Sunday, November 05, 2006

Me and My Magic TV

Share your earliest hockey memory and why you stuck with the boys. I mean, game.

Honestly, I'm not sure I could pick out just one memory - it's more of a random grouping of memories across the board. A Wal-Mart of nostalgia, if you will.

I remember being very small and very innocent, sitting next to my father in my little Caps t-shirt and watching in awe as these huge men ran into each other on ice right in front of me. I remember a woman a few rows behind us who used to bang a cowbell whenever the Caps scored. I remember waving the white pom-pom during a playoff game and bringing it home afterwards, placing it lovingly alongside the other 5 or 6 I had accumulated that all looked the same but were all treasured possessions. I remember falling asleep in the car during the long ride home from a game as my dad listened to the postgame wrap-up on the radio. I have a very vivid memory of a growth chart with a lifesize picture of Scott Stevens on it, and I remember thinking he was the biggest man I had ever seen. (He is a big guy, but to be fair I couldn't have been more than 7 years old so my frame of reference was a little skewed.)

As I got older, I learned more about the game and grew to love it even more. I memorized the names and numbers of the players, developed a hatred of other teams, and kept the firm belief that the Caps would never actually lose a game that I watched on TV. I also found a connection with my dad in hockey - it was and still remains something that we can talk about when everyone else in the family is sick of us. When I was younger he would patiently explain what icing and offsides were over and over again, even though he knew I would ask again the next game. Now he'll sit and tell me stories about watching Bobby Orr play and suffering through those infamous first seasons of DC hockey, and he can't resist picking on me over my love of the Canadiens.

I think I stuck with hockey partly because it was so ingrained in me (and partly because the players are so darn cute), but also because I have yet to find another sport quite like it. Baseball, football, basketball - no other sport in my mind has the speed, the sheer skill level that makes hockey so thrilling. I turn into a kid again whenever I go to a game, and I bounce around impatiently until the puck mercifully drops for the opening faceoff. My walls are still decorated with pictures of my favorite players, although I've upgraded from the free giveaway posters to actual framed and signed photographs.

And 24 years later, despite repeatedly seeing evidence to the contrary, I still turn on the TV knowing the Caps can't lose while I'm watching.


Jordi said...

God everyone has these great stories, we should put out some sort of book. "Women who love hockey: you pay money to read how much they love guys they'll never get".

Jen Z said...

I find hockey gives me the same connection with my Dad too. We talk sports and business...and cars.

LOVE the book idea.