THE BLOG

Sometimes You Suck: 2008 Stanley Cup Supplemental Reading

05/22/2008 02:13 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Lake Tranquility is the perfect size for hockey. It's small enough to freeze but big enough to set up two goals without getting in other people's way. A high school winter break can drag on if you don't keep busy. So John invited us to play ice hockey on the lake. Why not?

I knew I couldn't skate worth a damn. There was no hiding it. The teams were divided amongst me, John our two other high school buddies and a bunch of grammar school kids who skated on ice better than I walked on land. All agreed I should play goalie.

I got bored playing goalie. I called to one of the younger kids, "Hey, how about you let me go out there for a while and you play goal."

"No way," the kid said, literally skating circles around me.

"Well," I said, trying to offer some kind of lesson to the lad, "Don't you think it's fair that we should all get a chance to play different positions?"

"No way, man" he said again.

"Why not?" I said.

"'Cuz you suck." he said.

With that, I dropped my stick and chased and chased and chased this little maggot. I couldn't catch him. He was right; I did suck. I accepted my place in goal for the rest of the afternoon.

John's got kids now -- twin boys. They are addicted to hockey. They play in a league where, already
this year, they 've played 55 games in 4 states. And that's just for the winter "traveling season." These boys only seven years old. They receive top-notch instruction from a man who was teammates or roommates or some kind of mate with Martin St. Louis. Will the boys grow up to be like the Lundquist twins or the Staal brothers? I hope so, if that's what they want.

Whatever happens I hope they learn that in some games, in some sports, sometimes you suck.