To review this week:
Tuesday: Festivus Eve Eve.
Wednesday: Festivus Eve.
Friday: Christmas Eve.
Today: Boxing Day.
Tomorrow: Go Time (vs. Islanders)!
It really is the holidays!
Our friend Joekuh volunteered to write a guest post to give the Blogfather a day off today. Not that I needed one. But the thought was much appreciated, and the post was very well done. So here goes:
GUEST BLOGGER: JOEKUH
First and foremost, thanks Mr. Carp for giving me the chance to write another guest post. I had a LOT of fun writing the 1st one over the summer about learning hockey through NHL’94, hopefully this will one be more fun. Secondly, where the Heatley is the FB Boneheads page?!?! (Someone shoot me a link to it, firstname.lastname@example.org, thanks!) Thirdly, shoutout to the silent boneheads who really help keep this place we have, to discuss everything from Anisimov to Zuccarello, alive.
Alright, in the spirit of everyone recently discussing their fondest autobiographical hockey memory, I’ll share the memory of my 1st time playing hockey. I never took the chance to play hockey in NY, being that I never really thought of doing it before the family moved to FL. Being that it’s hot down here, there aren’t too many ICE skating rinks around. But, a 15 minute bus ride from my parents’ house is a huge park with a couple of ROLLERBLADE rinks. Cue the light bulb turning on in your head.
I’ve always been a reader. Blogs, books, magazines, you name it, if I find it interesting, I will read it from front to back to front again. So in the local sports section, I’d always read about a rollerblade hockey league, with scores and stories. I’d always wonder to myself, “I wonder where they play ….”
I went to HS with a friend who played baseball. Being bored one day, I went with him for the heck of it. Being that baseball practice is boring as hell when you’re not involved it, and younger than 16, I went wandering around the park. I saw lot of bright lights in one corner of the park, and kept hearing this hollow “thunk”, kinda like a bat hitting a ball, then cheering every once in a while. Curiously, I approached. As I turned a corner, I see this middle age guy walking away from the brightly-lit area with all kinds of hockey stuff on him, headed for his car. Now I’m totally confused, and intrigued. I turn the corner, and BANG — 4 rollerblade hockey rinks.
It was like I’d found the fountain of youth. I must’ve been there for a couple hours watching the games. I was in love, and decided right then and there that I’d play one day in one of those rinks. I found an old stick somewhere, and bought some skates. I could move in a straight line pretty well, but DO NOT ask me to stop or turn quickly, under ANY circumstances, it wasn’t happening, LOL. I went a couple Sundays when the rinks were quiet and started teaching myself how skate like a hockey player. I kinda figured out how to slide stop, and got pretty good at cross-stepping. I didn’t skate with the stick in hand though, I thought it’d be weird to come to the park on the bus, skates over the shoulder, stick in hand. I was self-conscious fat boy back then. Sue me.
Finally the time came that I decided I was going to play. I begged a ride from Mom dukes, and got to the rink. I was nervous as hell, and had no idea why. There was a pickup game going on, and people were just jumping in and out, so I just jumped into it. So here I am, barely able to stay in the same direction without falling on my face, playing the game. People are zooming by me like I’m Boogaard. I’m like, “What the hell did I do all this work for? I suck! Get off the rink and never come back!!!” ( I can be pretty hard on myself. ) Suddenly, the ball/puck came to me at my blue line. Brian Leetch making a rush up the zone came into my head. I saw glory and honor and pretty much everything I had ever hoped and dreamed of. I took off. Suddenly, skating wasn’t so hard. I crossed the red line. I had eyes on the net, and ONLY the net. I crossed the blue line.
Suddenly, I noticed a D-Man from the other team coming at me. All positive thoughts went completely out of my head. Why? Because I suddenly forgot how to stop! Me full tilt going one way + D-Man full tilt coming my way = BODIES EVERYWHERE. I tried to dodge him into the boards, but no luck. Just before we came together, I tried to throw the puck at the net. Then we collided. We both went down. He got up 1st, then helped me up. While laughing at me, he said, “Don’t know how to stop, do you?” I just shook my head no, face down, embarrassed as all Heatley. One of my teammates skated up to me and said, “Nice shot. Just went wide.” The biggest smile must’ve hit my face, and it didn’t leave until I got home. I still hold that as one of my fondest hockey memories. Most likely because I got busy and haven’t played since that day.
PS, I have a new Festivus Greivance: Why didn’t I ever go play again? I could’ve been one of the best!