The legend of Scott Foster

Like so many things in modern America, including and especially White House policy, this began with a tweet.

“ATO” is “amateur tryout.” The “tryout” wasn’t really a tryout, though. This was a one-day just-in-case deal between Foster and the team to ensure that they had a goalie standing by just in case the professional goalies on the team couldn’t play. The Blackhawks’ first-string goalie, Corey Crawford, was out with a concussion and their second-stringer, Anton Forsberg, had been injured in practice that morning. But no worries: Their third-stringer, Collin Delia, had just arrived from the AHL and was ready to go. Foster was signed on the off-off-off-chance that Delia would go down during the game and all three netkeepers would be unable to play. In fact, Foster’s been signed as the “emergency goalie” before and the most eventful thing he had to do during the game was eat.

Halfway through the third period, Delia began cramping and had to be pulled. Scott Foster, former college goalie turned 36-year-old CPA, was headed into net for the Blackhawks. It’d be like sending in a middle-aged guy who used to play sandlot ball to close out a major-league baseball game, or a thirtysomething former college kicker to handle field goals in the fourth quarter for an NFL team. It’s farcical.

But the sonofabitch nailed it.

One of the seven saves he recorded came against two-time all-star Paul Stastny off a shot from a pass right in front of the net. As chance would have it, his beer-league team was suiting up for a game of its own when word got around that the Blackhawks’ third-stringer had just been pulled due to injury:

Back at [Johnny’s] IceHouse, one of his teammates darted into the dressing room with a message: “Fozzy’s going in!”

The news traveled quickly at the IceHouse, leading to a rather hilarious visual in the building’s lobby: Foster’s teammates, their opponents, and two over-40 elite league teams that had just completed their game were crowded, shoulder to shoulder, in full gear, around a modestly-sized television, watching one of their own play for the Chicago Blackhawks.

As is tradition in beer-league hockey, the jokes were flying as they watched Foster step into the crease: “Boys, we can still make it. This is proof. Johnny’s is a gateway to the Hawks …”

USHL teams are suddenly interested in Foster — as an accountant:

“If Scott can handle itemized deductions as well as he handles a Dustin Byfuglien slap shot, he’ll be a great asset,” said [Chicago] Steel president Dan Lehv in a press release…

“Overall, our starting accountants have been doing a good job for us,” said Lehv. “But as we all know, anything can happen in the crazy, fast-paced world of accounting. Last year’s Academy Awards are a prime example. We couldn’t see a guy like Scott Foster misplacing the Best Picture envelope. He seems like a ‘no loopholes’ kind of guy.”

The Blackhawks won 6-2. The player of the game was — who else?

Take five minutes to watch his post-game interview, which is all charm. In the Hollywood version of this story Foster will enter Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, not a meaningless spring game against the Winnipeg Jets, but that’s okay. As long as he gets to play himself.

Update: Fixed a typo above.