Thursday, December 30, 2004

Minor Leagues?

Even though the NHL lockout is only about three months old, I have been locked out of the league by the owners for years by exorbinantly-priced tickets combined with absurd parking prices and $7 Pepsi bottles. Even so, I almost miss hockey, and my eight-year-old son doesn't know why they bother printing a newspaper every day if there is no hockey season.

It was his vacation, so and he is always so well behaved, so I took him to an OHL game. We tried to go see the Plymouth Whalers, but they were sold out. Insteada, we went across the border, to see the Windsor Spitfires play the Owen Sound Attack.

The building was small by NHL standards, seating only about 3,000, but our seats were right on top of the ice, and we got to watch a game in the land where ice was born. Over 2,500 people got to watch future stars like Bobby Ryan and Robin Big Snake make a name for themselves. We saw great fights, the kind the NHL stopped providing for its fans when they decided they wanted soccer moms in Nashville and Miami to watch their game. We saw some spectacular goaltending by a kid named Brown, as he shut out the hometown Spitfires. We saw powerplay goals, penalty kills, injuries, slick passing, and heart and blood and fire all over the ice.

We also saw the misplays. Overskated pucks, immature reactions, stupid penalties, and poor decision mnaking.

But in the end, this is what won out. After the game, we stood outside the visitors locker room for five minutes. The team trainer came out, and we asked him if he could get Bobby Ryan to sign my son's Bobby Ryan OHL card. (If you're surprised they have OHL cards, ask yourself what you would do if you owned a card company and a large portion of your business was in a labor dispute.)

We gave him a pen and the card. A few minutes later he returned, looking for a Sharpie that would show up on the card. He found the Sharpie, and came back to us with the autographed card. We talked hockey with the trainer for a few minutes, and found out that Owen Sound is about four hours north of Windsor. That their best player was playing for his native team in the Junior World Championships right now. And that they beat a tremendous London 30-2-2-0 team last night, the only team with a better record than the Attacks' 24-7-3-1.

As we were ready to go, the trainer told us to wait a minute. He went back into the locker room, and came out with a Owen Sound Attack puck, and gave it to my son.

The whole ride home, my boy glowed. He had just been to a hockey game, and was coming home with an autographed card, a puck, and sweet memories that may last a lifetime.

11 Comments:

Blogger Just Passing Through said...

Great post,eh!

December 31, 2004 11:00 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

P-Dudi -- Is 'canuck' an ethnic slur, or a term of affection? i honestly have no idea? iartime...I love the story. I took my kids to the Keyspan park in Coney Island a few years ago to see the Cyclones play. I'm not a big sports fan, but the whole scene is awesome. right on the field, kosher hot dogs a few steps away, nice people, no crazies, lots of kids. Minor leagues are the way to go.

January 01, 2005 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If canuck was an ethnic slur they probably wouldn't name an NHL hockey team the Vancouver Canucks.

However, according to Dictionary.com, one definition of Canuck is an offensive term for French Canadians, while the other definition is a slang U.S. term for Canadian, particular a French Canadian, but according to this definition it is not offensive.

January 02, 2005 8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool. What does dictionary.com say about chinks, niggers, spics, kikes, gooks, and wops?

January 03, 2005 10:44 AM  
Blogger Air Time said...

I don't know what dictionary.com says for those words, but next to anonymous I'm sure it says faceless coward.

January 03, 2005 12:08 PM  
Blogger Just Passing Through said...

Great response Air Time!

January 03, 2005 12:19 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 03, 2005 4:57 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

I agree, I wouldn't delete it, but pressing delete works...sorry my 'canuck' question led to that.

January 03, 2005 5:00 PM  
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