Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hockey Halloween

Melissa and I went out Halloweening over the weekend. It was good times.

I decided to be a hockey player and Melissa was my hot little "puck bunny". If you're wondering what a puck bunny is, I'll explain: It's the girl who goes to every game, all dressed up with tons of makeup, wearing the team jersey and hoping to score!

Yeah Hockey! jk. I think this is super funny because of more than the obvious reasons (I did look pretty bad ass with my black eye though...and it's kind of funny that Melissa is holding my 'hockey' stick in this picture...I guess she liked the black eye too! I'm such a manly man!)

I have a mixed opinion about hockey players. When I went to the National Sports School most of my classes were full of these hard working and talented souls! Just imagine how much fun it was for me, the male gymnast, to be in this environment. They thought that I pranced around the floor with a ribbon to a Celine Dion song. Not all of them, but many of them. I'm over it, but do you know what feels kind of great? I don't think any of them made it NHL. haha. Suckers!

I have met many NHLers whom I really respect and admire though. I wasn't exactly trying to portray an NHL star with my costume. I was trying to poke fun at the weekend warrior, the small town boy with big dreams, the one who is so manly and tough that he earns the respect of those around him...and if they don't respect him then he punches them out! Yes folks, I was the number one hockey player in ANY small town!

I do have a small beef about NHL hockey that I would like to share. The pay checks. Right after Athens I did a talk at the Calgary Booster Club's Sportsman of the Year Dinner. Ken King, President of the Calgary Flames and a buddy of mine, was at the dinner as well. This was around the time when hockey was struggling with the price caps and all of that BS. Anyway, when I opened my presentation I started talking about my start in sport as a hockey player at 5 years old. Then I talked about how gymnastics and hockey started to conflict when I was about 7 because of the overwhelming time commitments and about how my parents made me choose between the 2. I told the audience how I thought I picked the right sport...They nodded their approval. But then I hit them with this gem: "because if I was a hockey player then I wouldn't be able to pay my mortgage this year. Wah Wah!" It got a huge applause, even some cheers. It was one of my finer comedic moments!

Seriously though, I don't think the hockey guys truly understand how difficult it is financially for many amateur athletes. I can't imagine any of them agreeing to play for $18,000 a year (this is the paycheck to be a carded athlete in Canada...and many of us are doing our sport full-time). That is less than what many of them make in a week. But I guess they are hard done by when it comes to professional sport. I have heard of some salaries in soccer and basketball that are absolutely ridiculous. 25 million a year...I don't think I could even spend that much cash!

Halloween was sweet. I had my night as a rough and tough hockey phenom and it was fun while it lasted, but I've decided to retire from that night was enough. And I even got the hottest puck bunny of them all! He shoots, he scores! haha. Plus, I don't have any time for hockey...I've got some important ribbon twirling to attend to!

Have a fun and safe Halloween!


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