Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Real boys don't wear "cheese cutters"

These are "Cheese Cutters" kids

Mom an Dad hated me. It was winter 1950 when they asked my sister Rosalyn to take me skating on the rink at the corner of Notre Dame de Grace and Decarie in NDG. The rink was on the Monastery grounds. I sat on the snow bank at the edge of the boards and Roz took out this weird ugly pair of skates that Mom and Dad had bought, just to embarrass me. I know they did it on purpose because in the Fall they had bought me a yellow rubber Southwester rain coat complete with yellow rubber Southwester hat to start to school. They tried to tell me I looked cute. I hated it.

The rink was full of boys and girls skating, twirling, playing tag, laughing and giggling... at me.

I hated them.... I sat on the boards and refused to go on the ice.... I never skated again.

Anything is possible - if you just try

In the fall of 1984 I had registered our boys, Brad and Jason, for hockey. Both had played house league for a few years by then. Brad had received a call before the season started but, as the start date approached, no one had called Jason. I called the coordinator and was told they were short a coach..... so I volunteered... how bad could it be, after all, I never played hockey, I don't skate and it was just house league.

They assigned me two assistants whose sons were on the team, the first was a neighbor while the second was, well for want of a better word, NUTS..... but both could skate.... Lordy Lordy... that first practice was a shocker.... being the last coach... or last choice as coach... the other coaches knew the players and had selected the best ones.... and my team knew it..... the pep talks started on day one....

But I will tell you, there is no greater talent than heart, because you can teach skill and positioning but you cannot teach heart.... and these boys had all it takes to win the Championship at year end.

That is the only year I coached hockey... to much politics, to much back biting.

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