Doyer Doyer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here is a fun fact, every time Dan Uggla strikes out, So Cal gets Santa Ana winds.

Pope: Speaking of bad blood, most of us have had our 'run-ins' with other players in the league.  You are a rare bird, as you really seem to get along so well with everyone in the SDFHL (and beyond).  Have you ever had a beef with anyone out there on the court?  You can change names to protect the innocent/accused, if need be :)

Ronnie: *opens Grape Four Loko* Great question.  I don’t really have beef with anyone.  A former league member pushed it a bit in Vegas (he knows who he is…dirty mother f**ker...and no, not an SD player).   I do have friendly wagers with several members of the league, though.  A certain person (let’s call him P Yu…no, that’s too obvious…let’s call him Peter Y) is a bit behind on payment.  He owes me a few happy hours and mucho cerveza.

Pope: When did you lose your 'hockey virginity'? Did the first time...hurt a little?

Ronnie: Like Cat Stevens said, the first cut is the deepest.  A young Mexican American Ronald Ponce picked up a hockey stick at the age of twelve.  Roller hockey games are common in Ventura County (yeah, it doesn’t snow here, Canada/East Coast buddies).  The best spot was an abandoned train station warehouse.  The concrete was smooth, and it was in the shade.   Sadly, the abandoned train station warehouse was demolished several years ago.  RIP.

Pope:  Desert island...your coconut-powered iPod has only enough storage for one album, one movie, and one...other piece of media.  Go!

Ronnie: This is like F-Marry-Kill! *opens Blue Raspberry Four Loko*  The movie is easy--Office Space.  That movie is my life sometimes.  Anytime it’s on TV I will watch it.  The album is tough.  I feel like I should have some Yacht Rock or maybe some Hall & Oates.   I flipped a coin, and Bloc Party’s ‘Silent Alarm’ won.  That album just reminds me of college when life was easy.  I just had to make it to class on time, and my bar tabs didn’t exceed $30.  The other media would be Fruit Ninja.  Who doesn’t want to be Gallagher, or Gallagher Dos?

Pope:  You've been in the league for years now, and have had a chance to play with huge cross section of the league.  Give me three players you really loved playing with...and why?   Are there any players with whom you have not yet shared a season that you would like to?

Ronnie:  First off, I love everything about this league, and everyone in the league.  I have had the pleasure of playing with some of the best people in San Diego.   Now to the list:

First: Steve Scott.  He is the one who brought me to the league, and I had my best season playing with him and Do’ on a line.  The shenanigans played by Mr. Scott are awesome.

Second: Dorothy Kline.  She was the heart and soul of ‘Team Friendship’.  She was amazing that season, and we just had a blast.

Third: Kris Tosczak.  We have been on a few teams together.  He is always fun to play with, and tends to laugh when I score.  What’s up with that, man?  He also taught me the meaning of Canadian Thanksgiving.

Honorable Mention: Geoff (boat rich), Kurt (Prius rich), School Bus (truck rich), Mara (best shootout goal I have ever seen), Andy (makes the best salsa), Steph (Chico!), Pope (Gigantes son viejos y mohosos), Sean Kelly (see below), Min-Soo (F Chicago), Peter Yu (hoarder) and Janice (silent assassin).

As for the players I have not played an SDFHL season with, there are several.  If I have to choose, I would have to go with [Derek] Lobo--great Vegas captain, but we have not been on the same SDFHL team.  He’s always positive, and for 65, he still has the skills.

Honorable Mention: Don (BMW rich), Alaa (BMW rich) and Alex (makes beer, and who doesn't like beer?)

Pope: Compare yourself to an NHL player, past or present.

Ronnie: *opens Pineapple Four Loko* This should not surprise anyone.  I have the skills of Wayne Simmonds (Hip Hop with Pop), the speed of Matt Greene, and the heritage of Alec Martinez.

Pope: Eat a pizza, or meet Mike Piazza?

Ronnie: F**k Mike Piazza!  He has beef with the Doyers.  Give me the pizza.  None of that lasagna pizza they have in Chicago.  Yeah, I said it.

Pope:  'Ronnie Ponce: The Movie' has been green lighted.  Give me the short list of actors for the lead role.

Ronnie:  ‘Ronnie Ponce: The Movie’ is a remake of ‘Point Break’, and I am in the Swayze role.  Now, for the actors:

First: Jonah Hill.  He would be the perfect fit--funny guy that tries to make people laugh.   He is the comedy choice.

Second:  Alec Martinez.  He won the cup, and is already in Hollywood.  Give him the role.

Dark Horse: Efren Ramirez. Dude needs a role.  It’s been a while since ‘Napoleon Dynamite’.

Pope:  People have no attention span these days.  Recap your entire life in four sentences or less.

Ronnie: I was born in Thousand Oaks, CA to Ron and Lisa Ponce.  I went to college at Chico State.  I moved to San Diego in the summer of 2006.  Work, work, work all day long.

Pope: You would do anything for love, but you won't __________.

Ronnie: *belches loudly* *opens Watermelon Four Loko*  Eat salad with dressing.  I eat it like a rabbit, man.  What ever happened to Meat Loaf?

Pope: Walk me through a typical day in the life...

Ronnie: Wake up at 6:00am.  Hit snooze twice.  Shower. Eat breakfast. Brush teeth. Get to work at 7:00am. Work till 4:00ish. Work out (most times).  Log back in to catch up on work. Watch some Doyers highlights.  Start over the next day.   Sleep. Eat. Work. Repeat. Repeat. 

The Four Lokos are starting to kick in...  


                ...Ronnie scans the sky, then points to his ‘home planet’.

Pope: Know any good jokes?

Ronnie: Knock Knock                                                                                                                                                                    
Pope: Who’s there?

Ronnie: Queen

Pope: Queen who?

Ronnie: Queen my dishes, please.  Get it?  Because I said Queen...

Pope:  Yeah, man…awesome stuff there.  Straight up Bazooka Joe.  That is going to kill with Ry and his friends.  Speaking of children, what is one of your favorite childhood memories?

Ronnie: When team USA took down Iceland in Mighty Ducks 2.  OK, for real, during the days when you could tailgate at Chavez Ravine, my dad and his closest pals would gas up the motorhome and go.  He would pull me and my brother out to go to the game.  Nothing like seeing the Doyers on opening day.  I am just going to throw this in…getting to see the Kings win the cup twice in person.  Awesome experience (cue the ‘I Love LA’ song).

Pope:  Yeah…no…I shan’t be cuing that song…dick.  Who has your favorite pair of adulthood mammaries?  JK...just, construct Mrs. Ponce from celebrity parts, por favor.

Ronnie:  Has anyone seen this new Wendy’s girl/spokesperson?  Also, I am tempted to pick Iggy Azalea.  Who doesn’t want a hip hop artist from the suburbs of Australia?  I will make this easy--the looks of the Wendy’s girl, rhymes of Iggy Azalea, and Oprah money.  That is the future Mrs. Ponce.  Oh, a close second to this list is Gal Gadot.  She is the new Wonder Woman, but more famous for her role in Fast Five.  Don Tran is on board with this pick.
Pope:  Creative writing time!  In the spirit of the aforementioned Mighty Ducks, create a fantastical, completely unrealistic climactic scene for Disney's new SDFHL movie...

Ronnie: Here is where my TV/Movie classes coming into play
Scene: USA v. Iceland.  Thirty seconds left in the game.  Ducks set up the Flying V…
Location: SDFHL Home Rink: 4S Ranch
Stars: Geoff Appuhn is played by Robert Duvaall (D); Donald Tran is played by Data from the Goonies (D); Min-Soo and Peter Yu are played by Kenny Wu (F) (D2 They are in the Olsen Twin role from ‘Full House’); Kurt Rifbjerg is played by Sideshow Bob (F); Steve Scott played by John Cusack (F).
 Flying V moves forward (cut away to scoreboard-- 0:29 0:28 0:27…)
 [Timeout: I forgot that Geoff’s character is in a wheelchair.]
The ball is moving around the forwards.  Kenny Wu (Peter is in this scene) drops the ball back to Robert Duvall.  Data is pushing him around in the wheel chair.  Robert Duvall gets the shot off (cut away to scoreboard…0:15 0:14 0:13), and the ball deflects off Efren Ramirez (playing me) and goes into the net past Iceland Goalie (D2 played by Nathan West…thanks, IMDB) for the game-winner (cut away to scoreboard…0:03 0:02 0:01 0:00).
 The team celebrates, and lifts Robert Duvall onto the shoulders of other team members.
 [Camera cuts in for close up of Robert Duvall.]
 Duvall: “Vaya con Dios, Brah”
 [Fade to black.]
 It’s Point Break meets D2.  Direct to DVD.  Gets some run on Fox Family.
Pope:  Wow…gripping stuff!  Tell the people something about yourself that will SHOCK them (or at least amuse them).

Ronnie: I will give you a soft one, a random one, and a shocker:

Soft: Sean Kelly--we played Little League baseball together in the mean streets of Thousand Oaks, CA.  I had no clue he played in the league until I saw him during my first season.

Random: I am an ordained minister, and have performed nine weddings.  Number ten is in September.

Shocker: In my sophomore year of high school, I got busted for lighting fireworks with my friends.  We got busted by the police, and had to perform community service.

Pope:  Last one, and I will let you get back to 'hanging out'...give me a moment, or a game, or an event in your SDFHL career that is special/memorable to you.

Ronnie: *opens Fruit Punch Four Loko* Lobo would say it was when I made three passes in a row to Bob Delaney in his farewell game…but I was on the other team.  I will go with ‘Team Friendship’.  We are in overtime against Sean Kelly and Black.  I got a pass from Bryan Szeliga, and was able to beat Sean for the game-winner…best moment in SDFHL history.  My jersey is in the hall of fame.  I don’t even remember it-- I blacked out. 
Pope:  Well, you've been a great sport, and I appreciate you being my first guest for this segment.  Let's switch roles for just one question...shoot!

Ronnie: This is an easy one.  Top three Vin Diesel movies? Go
Pope:  I can honestly say that I have not seen any of Mr. Diesel’s work.  I hope we can still be friends?  Thanks, Ronnie...I appreciate you taking time out of your 'busy day’ to chat with me.  Does...ummm...does this place have another restroom anywhere?  The one by the 'lobby' is disgusting.

Ronnie: Pope, it has been a pleasure.  I think there is a KFC around the corner.  Take this quarter…it’s coin operated.  

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