Fountain Of Cheese

While investigating the John Scott National Hockey League incident, I was arrested by the statement that, among the other tourist delights surrounding the Nashville NHL All-Star game, there would be a fountain of Velveeta cheese.
The concept of a molten river of Velveeta gripped my imagination as I fantasized dams breaking, overflows, and Gary Bettman swallowed up in a cascading river of cheese-like dairy product that immediately solidifies to a state that could be mounted as sculpture. Perhaps forever. Or at least as long as the chemicals in Velveeta can preserve him. A century or two anyway.
But what does such a “cascading fountain of Velveeta” look like? I asked myself and then realized that, of course! the answer was on the Internets.
Yes, various intrepid idiots have utilized their chocolate fountains to melt Velveeta, and possibly other substances (but I decided not to investigate any further. You, of course, are free to do as you will).
Meanwhile, if you don’t own a chocofountain, here’s where you can rent one in the United States (and what other nation would ever have this melt capability?)
And here is a supreme photo of a cascading cheese fountain in action:


[BTW, the US used to give out blocks of Velveeta-ish cheese products to low-income folks. Denounced as “Government Cheese”, it was encased in plastic almost impossible to remove from the food and was, overall, a sign of how much America disdained its poor. But, I think, Government Cheese would probably do well in one of these fountains.]


Jason Maggio: The Man Who Ruined the All-Star Game

This weekend is the NHL All-Star Game. Part of the festivities will be a so-called skills competition featuring stars seeing who can skate fastest , who can shoot hardest, and who can score the fanciest breakaway goal. NHL goalies will stand in the net but in 2009, an amateur was in the crease and, according to Don Cherry, ruined the event.

Martin St.Louis stopped by Jason. St.Louis tried hiding the puck in his glove.

Jason Maggio, a goalie for the AA Dollard Vipers, was recruited for the job when the League decided not to put a pro goalie in the net. This may have been because, in 2008, the goalies actually tried to stop shots, even going so far as to poke check the forwards. After all, if there’s one thing a goalie hates it’s to have that damn disc sitting behind him. But the League wanted to see goals so they asked Jason Maggio to stand in the crease.

That was a mistake. Jason stopped all but five shots.

Alex Kovalev plays the puck off his head.

Jason really didn’t expect to do that well. He was excited going into the game: “Up until now, it’s got to be the No. 1 thing I’ve ever done in my life,” he said. “Nobody else ever gets this chance to skate on the ice with all of these guys.” That’s true — no amateur had ever taken part in the skills competition before and, after Jason’s performance, probably none will ever do so again.

Don Cherry was very upset. “The people aren’t here to see him stop them. One reporter here in Montreal thought it was great. But the people didn’t come here, 19,000 of them, to see a Junior B goaltender stop the guys and make them look stupid!” Of course, the dignity of the game is very important to Cherry who makes a point of never looking stupid.

Don Cherry not looking stupid.

The players didn’t seem to feel that Jason had done anything wrong; they congratulated him in the dressing room. Nor did they seem to mind looking a bit silly. After all, this was entertainment, not a real game on the line.

Ovechkin wearing a hat (like Don Cherry) winning the breakaway competition.

Jason didn’t try anything fancy, he didn’t poke check, he just stood in there. But when players are trying things like bouncing pucks off their head into the net, they’re liable to miss more often than not. Even so, Jason wins bragging rights for stopping the NHL’s best. He is likely to be the only amateur ever given the opportunity to do it. “It was awesome for me, so it would have pretty cool to keep that going and have other kids experience it. It’s something different, something no other league does. I guess maybe Don Cherry’s complaint got through,” he says. Jason’s dad got really excited afterwards; he spoke of his son getting Italian citizenship and playing in Europe. Jason, a very level-headed guy, took a job with CCM instead.

This post inspired by Puck Daddy’s column. And here’s Puck Daddy in 2009.
Complete video of the Super Skills Breakaway contest.
News story. Cherry was particularly upset by this article that praised Jason’s performance.