Every hockey season inevitably has to come to an end; far too early for most hockey dads including yours truly. However, this is an important time for all to rest, relax, reflect and maybe even pursue other interests or attend to certain neglected commitments. Young hockey players, as I’ve firmly stated previously, should be encouraged to try alternative sports or hobbies, in order to become better rounded athletes and people. That being said, dads, particularly those who pull double-duty as their kids’ coaches, can and no doubt do, keep one eye on the next campaign. With this in mind, here’s a brief list of suggestions for father’s looking to pass the time between puck drops in semi-constructive ways.
♠ Catch up on all those heart-wrenching episodes of The Bachelor you missed cuz you were always at a rink on Mondays at 8pm Eastern, 6pm Central and 5pm in the West. Spoiler alert: Juan Pablo and his Spanish accent are to die for #justsayin.
♣ Brew your own beer. You’ll need it to cry in after the last devastating loss when all you needed to do was beat a team you had already defeated by four goals once to advance to the next round.
♥ Focus on your job. Yeah, you know…that thing you do between 9am and 5pm most Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and occasional Saturdays.
♦ Calm the hell down. Yeah, you know who you are hockey dad. How bout yoga, a little zen meditation or maybe a stiff dose o’ Xanax?
♠ Perfect your mastery of the Oomphalapompatronium.
♣ Write a somewhat contrived, but mildly amusing blog post about what hockey dads should do when their kids’ season is prematurely over.
♥ Spend hours scouring the Internet for overly-complicated drills to impress parents who never come to watch their kids practice and thoroughly baffle your attention-challenged players who do.
♦ Play Scrabble in bed with your Hockey Momma or otherwise better half; occasionally allowing her to win if you know what’s good for you.
♠ Catch a game or two or 17 from the NHL, KHL, OHL, CWHL, ECHL, QMJHL or IDIDNTEVENKNOWTHEREWASHOCKEYINFIJIHL if you need a fix…..and you will undoubtedly need a fix about a day or two into your unwelcomed hiatus. There is no shortage of entertaining hockey out there if you want take the time to find it.
♣ Tackle the over-flowing Honey Do Jar that’s been staring down at you from on top of the fridge for the last 6+ months.
♥ Two words: Bikini Wax.
♦ Get yerself a ball o’ yarn, a coupla needles and take up knitting. Maybe knit a nice sweater.
♠ Find a missing Boeing 777 last seen somewhere over the Indian Ocean. While you’re at it, say hello to Amelia Earhart, Jim Morrison, D.B. Cooper and Bill Barilko (yes, I know his body was recovered, but I just couldn’t resist the aviation/hockey parallel, even if he was a Toronto Maple Leaf).
♣ Expand your sports horizons and check out other exciting pastimes. Like figure skating. Now there’s another ice sport you can really sink your teeth into and probably learn a thing or two from. So elegant, so graceful.
♥ Three more words: Extreme Navel Gazing
♦ Start a band, write a song, rent a Winnebago, go on the road, sleep with some groupies, get arrested, enter rehab, find Jesus, write a tell-all book, go on Oprah. That oughta kill a solid month.
♠ Go back over each period of every game from the season just past to figure out how you could have done things differently. Yeah, now there’s a constructive use of your time.
♣ Memorize all 118 elements in the Periodic Table. Cuz ya never know when you might be tested on that shit.
♥ Call up Dennis Rodman. Collaborate on a solid plan to quickly and peacefully end hostilities in the Ukraine.
♦ Lie motionless on a chaise lounge in the backyard with one of your homemade beers in one hand and whatever ya like in your other and stare up into the sky until you find the cloud which most resembles #4 Bobby Orr flying through the air after tucking the fourth goal behind St. Louis netminder Glenn Hall in the fourth period of the fourth game of 1970 Stanley Cup Finals.
Look Dad, we’re sorry, but hockey is not a 12 months of the year thing – nor should it be. How’s about ya just cool your jets and enjoy the Summer off with your family. The kid will be back on the ice and you’ll be back in your familiar spot down by the glass or behind the bench before ya know it. Now breathe, say four Hail Mary’s to the Hockey Gods and get back to the Indian Ocean cuz that plane sure as hell ain’t gonna find itself.
p.s. As always, I’m open to any other suggestions to help this restless dad pass the time.