2 min read
WHY I HATE HOCKEY
AND HOW WE CHOOSE THE THINGS WE DO AND DON'T LIKE.
WHEN I WAS IN, LIKE, THE THIRD GRADE, I PISSED MY PANTS PLAYING ROLLER HOCKEY.
The problem, other than me, was my goalie equipment. But before we get into why it was something else’s fault and not my own, some backstory first.
When I was little I always wanted to play whatever position in whatever sport got to wear the best outfit. Since I was okay at sports and nobody quite wants to play goalie or catcher, they usually just let me do my thing.
So there I am, playing goalie for my roller hockey team at Great Skate in St. Charles, Missouri. We wore the teal jerseys. I was having a decent season.
You know those sociopaths who later in life become hockey parents? In St. Charles, our particular variety — in addition to barking at Jimmy and Billy from the stands whilst washing down their slim jims with beer in the late morning — took elaborate, detailed, exhaustive statistical notes about the nine-year-olds on the rink in front of them. After games they’d update the latest stats in the galley so all the parents could measure their return on investment.
Soon I would have the second most saves in the nine-year-olds league. Soon I would start realizing my status as a budding young demigod on rubber wheels.
Please understand, though, that hockey demigods need to aggressively hydrate before taking their throne. I made sure my agent, Mom, brought a giant Gatorade. I guzzled it. Just like Mike.
Luckily, the team we played sucked and I barely had to do anything. But slightly less fortunate was the amount of Gatorade a nine-year-old, ultra-hydrated hockey demigod drinks when he’s bored as shit watching Jimmy and Billy absolutely carve up the defense and, more importantly, avoid their ass whoopins tonight.
Soon I had to pee with entirely too much time on the clock. Wisely, I resolved to stare with intensity and watch it tick.
When my legs started to shake I knew I was fucked. And right then, one of their forwards tore off on a breakaway.
Uh oh. I might have to, you know, do something.
We were little, so breakaways took a solid 15-20 seconds to really metastasize. I knew that provided plenty of time to piss my padded pants to completion. So the first thing I did, again showing wisdom uncommon at nine, was evacuate my bladder.
Then, I made the save. But both refs blew their whistles right after my save when someone slipped and fell from skating through my piss puddle.
It’s funny how traumatic memories decay into black holes, because I don’t remember much of what happened when the coaches left their benches to investigate the problem alongside the refs. Only a few details remain.
I remember deciding in that moment to hate hockey forever and never play it again.
I remember when Coach tried to help me out by saying I must’ve spilled the Gatorade that was in the water bottle sitting on the back of the net. He wasn’t wrong.
I remember saying I felt sick and leaving at halftime. I remember the car ride home when my agent asked if I had anything I wanted to tell her about the Gatorade I spilled all over my goalie pads.