( Cut for a picture )
This past weekend was the sixth annual Hockey Weekend Across America. For the link averse, it's basically a time for people who like hockey to celebrate it and to give people who have never played a chance to give it a try in the hopes that they might start playing. They split the weekend into three themed days. Friday was "wear your jersey day", Saturday was "try hockey day", and Sunday was "celebrate local heroes day". For someone who lives in an area devoid of hockey fans (or maybe they just don't show it like I do...they're all probably on another side of town), everyday possible is "wear your jersey day". And if it's not possible, it tends to be "wear your hockey T-shirt day". But seriously, I love my hockey jerseys and wear them any chance I get. I didn't have the opportunity to leave the house on Friday, but I did wear jerseys on Saturday (Traktor Chelyabinsk) and Sunday (Phoenix Coyotes). I know there are hockey fans around that don't make it apparent (my brother is this type of fan, he doesn't generally wear anything hockey-related but he will totally lose his voice yelling at a hockey game on TV), and they probably don't come up to me because I always look like I'm about to beat someone up. Saturday's try hockey thing seems friggin awesome, except it's geared toward kids. Get 'em young, I suppose, but I would love to actually try to play hockey. When I was young, I semi-played hockey on our sloping driveway, except we didn't have money for proper gear, so I was a goalie with no padding. I'd blame that for my brain damage, but the ball we were using never went high enough to even threaten the family jewels. If someone told me that I would get to learn to play goalie (because I'm the little brother and that's how it usually works, right? Also, I'm the weirdest one), I would bounce off the walls.
And would probably cause some property damage. If you're going to tell me something like this, make sure we're in an open field. There wasn't an HWAA event for Saturday other than public ice skating...and watching the Rhinos play. As for the Sunday event, the only person I can think of saluting is Cory Herman, who played for the Buzzards and later settled here and took over a youth hockey program. Herman's hockey-playing brothers, Tom and Dave, are here as well. Cory, Tom, and Dave — consider yourself saluted. All in all, I'm jealous of those little kids getting to play and those people who get to wear hockey jerseys to work that they showed in the gallery on the HWAA site. What job can you wear a hockey jersey to? (Other than a hockey team. Sometimes.) Sign me up for that.
External Links for those interested...which would basically be me:
- El Paso Rhinos - The local Tier III Junior A team
- El Paso Hockey Association
- Hockey in El Paso: From Minor Pro to Junior A, It’s Still a Fun Ride by Duke Keith of KROD 600 AM
- History of Ice Hockey in El Paso by Paul Zimmerman - It's a short history involving three teams, so there's tons of footage of checks and scores by the Rhinos. Also, once the Rhinos logo appears at the seven-minute mark, that's it. There's like...three minutes of black and silence at the end. Also, the part about Martino totally brought back memories.