There are few things in life–kissing a beautiful girl, a really good scotch, hearing "I love you" from your child–that can match the simple pleasure of hearing skates cut through ice and the beginning of another hockey season. One thing I know–the love for the game has held constant and grown in my lifetime, and shows no signs of wavering.
I follow Wanye on twitter and he’s a gem. The pure joy he experienced at lunch yesterday is the stuff of legends–a chance meeting (or non-meeting) with a legendary Oiler that will remain in the inner sanctum of the memory banks forever.
I have a story like that. May I tell you? In the early 1980’s, I worked at CFRN Radio on Stony Plain Road. I was an announcer for the top 40 station during that era (Cynthia Charles and I hosted the afternoon show, I was out of my league but Cynthia guided me through perfectly) and we were followed by John Short and his Sports Talk show.
One day, I’m sitting in the lobby of the old CFRN building (waiting for my wife, who had the car, things haven’t changed) and in walks Mark Messier. He walks to the receptionist (Noreen Lodge, one of the finest people I’ve ever met) and asks for John. The producer is called, and Messier sits down beside me to wait for the producer.
I look outside the front door and notice a black Porsche and ask "is that yours?" to which Messier says "yes" and I smile. He says "I’ve only had it for about a half an hour" and I saw "bet you can’t wait to get it out on the highway and take it to the limit."
He says "oh, I’ve already done that."
Perfect. It’s my favorite memory as a fan. What a guy.
CHILD LIKE VISIONS COMING INTO VIEW
That happened in my 20’s, I’m in my 50’s now and at a different point in life. I don’t wait for my wife to bring our only car to the radio station, I wait for my teenagers to arrive home after midnight so I can rest easy that we’re all home and dry. The power of a hockey season remains, and the child like thrill of the opening of training camp and the pre-season remains like a long lost memory brought fully alive by some random song from that past or a long forgotten movie.
It is renewal, but it is also reminiscence.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Take it from an old guy–when you feel the rush let that moment linger. Those moments don’t happen often, and they should be savoured. Training camp becomes opening night, becomes regular season becomes playoff hunt. Please baby Jesus let Oiler fans in the second season, it’s been way too long between kisses.