Our hockey season started months ago, But tonight is opening night for the Boston Bruins!
Can I get a “Woot Woot” or something more hip, I hear “woot woot” is out. I’d say “Can I get a “F— Yeah” because that’s how we roll when we talk about sports in Boston, but I’m a class act, in case you weren’t aware. Sports are serious business up here. Can I get a moment of silence for the end of Big Papi’s final season? How about Tom Brady’s return? Celtics, sorry not a fan.
But, Bruins? Oh yeah. We love the Black and Yellow. I really enjoy going to the games, especially if we can sit close to the ice. It’s such a physical game and is such a rush when you sit so close you have to jump back in your seat because you feel like they may come crashing right through the glass. There have been times when beer has been spilled, I will admit.
Some think it’s too savage a sport. I can’t help but wonder if the fans are more savage than the players though. Have you ever watched a game on television and while a fight is going on there are always the crazy fans banging on the glass egging them on? It’s like cock-fighting almost. Ok, not almost. It is exactly like cock-fighting. On skates.
But I still love it.
I grew up a rink rat. My brother played hockey when I was young and there weren’t many weekends I can remember that I wasn’t dragged out of my warm bed before the sun came up to head out to a game. We had this bright orange pickup truck with a cab covered bed that was filled with mattresses and sleeping bags so we could sleep on the way. There were typically three or four stops on the way to pick up other players. That meant less room, more smell. If you aren’t familiar with the sport, the smell can be nauseating. Especially the gloves for some reason. Hockey moms out there? You know what I’m talking about. My son likes to torture me with “hockey hands” after games and practices if I give him any grief. Gack.
This sport is special. It takes dedication and passion and perseverance. You can’t just get out there with a stick and a puck. You have to master the skills of skating. Hours upon hours of skating drills, early morning ice time, private lessons, off-ice practice. It doesn’t come easy.
But hockey players are tough. They get stitched up in the locker room and come back on the next shift. Patrice Bergeron skated in the playoffs with a broken rib and a collapsed lung. Gregory Campbell broke his leg on a play and still finished his shift. They don’t go on the disabled list because of a blister. In other sports players pretend they’re hurt, but hockey players pretend they’re not. They’re just tough.
I love that my son plays. Don’t get me wrong, I cringe every time he, or any player on the ice, gets hit or goes down. But being a part of a hockey team will teach him things that nothing else can. Like how to work hard and train, how to be tough and what it means to be part of a team and give back to the community.
If your child plays, hug your hockey player. Just make them shower first.
By the way…6-3 Bruins! Let’s hope this is the start of a great season.