Hockey Fan

Moose Jaw - - National / International News - By Wanda Smith

I came by it hon­estly... be­ing the hockey fan I am. My dad was a big “Hockey Night in Canada” sup­porter; sit­ting com­fort­ably with a con­tainer of yo­gurt and a big spoon, he’d set­tle in for the night. The Oil­ers were the team to beat in those days. I spent many hours talk­ing hockey with my dad and an­a­lyz­ing the game un­til I had to head to bed. Since my be­d­room was just off of the liv­ing room, I’d be lulled to sleep with the rise and fall of the broad­caster’s voice.

The Satur­day night tra­di­tion soon turned into a fa­ther/ daugh­ter team at the rink many Fri­day nights or Satur­days. Al­though my dad didn’t have the chance to grow up play­ing hockey, he joined the se­nior team in our home town. He also did a sig­nif­i­cant amount of of­fi­ci­at­ing each win­ter; some­times up­wards of sixty games. I thor­oughly en­joyed go­ing to watch hockey so it was easy to move into man­ning the penalty box/time keep­ing. We had a good thing go­ing. Since I knew my dad and he knew me, we were able to com­mu­ni­cate well and could work ef­fi­ciently to­gether as of­fi­cials. About the time I was in my mid-teens, our fam­ily be­came friends with one of the Moose Jaw War­riors’ for­wards and his fam­ily. We spent many hours in the Crushed Can, the land now home to a brand new mall. The late 80’s, early 90’s boasted some strong WHL hockey and I en­joyed keep­ing scrap­books and stats, lis­ten­ing to Bryn Grif­fiths and Rob Car­ney as they kept us con­nected through the ra­dio waves. I even recorded games on cas­settes on my ghetto blaster! I was known around my school as be­ing a huge War­rior fan. Mar­riage to a non-sports fan and moth­er­hood took me away from the sports scene; I be­came in­volved in do­ing what was of in­ter­est to Hubby and our sweet peas. How­ever, re­cently I’ve had op­por­tu­nity to see a few games in per­son and pe­ri­od­i­cally lis­ten to the ra­dio to stay up to date with how the boys are do­ing. Thank­fully, Big Sweet Pea has de­vel­oped a love of the game, too so we catch a few games to­gether from time to time.

I like the game for many rea­sons; in fact, in the past, I would’ve said that I loved the game for many rea­sons. But truly, we are to only love God and love peo­ple (our­selves in­cluded). “...’you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neigh­bor as your­self.’” (Luke 10:27) It is in­ter­est­ing how many times “love” has be­come a part of our ev­ery­day language... I love cof­fee. I love sum­mer. I love hockey. I love... (fill in the blanks). We’ve cheap­ened love and use the term loosely with­out giv­ing it any thought. Love is not a term to be thrown around lightly. Love is an act of one’s will, a choice if you will, to love with­out con­di­tions... to love with­out ex­pec­ta­tions... to self­lessly love (not self­ishly love)... to love when our child, spouse, neigh­bor or stranger is unlovely to­wards us or oth­ers. No mat­ter how much we greatly ad­mire or value some­thing, noth­ing should be more valu­able to us than God or peo­ple. “Above all, love each other deeply, be­cause love cov­ers over a mul­ti­tude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) Be­sides giv­ing me an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for hockey, Dad also taught me the im­por­tance of lov­ing God and peo­ple. Watch your words and share the love. Let love be your mo­ti­va­tion this week.

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