Thought I’d wait for the New Year frenzy to settle down before I put together this list or I’m just lazy and procrastinatorial (to coin a word), which is something I should likely add to the ledger? Another reasonable excuse is my need to thaw out following a trip to the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor with Momma and friends, which was an unforgettable way to start 2014.
Regardless, I decided to jot down some resolutions I believe will resonate with my hockey dad/coach brethren, or at least those who are of reasonably sound mind and in tune with their true feelings; which I realize discounts a few out there — you know who you are…
1. I will endeavour to bite my tongue and control my digits when the men in stripes make what I feel are egregious errors in judgment. Thought I’d start with one of the most difficult resolutions and work my way down. I may have already blown this one up prior to publication, but ya had to be there to see the calls this dude was making (he says with total confidence and utter objectivity).
2. I will make every effort to heed the advice of the dazzling and admittedly oft correct Hockey Momma and lighten the weight of my right foot on the gas pedal when traversing snow covered highways on route to matches at rinks situated in the coldest of climes. Damn, number two ain’t gonna be easy either.
3. I will attempt to not make my 16 year old Devil child cry on the bench during a game. Ok, so yes, this happened once in the last month due to extenuating circumstances I assure you. And based on those same hormonally-driven reasons I’m not even sure if this can or should be my resolution, but I’ll include it here for posterity.
4. I will not lie awake in bed till all hours of the night rewinding games or deliberating line combinations in my head. This one will no doubt be harder and harder to fulfill as the season winds down and playoffs ensue.
5. I will make healthy choices for me and my finely tuned hockey progeny. I will not stop at Five Guys Burgers and Fries at 10:00pm after an away game for Double Cheeseburger Combos for the Devil and I. Any resolution list worth its weight (pun fully intended) includes something about healthy eating. I am, however, completely aware of the fact I do not maintain the mental fortitude to make this one last more than 30 days tops. I mean…have you ever been to a Five Guys with all its beefy, cheesy deliciousness?
6. I will not wish ill will on other hockey parents, coaches or beer league counterparts during the course of a game or otherwise. Again, a toughie to adhere to when engaged in the heat of high stakes midget girls’ competitive or even incredibly low stakes recreational mens’ hockey battle. The warrior spirit is hard to dash.
7. I will refrain from cheering against the Toronto Maple Leafs. ROFLMAO, I was just checking to see if you were paying attention. While I have my Winnipeg Jets to cheer for (which has been exceedingly hard to do based on their performance or lack thereof of late), I will remain a staunch anti-Leafs fan, if only to grate on the nerves of some of my nearest and dearest.
Not sure how I only just found this…pure YouTube genius don’t ya think?
8. I will try to not laugh (out loud) when I witness one of my kids make a particularly bone-headed play during a game or practice. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “If you can’t laugh at your own, who can you laugh at.”
You know damn right they’d be laughin’ at dear old Dad if the skate were on the other foot. Case in point was a practice earlier this week when yours truly caught a rut during a pre-practice pivot to fire a shot on net and found myself suspended in mid-air with enough time to realize how much landing was gonna hurt. My back met the frozen floor first, yanking pretty much all the breath from my unsuspecting lungs, followed shortly thereafter by my thankfully helmeted head. My back, head and neck would all suffer over the next two days. I scrambled to my hands and knees, gasping for whatever air I could find and hoping my foible went unnoticed, only to be met by the Devil’s grinning mug asking if I was ok? “Umm…no, give me a sec or two (to fill the virtual vacuum that is my chest cavity). Had I been a bystander witnessing me going ass over tea kettle, I can assure you it would have been met with something closer to gut-grabbing laughter. So, while at the time I sneered at her enjoyment of my misfortune, I shortly thereafter appreciated her simply being my kid.
9. I will pay all due reverence and humbled icy homage to the all-knowing, all-seeing Hockey Gods. Of course, in return I would like to receive the occasional lucky bounce, ricochet or outright victory at the Puck Deities’ discretion of course.
10. In line with it’s mystic predecessor, I will make an effort to not kowtow to silly superstitions. No habitually nervous pre-game bowel movements. No special t-shirts worn under my dress shirt. No counting the number of times the tape wraps around the stick blade or the shin guard. And yet again, who am I kidding. These are not trivial things one can simply resolve to stop doing at the risk of changing the course of history.
So there’s 10 to chew on. I likely cannot successfully accomplish a single one, but the first step is recognizing and admitting the need to change. I think I have at least a fighting chance with numero trois (pardon my French) and lucky number 9, since I can beg and grovel with the best of them.
Have any personal promises on a hockey list or otherwise you want to try to keep in 2014? I’d love to hear em and whether or not you think you can stick to em any better than I can. Good luck!