When it comes to the dog days of summer, which by the temperatures of late is fast approaching, a sport played on ice seems to exist in the wrong time frame. Using the air conditioning in the car, putting on the iced Frog Togs to stay cool, and thinking about getting some bug spray for the gnats or whatever it is that keeps biting my feet in the grass by the ball field, all say summer.
I’ve switched to shorts and sandals to stay cool as well, giving the little buggers that hide in the tall grass an even better target. I know I should use sunscreen but, being a person who knows it’s good for me and actually doing it are two different things. One takes more effort, the other I can procrastinate away.
Kind of like should I eat that last donut … I know I shouldn’t but do it anyway.
Standing by a sport played on a field of ice seems counterintuitive right now, but the Predators are doing just that, still in the playoff hunt and tied – as of this writing – 2-2 in the playoff series with the Ducks.
Besides holding an affinity for football, and enjoying tennis – even though I misused meet for match and special thanks to coach Dunlap for setting me straight – I feel a special bond to ice hockey even though I was never a serious player. Growing up we had plenty of street hockey games and pickup ice hockey games in the winter when the lake froze. I think I enjoy hockey because it has personal history.
When I was in high school, I would help my father in his summer job when he was off from teaching painting apartments. The one thing I can remember clearly was having the radio on – we often worked later – and hearing the hockey game during the Stanley Cup playoffs when the Philadelphia Flyers were called the Broad Street Bullies due to their tough, aggressive style of play.
Bernie Parent was their goalie, and I had a film study teacher in school who was a personal friend of Bernie’s and would pass along anecdotes about how he could hoist two kegs of beer on both shoulders. The goalies at the time didn’t have the fancy gear goalies wear today, just what I call the “Jason” hockey mask.
The Flyers were a really good hockey team at the time, and Terry Crisp – who announces at the Predator games – played on the Broad Street Bully team. There have also been a lot of trades from the Predators to the Flyers and vice-versa so I am rooting for the Preds to win the Stanley Cup this year.
Like the 1992 Pioneers who won the state championship game, sports memories also mark the passage of time and place and can become indelible parts of who we are.