Tuesday, June 13, 2006

One More Reason I Love Hockey

With all of the crap you hear these days about which [insert name of sport] player is, has been or may be doping, it was really refreshing to see this headline in today's Washington Post: "1,406 Drug Tests, Zero Violations by NHL Players"

Sure there are some thugs on the ice and, on any given night, you stand a pretty good chance of seeing a fight. Thomas and I once watched as the maintenance guys shoveled the blood off the ice (sounds worse than it was--just turned slushy pretty fast). But most hockey players actually seem to play for the love of the game. Just watch the face of the guy who just scored--whether it's his first NHL goal or 50th. Pure joy--like the face of a little kid who woke up to find that he'd been given the toy store.

And off the ice, how many hockey players--even the stars--would most people be able to recognize? They are, by and large, team players. They're not out there show boating on the ice and promoting themselves off (TO? Anyone? Anyone?). They know how to pass to an open team mate (Kobe?). They seem to be more focused on getting the win than on improving their own numbers (Ok, don't look at Jagr). Most of them stay out of trouble. I'd go on and on, but really, I think I'm beginning to bore myself.

So I'll just say that I hope Carolina doesn't win the next game. I'm not ready for hockey season to be over.

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