Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Scribblings #150--Sports

Like my mother, I was never much into sports. My reasons were solely rooted in pride. I didn't understand the rules of the games, and, somewhat ironically, I didn't want to. If I learned the rules, then I'd be expected to participate, and my lack of coordination would rear its ugly head; thus, I would embarrass myself even more than usual.

However, one sport I did learn to like and did understand (thanks to junior high P.E.), was hockey. I used to joke that I should have been born in Canada, since our northern neighbors seem to enjoy the sport more than the population of the States in general. I don't really follow pro hockey, though I claim loyalties to the Montreal Canadiens. And, to a lesser extent, the St. Louis Blues. There's really no reason for either of these loyalties. I sort of like the Colorado Avalanche and the Phoenix Coyotes because of their names and logos, also. Really, now that I think of it, name and logo have a lot to do with my choosing which hockey teams I "like," even though I don't follow any of them.

Anyway, I was talking about P.E. The only times I ever got excited in P.E. were 1) When I was asked to run an errand, thus saving me from running laps or participating in class, 2) When I was allowed a leave of absense to go to the bathroom or get a drink (not that I ever needed either, but these were, once again, chances to leave and save myself a little embarrassment) or 3) When we played roller hockey--without the skates. I became vicious and ruthless during hockey. I took the position of center, even when I was assigned a defensive position (meaning that I played both offensive and defensive when I was supposed to only be protecting the goalie box). This does not mean I was good at the sport, by any means, but it was the only sport I actually tried at.

One time, my friend, BW was in P.E. with me and she let the puck slide right past her and into the goalie box, scoring a goal for the other team. I charged her, and nearly threw my hockey stick on the ground. "What was that?!" I screamed at her.

"I don't know--didn't feel like going after it."

"Didn't feel like what!" I was turning into a drill sergeant. "All you had to do was put the stick out and stop the thing. I could have taken it from there!" I was obviously high-sticking by this point. My P.E. teacher was so thrilled that I was actually participating that she overlooked my high-sticking infraction and did not give me time in the "penalty box" (a.k.a. the bleachers).

In 7th grade I memorized the names of all the teams in the NHL. For what purpose, I'll never know. That same year, I wrote a letter (that I never sent, thank God) to the Canadiens practically begging them to allow me, a 13-year-old American female, to play for their team. Fortunately, that was also the year I took up the guitar, and my strangely eclectic interests took a turn in another, more musical and literary, direction. It's a good thing, too. I'd have never made it as a pro-hockey player.

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ChefDruck said...

What a wonderful story! You have so many great images. I'd love to hear about your many other ecclectic hobbies you collected over the years.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

I think a lot of us had that experience of the one sport we actually enjoyed, while the rest of PE was little more than torture. My problem, though, was that I couldn't see and didn't realize how truly bad the problem was until I got glasses in high school.

Nice essay, and I'm sure a lot of people can relate.

Robin said...

As a dyed in the wool third generation New York Rangers hockey fan this cracked me up.

As for actually playing sports in gym class? I sucked, and I hated it LOL. Still can't skate worth a damn either.

Marguerite said...

I can only imagine you high sticking and yelling at BW! I have to agree with you--it's probably better you turned to other eclectic interests.

Good post.

BJ Roan said...

I can't imagine you yelling at BW! You've shown me a whole new side of that nice, sweet Sunshine. I enjoyed reading this post. I think the loathing of P.E. runs in the 3!

Tumblewords: said...

Some people (BW) should never be allowed to play goalie. Good post - well written with great imagery.

Anonymous said...

good scribbling :D

chk mine at