Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Hate the Player, Not the Game


For many Hockey, isn't a game, it is a way of life. For me it's something I struggle to understand, dutifully support for my parent's sake, and mostly try to avoid when on my own.

This is not easy to achieve. Growing up in Medicine Hat, I lived in a constant ethereal stew of hockey. After all it was a small prairie town in Canada. Canada has plenty of winter and not a lot to do. When you have bald prairie and water you have a rink. It couldn't have been any other way.

So from the time I was sucking amoebic fluid I knew that Lanny McDonald had played his junior year with Medicine Hat's WHL team, the Tigers. My mother even taught Trevor Linden typing. This is one of her favorite famous people stories. 'Such a beautiful typist,' she always titters. Sounds like he was good with his hands all around. So let's face it, if you live in Canada, you can't escape hockey.

Recently though, the Medicine Hat Tigers won the Western Conference playoffs giving them a shot at the Memorial Cup. Which is the Stanley Cup of the minor leagues. This is already more information then I rightfully wanted to own. Most of the time when my Mom talks about hockey it slips right through from ear out the other, and I'm OK with that level of commitment. I mean it's not like we are talking about curling.

However, the last time I was in 'the Hat' was the night the Tigers won their way into the Memorial Cup. I remember it clearly because it was the night I found my FAVORITE baseball cap. The one I thought I had lost. The hat I had bought in Vegas with a mountain of change. At a time in my life when I couldn't afford anything that cost more than a roll of pennies.

I was so excited! I had been positive I had left it somewhere and it was gone forever. But, something wasn't quite right. There was a strange mark on the bill. So I grabbed a cloth and tried to wipe it off. No luck. It looked like pen. But why would a pen be ANYWHERE near one of the dearest objects in my life? It had to be Katya, my two year old niece. She gets into all sorts of things. I could forgive Katya. I mean she's only a baby after all.

'Whatcha' looking at'
'My favorite hat, ever! I thought I lost it'
'Oh, that hat! Are you lucky! XYZ player from the Tigers was here the other night and your Dad had him sign the bill! One day that hat will be worth money!'

Dare I dream?

1 comment:

muffy said...

OK! Sucking amoebic fluid. Nice.