Thread: To a teammate
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01-24-2013, 02:01 PM
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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.

Skraut is offline   Reply With Quote