Thursday, July 28, 2011

resistance is futile



Can we all agree that Hutch is so far beyond awesome for setting this site up and gathering some of the best of the blog-world to contribute?


I thought so.


Though I fear she might be a little misguided in asking a hockey-crazed Canadian to participate. You can call me fojoy, and things tend to annoy me, so you never know, one day I just might flip over a Smart car and light the sucker on fire.


Because that's, apparently what we do now...


Kidding (it's not like I'm from Vancouver)!


But you're probably wondering how I came to be a chick who is crazy for hockey (but hates pink jerseys)*...
Well, growing up, I had exactly zero interest in sports of any kind.


I didn't watch them - My Dad was a long-haul truck driver, so he wasn't around much to cultivate a love of sports in me, and my Mom ruled the remote. This meant that the only sweaty men on our tv screen were young and restless.


I didn't crush on boys in gym shorts who dribbled their balls, or knew how to slide in to 3rd - I was more often found behind the curtains at stage left, making googly eyes at the musical theatre geeks on stage belting out "Day by Day" from Godspell. (This could explain why several of my crushes turned out to be gay).
I sure as hell didn't play sports - I was the girl in gym class that couldn't participate due to period cramps 3 weeks out of the month. Except for that one deluded afternoon in jr high when I thought I would try out for the basketball team - until I saw just how much running was involved.

I did not run.

Ever.

But growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - even being completely anti-sports - there is no escaping the pervasiveness of hockey in our culture. If anybody knows anything about Edmonton, it's that we have a giant mall and the Edmonton Oilers.

The team that Wayne Gretzky built.

Detroit may call itself Hockeytown - but I have never seen a city more obsessed with the game, and their team, than Edmonton. We not only have radio call-in shows strictly devoted to the Edmonton Oilers, these shows (note: not one radio show...multiple radio shows) run 5 days/week throughout the entire year. Trust me when I say that there isn't much going on in the hockey world in August, yet the fans in Edmonton can take the tiniest piece of information and beat it to death for days**.

But I did really well maintaining my no-sports-ever stance; I would quickly change the subject when the Oilers were, inevitably, brought up, and I would roll my eyes anytime someone insisted that "this is our year to go all the way to the Cup!".

Until I met Wilzie.

Wilzie is a hockey savant. He can tell you who was in the net for game 6 of our Stanley Cup run in 1984/85 and how many saves he made. He can tell who we picked in the 3rd round of the 1996 draft. He can tell you that in the trade for Mark Messier to the New York Rangers in 1991, we got Bernie Nichols, Steven Rice and Louie Debrusk in return (otherwise known as the worst trade in history).

And because I loved him, I stopped rolling my eyes and started to listen.

And then I started to get it - hockey was actually pretty cool. It's a fast-paced, exciting sport, where being "good in the locker room" was just as important as being good on the ice. And now, 11 years later, I am a hockey-enthusiast; an Edmonton Oilers season ticket holder who will change the station on the radio so I can actually listen to those never-ending hockey call-in shows.

Though I still can't pick out an offside call to save my life.

*I realize that you're probably not wondering that at all, but I needed some way to seamlessly segue into how I started loving sports.

**The big story this week is that a player - Theo Peckham - is changing his jersey number from 49 to 25.

6 comments:

  1. I swear it's like we were separated at birth...do you know how many boys I fell in love with in high school who, in turn, fell in love with other boys? Dating the jocks was my only remedy to that re-occurring problem. I don't actually know anything about hockey...except besides boxing, it has the highest amount of blood splatter possible. Bones break in football, but teeth get knocked out in hockey. Also, I could, if I REALLY wanted to, run up and down a football field but there is no way in hell I could ice skate AND play a sport. Looking forward to the insights and the updates!!

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  2. I think we might be twinsies. My dad was a long-haul trucker, I didn't care about sports until I met my husband, and I live in Minnesota which is basically Canada(according to everyone not from MN). Oh, and my husband is a basketball savant. He just knows things. It's weird.

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  3. What is it with guys and stats? I mean I KNOW sports and outside of some of Jerry Rice's all-time numbers, I just don't remember that kind of information.

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  4. I heard a rumor once that you like True Blood. I don't know if it's true though. But my question is this...if you had no dvr and had to choose between watching the Oilers play game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals (there are 7 right?) and watching the series finale of True Blood, which one would it be?

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  5. You can teach me about hockey. I agree, boys are their stats are a little crazy. And I run stats for basketball.

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