I was perusing my email earlier today. One, in particular, caught my eye. It was sent out by the guy who runs our kids’ youth hockey program. Mr. Sometimes and I really like this guy so I mean that in the nicest way. He’s done really great things for the program since he came into the thick of things a few years ago. There are probably very few people in this town who are qualified to do what he does with these kids. So when I refer to him as “the guy” it’s simply because his name is un-important to the blogosphere. That, and, I doubt he’d want to be mentioned in my very (un)important blog.
So, anyways, I get this email, it’s titled “Hockey Mom Sense”. Being a Hockey-Mom-Extraordinaire myself, my curiosity was piqued. So, I clicked. I scrolled. And then I saw red. I’m looking at a blog page (like this one) where a woman is imparting her knowledge of this fast-paced, awesome, all-consuming game (like myself when I wrote a post about it here… HA!,actually, completely unlike myself). This is where the similarities end. And, honestly, if her idea of what a hockey mom really is, is shared the world over, I’m going to have to coin a new phrase, give myself a new name. I am disgusted, disappointed and more than a little sad.
The post that hurled me into the offense was titled “10 Things Good Hockey Parents Know about Hockey“. It sounded promising. I puffed out my chest, so ready to pat myself on the back, knowing I’m a pretty good Hockey Parent. Instead, the patting was heard in my ears and it was my blood pressure steadily rising to an unhealthy level. Evidently, according to her, the best way to become a good hockey parent is to actually P-L-A-Y hockey (The first 14 words of her first point offended me and if that isn’t some kind of bad-writing-karmic-not-good-juju, I don’t know what is). Of course, she goes on to have some good points (I think… well…not really, I’m just trying to be quasi positive) but for me, I was stuck on that first sentence. All I could think of was, “how dare she?”. How dare she imply that I (along with the vast majority of my friends/fellow hockey moms) are not good hockey parents if we haven’t laced up a pair of skates before? I earned the title “hockey mom” carrying a hockey bag for the past 3 winters like it was the season’s latest Berkin, wearing hoodies/toques/parkas/uggs like they’ve just come off the runway, all while figuring out ways to accessorize with the new bags that have been permanently stowed under my eyes thanks to early saturday games. I earned it and I am proud to say that I can dress my 6yr old in less than 5 mins (when he’s cooperating) and this includes the dreaded tying of the skates (known in some countries as an efficient torture tactic). I am ecstatic that new goalie gear was not a challenge for longer than a few practices. I’m gettin’ on with my bad self. I’ve got that shit down pat too.
She writes away, going on to say that the players can’t hear us yelling and cheering on the other side of the glass. And that they wouldn’t want to anyways . Uhhh, the last time I checked, almost every. single. mite on our ice basks in his/her parents adoring chants, screams and shouts of excitement. I admit that I can get a little
loud obnoxious when it comes to my 9yr old playing in our house league games. But he’s 9. He loves it. I am not condescending. I am not negative. We are simply pumping their teeny little tires. Fanning the fire of wanting to succeed, to have fun, to excel with each and every shout. I’m curious if she’s ever seen/heard/experienced a team playing to a sold-out crowd. The noise level plays second only to the excitement and drive rolling off of those players. Ask any of them and they’ll tell you the intensity level is usually directly proportional to how loud it is in the arena. The term she uses when referring to the loud, excited parents? Glass Lickers. Lovely.
I’ll be honest here. I didn’t read the rest of that blog entry. I found it to be condescending and asinine. But, like an episode of Hoarders that sucks you in and forces you to watch through bouts of itching and profuse gagging, I mostly couldn’t wait to see what the rest of her blog might have had to say. So I clicked and scrolled and clicked some more. There was alot of the same, although, there was one post that I did read in its (stupidly offensive-and-there’s-obviously-a-theme-here) entirety. It was outlining the differences between a “Rookie Hockey Mom” vs. a “Veteran Hockey Mom”. If I was pissed about that first little point in the “10things” entry, I was seething mad, oozing 4mins double-minors, when I read this one. And It prompted me to lay out a few points of interest for anyone who read her article and might agree. Or not agree but might just be looking for another side to see things from. Or even, just for myself. To prove a point (even if it is to no one in particular).
First off, I do not consider myself a rookie in the hockey world -anymore. I have watched my husband from the other side of the glass for the better part of 16 years. * I was a hockey wife before I was a hockey mom. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I am a Veteran either, regardless of the fact that, now, along with The Captain, my kids play too. I’m an in-betweener. I know enough to understand the sport, most of the calls and (on Mr. Sometime’s level) the politics, but not enough to brag about it.
I support my children and their love for hockey but I am the first one to suggest throwing a party once the season is over. And yes, I have said that this might be not be the case if the concession stand would only obtain a liquor license sooner rather than later.
I am one of the loudest people yelling “SKAAAAAATE!” or “HUSTLE!” when someone is taking the puck out of our end, regardless of the fact that I can see the play that needs to be set up and I am also one of the first people to jump up, screaming and cheering for a save made and/or a goal scored.
I will NEVER get used to hits being thrown (intentionally or not), no matter how appropriate or necessary it might be. Not at this level, anyways.
**I will always complain about an unfair call made by the official and I will never assume he is going to call the game in such a way that it will “even out in the end”.
Lastly, I will ALWAYS feel for the goalie. I’ve known enough of them over the years, one of my very good friends is married to a goalie, and now, my son is one too so, I will ALWAYS feel for the goalie~ respect, or lack of it, has absolutely NOTHING to do with it. They carry the weight of the game on their shoulders. Not unlike the Defencemen, the Wingers and the Centermen.
There. I feel better. Well, sort of. My pulse is still pounding in my ears and my palms are sweaty. And I’m pretty sure I still have hives. But I’ve vented. And sometimes there’s nothing better than venting about someone’s (un)Common Sense.
*Should there ever be a conversation about etiquette of any kind, there’s a topic for ya.
**There is never an even playing field in this sport. The calls almost always favor one side or the other. It’s a rare game when they don’t. Any “Veteran Hockey” anything should know that.