Thursday, January 1, 2009

Winter Classic at Wrigley Field

New Year's day and the NHL is playing an outdoor game today at Wrigley Field in Chicago. It's the Detroit Red Wings against the Chicago Blackhawks. A fierce rivalry that goes back to at least the 1950's that's certain to provoke passion. How cool is that?!

What intrigues me is the fact they are playing this year's game outside. Growing up in Michigan, I am use to seeing boys playing hockey on lakes. My brother-in-law grew up on Lake St. Clair ice boating, skating and playing hockey.

My family taught me how to skate. No inside rink for me. They took me to a pond, laced up the skates and let me loose. I promptly fell on my caboose. Not to worry, my mother bundled me up in so many layers I didn't feel a thing. I was padded more than any NHL goalie.

Sometimes, as I drive to work, I pass by homemade rinks complete with lights so kids can play hockey at night. And the children leave their wii's and ipods to play outside. Feel the cool wind in their face and the glint of sunlight as it blinds them to the oncoming puck aimed straight for their nose.

Hockey is a brutal sport. But it builds stamina and character (no high sticking).

Horray for outdoor hockey. Horray for the Red Wings and Blackhawks organizations. I hope the tradition lives on for many years.

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