Sunday, August 18, 2013

Old Man Hockey Fan

This has been a slow summer, outside of the initial crack and bang of the Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson signings. Everyone is looking for something to talk about, so much so that people got mad at Sidney Crosby for getting bumped to the front of the line at the DMV and the story had such momentum that instead of being laughed at, the CEO of the Penguins and others have come to his defense.

I've more or less implicitly supported Sidney Crosby, so I just want to point out
that this picture screams to have a giant penis photoshopped into his hand
So yes, we are all very bored and anxiously waiting for hockey to start up again, and we've got to find some things to talk about. I found something to talk about when I had one of those "I'm getting old and these kids are so young" moments. Getting to know some of my students here in Colorado, I asked who were hockey fans and one student raised his hand. I asked if he was an Avalanche fan, and he said yes. I snickered and said, "Well, y'know I'm from Michigan so I'm a big Red Wings fan" and the student stared at me blankly.

My students were born in 2001 and 2002. This means these kids weren't born yet, and if they were born, they were barely aware of the world when we absolutely destroyed Patrick Roy in Game 7. They never saw the Statue of Liberty debacle . They don't know to fear Mike Vernon and Darren McCarty. The Detroit-Avalanche rivalry is a fabled story told to them by their elders while burning incense.

It isn't just Avalanche fans that are going to suffer from this kind of issue. Thinking back over my years as a Red Wings, it occurred to me that there's a lot of big NHL moments that my students will have no personal knowledge or connection to. Let's take a look at some of what they missed, and what these damned kids these days are into.

  • While there's a great debate about retiring Sergei Fedorov's number among us older fans, it's unanimously against among younger fans because they only know him as "They guy who is trying to steal Pavel Datsyuk"
  • Thanks to the younger generations of fans, Patrick Roy will finally shed his reputation as the great, but batshit crazy, megalomaniac goaltender for the Colorado Avalanche and be able to cultivate his brand new persona as the great, but batshit crazy, megalomaniac coach for the Colorado Avalanche. 
  • Because they've not been hockey fans for very long, they're less likely to remember what hockey was like before the isosceles trapezoid was introduced behind the net. This means that they'll have no idea why the isosceles trapezoid was introduced. So that's something they have in common with the rest of us.
  • They were only about 3 years old at the time, so they only know the Steve Moore incident as, "The day Daddy screamed a lot and kicked a hole in the wall." 
  • When people complained about Russians in my day, it was because they suffered at the hands of another perfectly executed play by the Russian 5. Now it's because Alexander Ovechkin didn't score 23 goals in 6 games. 
And finally, now I understand the looks of derision and the claims that "You've never seen what real hockey is like!" when I tell older hockey fans that I am too young to have seen Gordie Howe play. 

When did I get old? 

1 comment:

  1. Wowwww,

    Caption? Spit take - Bloody Mary. Carpet not pleased; I, however, am very.

    Hole in the wall? Laughed so hard I woke up my kid.

    I feel the same way when I shake my fist at blackhawk "diehards" around here. Their cast off pricetags and receipts have been like a nuclear winter for the past 4 years.