Wednesday, 6 June 2012

My Favourite Hockey Team

I mentioned a while back that my nephew has become rather enamoured with hockey. I’m personally rather blasé about it, but if it’s something he is interested in and wants to play, I will whole heartedly encourage it and support him.

Now he loves the Toronto Maple Leafs. The once mighty team that hasn’t won the Stanley Cup since the year I was born.

Whenever we go out to slap a ball around in the driveway, he continually asks me what team I like. Kind of hard to answer when you don’t care one whit about the goings on of the NHL.
“Okay I’m the Maple Leafs. What team are you gonna be uncle Thomas?” 
Sigh. “Uhm....the Amsterdam Giants, the new European expansion team.”
“That’s not a real team.”
“I don’t care. I’m from Amsterdam, I’m a giant. When I become a multi-millionaire that’s where the team I start will be and what they’ll be called.”
“No, it’s gotta be a real team.”
Sigh “Fine. The Hamilton Tigers.”
“That’s not a real team either.” 
“Yes it is. Back in the 20s they were part of the NHL. Really.”
“No, it has to be a team today.”
Sigh. “All right, let me look through all your hockey cards.” 
Given the profession I’ve been in for two decades, I tend to choose a bottle of wine on the basis of the label. Some might call me an uncultured philistine for that, but hey. I decided that I was going to pick a team the same way: on the basis of the logo I like best. I hit on one immediately. The Minnesota Wild. 
It’s the head of some kind of animal that will rip your face off (Bear? Wolf? Puma? Wolverine? Not really sure) and inside it is a boreal forest and a star and a sun or moon and a river that exits where its mouth is. 
“All right buddy, that’s who I’m a fan of – the Minnesota Wild. I have no idea how they’ve performed over the last few seasons, I don’t know who any of the players are, I doubt I’ll ever go to one of their home games, but that’s my favourite team. When we’re out on the street playing hockey, that’s who I’ll pretend to be, or if we’re watching a game on TV, that’s who I’ll pretend to root for.”

He seemed to be satisfied with that and had to admit it was a neat symbol. Now he’ll stop asking me repeatedly who I like best. And maybe one day I’ll get an embroidered patch and sew some Velcro on the back to stick on a cap or pack, or get a T-shirt.

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