Winged Wheels and Wide Eyed Little Girls
I wasn't always a fan of the winged wheel, but there was a time in my life when I didn't have 40 years of experience either. It turned out that with the exception of two times, the only professional hockey games I'd ever seen had been in Detroit. The first hockey jersey I ever wore was a Montreal Canadians jersey. The first games I can ever remember were Toronto Maple Leaf games, and my first favorite hockey team was the Edmonton Oilers. I own two Red Wings sweaters, two Edmonton Oiler sweaters, one New York Rangers sweater...one amazing LA Kings sweater...and one somewhat out of place, retro style Mats Sundin Vancouver Canucks jersey (found like a damn buried treasure in a store's bargain bin)...and considering the number of times that I've visited Joe Louis Arena, and also my unabashed Oilers affection, all of the jerseys hanging in my closet make more than perfect sense. What doesn't is why I don't own a vintage Leafs jersey, a dynasty era Islanders jersey, a black retro Bruins sweater (lace-up) and a Ken Dryden Habs red number. Such embarrassing phenomena makes absolutely no sense to me, nor does the fact that I don't own a vintage Tom Barrasso Sabres jersey (my most favorite dude ever as a young goalie) and a classic CCCP Russian Red Army Tretiak jersey. That just seems borderline insane to me.
I didn't force Zo into a Red Wings jersey. She was, in fact, super stoked to wear Dad's sweater as he donned 'er for tonight's Game 4 in Detroit. She probably gets more stoked when Dad wears his Kings jersey with all those purple accents...so much so that she wants one of her own. She's never asked for a red and white one. I promise you that we only brainwash her with Maize and Blue, and old English D's...everything else is her own to decide. NAturally, she's been asleep for hours before Edmonton games air, and Dad watches the Red Wings at home. At some point this beautiful little girl was trying on the winged wheel for kicks.
We settled in on the couch, tuned the television in to CBC, and got busy watching a Wings game without the embarrassing awfulness that is typically FOX Sports Detroit"s Red Wings commentators (nausea). Sometime in the first period Zoey turned to me and said, "Daddy, I never saw you play hockey did I?"
"Nope," I answered.
"I wish I did see you be a goalie. I wish I saw you and Uncle B play this hockey game. I'd be SO proud."
So it looks like Dad will be playing hockey again next winter. I'd become a damn figure skater if it made this little girl as wide eyed proud as she was tonight imagining her Dad playing hockey. In the meantime, this is all she gets...
Look at that smile! I'd wear a damn Calgary Flames jersey if it inspired that kind of unfettered joy. Oh, the good old hockey game, it's the best game ever played...