"What has hockey even taught you?"
They ask this question like…
Like it’s an accusation, like this game I’ve put all my love and energy into,
This game that can take me to
The highest of highs and
Lift me from the lowest of lows
They ask me this question in a mocking tone,
Thinking I, a dumb sports fan, could never offer an answer.
Well lean back in your chair and take a deep breath,
because I’m about to unleash on you
The things the game of hockey has taught me.
When Patrice Bergeron played a hockey game with his body falling apart and blood oozing from his wounds,
I learned pain is nothing if you do what you love.
When the captain of the other team led his team back on the ice after a game to say goodbye to an opponent who was retiring,
I learned the value of respect and honour.
When a player collapsed on the bench and both teams on the ice stopped the game to get him help,
I learned about support and brotherhood.
When millions wept after their team was eliminated in game seven of the Stanley Cup finals,
I learned about a passion so strong it moved you to tears.
When an entire league came together to fight the stigma of mental illness, and to support lgbtq+ members of their community,
I learned to look for love and acceptance anywhere,
Because I deserved it.
When I watched players bloody themselves on the ice in fights, standing up for their team, taking hit after hit,
I learned to take a stand for what matters to me, without fear of consequences.
When I had to defend this glorious sport day after day, to stop it from being belittled at the hands of those so set on a state of mind they refuse to accept the power of a sport,
I learned confidence comes easy when you defend what’s right.
All this and more, I learned from the game of hockey, more than their narrow little minds could ever comprehend.
I hope one day their world will grow and evolve, and encompass the magic of cheering on your team, of screaming until you’re hoarse, because those players on the ice have done more for you than a sheet of paper could ever hold.
Toronto Maple Leafs
you’re not allowed to wear a cotton t-shirt unless you’re a true fan! do you go to the fields and look at it? do you appreciate the agricultural implications of a gigantic cotton industry? do you understand the harvesting process? name 5 cotton harvesting machines. didn’t think so