I’m a Blackhawks fan. I have been since I moved to Chicago.
Hockey is a relative newcomer in my life, only taking residence in my heart the past 10 years.
Because hockey is largely unknown by most of the world that can’t claim to be part of the “Midwest”, just barely above jai alai in popularity. So, not only had I never watched a game, I could barely name a team (despite the fact that North Carolina, my home state, has a team…Lord knows why…)
And one of the reasons I really love hockey is because I cannot play it.
I’ve skated before. At Christmas. My specialty move is screaming “get out of the way” as I careen into the wall.
But hockey isn’t skating. Hockey is flying. The speed is truly amazing.
And they do it while holding something. Every time I’ve skated my limbs have flailed like sock puppets in hurricane winds.
Needless to say, anything I hold while skating I either a) immediately drop or b) immediately lodge into my body somewhere by falling on it.
Plus, hockey is mysterious. I don’t get the rules. I can’t pronounce the names.
My favorite call is “icing,” where the puck travels to the other end post haste and the refs decide it shouldn’t have done that. They stop the game for that.
Oh, but fighting is OK. They’ll let that go on for a little while.
In a football game I can tell when something is “offsides.” In hockey, you might as well just call that infraction at random. Who can keep track of these guys, anyway?! They’re like birds circling prey, floating here and there at random. If I were playing, I wouldn’t give a crap who on my team was where. I’d be honed in on the puck!
Well, that’s a lie.
I’d probably be crouching by the wall somewhere chanting, “don’t hit me…don’t hit me…stop…stop…”
I’m currently working on a little piece I’m calling, “Hockey: The Musical.” (Semi-seriously)
The majority of the action revolves around a young Swede in his first year playing in the big leagues, awaiting his first big game. He and his teammates are confused by the Indian guy recently recruited but learn to respect him, mostly because his last name is just as long as the Norwegian names.
Some of the standards include, “Puck You, Puck Me (The Passing Song)” and “Who Needs Teeth When You Have a Tongue (The Kissing Song)”
It’s going to be good.
So, on this night when the Hawks have won the Stanley Cup (twice in four years), I want to publicly state that this hockey fan is darn proud.
And, as they say, “those who can’t do, teach.” To tie it to this specific post, “those who can’t play hockey, write about it.”