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Skraut 01-24-2013 02:01 PM

To a teammate
 
Hope you all will take a moment to let me share a story.

I play in an adult beginners league. Our team started together 3 years ago. 2 years ago we had several new teammates join, one of which I will call Bill for the sake of this story. While most of us were brand new in our 30's early 40's, Bill was a little older, and had been playing a little longer, and he quickly became essentially the captain of the defense. He set lines, helped players with positioning, tried his best to bail you out when you made a bad decision to pinch in, and with a smile reminded you to never do it again.

In the locker room / rink, Bill was all business. Never talked much about his family or other locker room chatter, just always talked about how we could all get better.

Sunday night we had had a game, Bill was his usual self, blasting shots from the point, handing out advice, taking a smart penalty to prevent a goal. Nobody had any indication of what was going on.

It was Monday night that an obituary made its rounds amongst our team. It was with disbelief that we read that Bill's 21 year old son had died of cancer on Sunday morning, about 10 hours before our game that evening. No one could believe it. Many of us had actually played a few games with his son a few years prior in a summer league, but he had quit abruptly with no explanation. Now we knew why.

A number of us from the team showed up together at the visitation, and Bill expressed gratitude for us for coming, and explained he had been up for over 36 hours before that Sunday game, because they knew it was his son's time. But then he came to the game as a way of getting his mind off things for a little while. The game gave him a few hours of "normalcy" in an otherwise day from hell. His wife explained that she was appreciative of our team for providing an escape.

I just figured I would share this story with other players, because sometimes hockey is just a game. Sometimes it is something more.

jhjhjhjhjhjh* 01-24-2013 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skraut (Post 58236635)
Hope you all will take a moment to let me share a story.

I play in an adult beginners league. Our team started together 3 years ago. 2 years ago we had several new teammates join, one of which I will call Bill for the sake of this story. While most of us were brand new in our 30's early 40's, Bill was a little older, and had been playing a little longer, and he quickly became essentially the captain of the defense. He set lines, helped players with positioning, tried his best to bail you out when you made a bad decision to pinch in, and with a smile reminded you to never do it again.

In the locker room / rink, Bill was all business. Never talked much about his family or other locker room chatter, just always talked about how we could all get better.

Sunday night we had had a game, Bill was his usual self, blasting shots from the point, handing out advice, taking a smart penalty to prevent a goal. Nobody had any indication of what was going on.

It was Monday night that an obituary made its rounds amongst our team. It was with disbelief that we read that Bill's 21 year old son had died of cancer on Sunday morning, about 10 hours before our game that evening. No one could believe it. Many of us had actually played a few games with his son a few years prior in a summer league, but he had quit abruptly with no explanation. Now we knew why.

A number of us from the team showed up together at the visitation, and Bill expressed gratitude for us for coming, and explained he had been up for over 36 hours before that Sunday game, because they knew it was his son's time. But then he came to the game as a way of getting his mind off things for a little while. The game gave him a few hours of "normalcy" in an otherwise day from hell. His wife explained that she was appreciative of our team for providing an escape.

I just figured I would share this story with other players, because sometimes hockey is just a game. Sometimes it is something more.

Hockey definitely is something special, it's always a way to take your mind off of things and just play the game you love.

deeman 01-24-2013 02:25 PM

Wow, what an amazing post in so many ways.

itsjustsurvival 01-24-2013 03:31 PM

Thanks for sharing that story.

JR97 01-24-2013 07:38 PM

great story. sorry for the loss. That is so damn young to die from anything let alone cancer. At least he got to know the joy of hockey. That's a great team effort there, too.

Ozz 01-24-2013 08:04 PM

Awful that such commentary has to come from such circumstances :(

I Am Score* 01-24-2013 09:54 PM

This story really touched me.

So sad how these things happen at random. Like alot of great things, it's always nice to use them as escapes for your problems even if it is just a little bit.

I know his son is probably smiling down at him as he whizzes past players on the ice. What a quality guy. May his son RIP.

TheeNorthStar 01-24-2013 10:14 PM

Thank you for sharing.

Hockey is thee best.

JoeCool16 01-25-2013 12:31 AM

Touching story, it really goes to show that a good team bond is powerful like little else.

Danglous 01-25-2013 12:38 AM

Hockey always helps me take my mind off of things

shoeshine boy 01-25-2013 07:33 AM

I'm glad you guys were there for him and glad you went to the visitation.
a few years ago my mom died the day before Thanksgiving. I was scheduled to play in a tournament that weekend with a group of friends. being a holiday weekend we knew we'd have to wait until the following week to have her funeral so rather than sit around and feel sad I opted to play in the tourney. it was the perfect escape for what otherwise would've been the longest weekend of my life.

Jarick 01-25-2013 11:44 AM

Great story, although it's sad.

I know an old teammate played the day after his dad died of a heart attack. Younger guy in his 20's. Again, just to take the mind off for a couple hours.

I've done it too...played when my kid was in the hospital, good to get out.

The best though was moving out of my ex's place one weekend and her telling me she had "started" dating the guy I knew she was banging behind my back for a while. I got to hockey that evening and said "I am so pissed off, I am going to DESTROY whoever gets in my way."

That was the day I scored 4 goals, had 5 points, and missed on three more breakaways. Best game to date.

We still laugh about that one...

GrafSk8r12 01-25-2013 12:26 PM

What a touching story. Thank you for sharing, and good on all of you guys for being there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shoeshine boy (Post 58301531)
I'm glad you guys were there for him and glad you went to the visitation.
a few years ago my mom died the day before Thanksgiving. I was scheduled to play in a tournament that weekend with a group of friends. being a holiday weekend we knew we'd have to wait until the following week to have her funeral so rather than sit around and feel sad I opted to play in the tourney. it was the perfect escape for what otherwise would've been the longest weekend of my life.

I know exactly what you mean. My mom passed away last October, and one of my teams was scheduled to play almost right after the visitation. Playing that night was the best thing I could have done at the time. There's just something about being on the ice that helps temporarily escape any troubles or forgot that there's anything wrong in life.

TUCKER 06 01-25-2013 01:01 PM

Add my thanks for sharing that story. It's touching that you and some team mates went to the visitation to show your support for your friend.

People who don't play hockey don't always seem to understand that it can be MORE than just a game to many people. My fiancÚ has no clue and nothing that I seem to say will make her understand.

TickleMeYandle 01-25-2013 02:14 PM

I've had the same experience. This past November there were some things going on that were very stressful for me. Everything seemed to hit all at once.

I was on my way to a game and seriously considering not playing - I figured that with my mind so full of troubles, I would likely be a liability on the ice, moreso than usual. But I went anyway and decided to give it my full effort, however much that might be.

That hour was a blessing. Nobody in the locker room knew what was going on (and they still don't) but just joking around, preparing for the game and then going on the ice was enough to give me a mental break from my problems. Even though the problems were still there when I got back home, it was a bit of a 'reset' that allowed me to clear my head.

Anyone who doesn't play thinks that it's just a game. But anyone who has played on a team learns otherwise. It's not that the team does anything at all to fix the problems in life, it's that going out there with the team and giving it a 100% effort just makes those problems more bearable.

AcidJazz 01-25-2013 03:27 PM

As a new father, I can't imagine what it would be like to lose my kid. RIP. Stay strong Bill.

predfan24 01-25-2013 03:38 PM

That's an amazing story. Thanks for sharing. I've said a million times and I'll say it again. In general hockey people are really great people.


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