As I’ve mentioned once or twice NHL hockey is back this week. Yesterday (Wednesday)was the first day of the season.
I can’t begin to imagine being a rookie. Most of these guys were skating before they were walking and most likely grew up in a small arena somewhere living on slush puppies and hockey nets (criss-cut french fries) from the snack bar. Now, as they take the ice they are basically experiencing their life-long dream. I can’t conceive the nerves of transitioning to the main stage.
Last night Auston Matthews did just that.
On his first shift on the ice and the first time he touched the puck, he took a shot. He scored. If that was all he did last night, it would have been a phenomenal victory for a rookie. That was only the beginning of Auston’s debut night.
He took another shot- goal. Another shot- goal. If you’re counting, this kid got a freaking hat trick off of his first three shots ever in the NHL. With three seconds left in the second period he scored his fourth goal. FOURTH goal in one game, his first game.
By now, every member of every fantasy hockey league was frantically searching willing to drop practically anyone if he was available. History was made. First player ever in an NHL debut to score a fantastic four goals.
All of that and they ended up losing in overtime to which new kid took full responsibility for that last play not going right.
Of all the interviews I think my favorite had to be his quote of the night as a whole and his personal debut, “Hopefully, I did alright.”
As my mom pointed out– unless they were hoping he would also clean the bathrooms in the arena during intermissions, pretty sure he did alright.
How stinkin’ humble is that? The guy basically was the only offensive contributor and yet is the first to stand up and say he’s responsible for losing the game. I’m trying to remember the last time a professional basketball player was that humble.
My other favorite part of this whole incident is the way the other athletes in the league responded. Among all of the congratulations from notable veterans of the sport were these few favorite tweets of mine:
“What’s the big deal? I scored 4 goals… in my career” – Frazer McLaren
“Auston Matthews might have more career NHL goals than me before the night is over.” – Tom Sestito
“Wow!!! Welcome to our beer league LOL #congrats #easygame” – Kris Letang
“Since the start of this game I didn’t even have a chance to drink 4beers and hes got 4 goals #Matthews” – Marian Gaborik
“Feels like I’m watching mite hockey where thee’s that one kid who’s just way better than everyone else. Congrats” – Martin St Louis
Hockey is just the happiest family.
There is this crazy thought out there in the world that young or new people don’t bring value. I’ve heard it in the law enforcement world and it’s nonsense. Everyone can bring something to the table. Whether it’s a new idea or knowledge learned through experience, we are all important.
My point, if I really have a point other than that hockey is the best, is that if you go about anything with humility, you are full of worth in my book.
Be real. Be humble. You can tell me about the days you weren’t perfect. The days you left the laundry out for 27 days before putting it away. The days you used a wooden spoon and Tupperware for cereal instead of washing dishes.
Let me share a snapshot of my real and glamorous chronically ill life: two days ago I took all of my pills, immediately threw them up in my mouth, debated for a second, then re-swallowed it all so I wouldn’t waste pills. I’m too sick to shower every other day sometimes. Sometimes I go three or four days because I’m too sick or weak. I start projects and get three steps in then don’t finish them for weeks and months sometimes. I make messes. I leave dishes on my nightstand for days. Are there currently Taco Bell hot sauce packets on my nightstand and Reese’s Klondike bar wrappers? Yes. I preach joy, but I totally pout and whine sometimes too. I get embarrassed when I have to use oxygen or be in my wheelchair. I feel guilty when I park in disabled parking spots. Some days I’m strong about needles. Some times I cry thinking about an upcoming IV.
The comment I hear the most about my blog is that I’m so ‘real’ and transparent. I’ll always take that as a compliment. If I help any one person out there to feel better and know they aren’t alone, it was worth the time to write that post.
P.S. Do you think that guy in our fantasy hockey league will trade me Mr. Auston Matthews?