A Group of People

Watching Hockey with Dad #NHL #StanleyCup

In hockey, stanley cup on June 2, 2011 at 1:05 am

By Gunnar Simonsen

My parents were from the East Coast, and in this they brought their love of hockey out west.

Some of my earliest memories with my dad were that of attending hockey games at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon. From the old Buckeroos to the WinterHawks, we saw some great hockey together.

What I would give to see one more game with dad.

To me, there was nothing like the experience of listening to the sold out crowd sing loud and proud our National Anthem and then to sit back to work on some red ropes or that malt ice cream with the wooden spoon in the cover.

Of course, there was that one game against the Victoria Cougars where the visiting team broke rank in the middle of our National Anthem and started skating around. Leading the way was dad in a loud chorus of boo’s and I am sure a few other words.

I had one of these pucks for years.

It’s funny, as dad grew older and his cancer grew to get the better of him, one thing still remained til the very end… dad loved to talk hockey, especially about the Buckeroos. Dad had a memory for things like that and would launch into stories like he was right there standing amidst them unfolding for the first time.

Dad was also a very knowledgable fan as well. That being said, he also had no problems letting the refs know how he felt about their officiating. From time to time, he had no problems telling certain opposing players what he felt about them too.

I still laugh at the time we were at the Winter Hawks game as they were hosting the New Westminster Bruins. Portland had a great team at the time and the Bruins were tough, they also were a bunch of thugs.

During the game, my dad got so mad at one of the players and stood up to tell him he was so ugly his mom didn’t even love him. This was great because we always sat right near the visitors bench. This brought cheers from those around us, but we were also close enough to draw jeers from those just beyond us wearing the visitors team jersey.

Of course dad didn’t mean that or believe it was true, but he sure delivered it with a compelling belief and timeliness. Come to think of it, dad always displayed great timing in whatever he did. He also delivered things in a way that made you feel compelled about the things he was compelled about.

I write this as I watch the Stanley Cup finals between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins and man, I sure miss him.

After dad passed in 2003, watching hockey was never the same again.

But one thing he did teach me about watching hockey that will always remain the same is… enjoy the experience and become a part of the experience by engaging that which your eyes were seeing and your heart was feeling… in that experience.

If I can’t do that, then why bother? …and that includes life, too.

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