Monday, August 6

NORTE: I am Norte. I love hockey. You know how within groups of women, there is always the one fat friend? You know when they travel in their bunches, their packs? Indiscriminate number group of cute girls together, one…you know….what they call around my parts: big girl. Let me say that nobody loves a big girl more than me, you ask anyone. But you know how you always get the one fat one? In the hockey world that fat girl (who you better not go to bed with no matter how drunk you were) is the goalie. I am Norte. I love hockey and I am that fat girl.

I also think that goalies, like homosexuals and fat girls, have it in their genes (their jeans?). Goalies just know. From the first moment their eyes lay upon the sweet game…they know. They are a goalie. Now you may hear stories from other people telling you that the chubby kid was always the goalie. Sure its cos he couldn’t skate, his ankles couldn’t support the weight. And while I will admit to a certain proclivity of goalies being former fatties (present company included) a real goalie, a goalie born, has it in his blood like leukemia or alcoholism.

I am Norte. I love hockey. I am a goalie. My drink of choice, ladies and gentlemen, is the very excellent Toronto Maple Leafs. Who are, if you asked my humble opinion, the martini of the NHL. If you cut me open I bleed blue. That’s how deep that shit goes. It’s like politics; my father was a Leafs fan, I am a Leafs fan, my son will be a Leafs fan.

Quite frankly I have at times felt alarmed with my passion for this team. For example it’s the only time I have ever been violent. Watching Darcy Tucker demolish some mother fucker into the boards has brought me to my feet. Literally. Watching Tie Domi beat the shit out of guys could reduce me to Lord of the Pigs like cruelty. Yet violence like that on the street I really have no stomach for. I am a lover not a fighter….but I have been on many many occasions ready, willing and able to take one for my team. You are either with us or against us. Sure I respect other teams and even have a second favorite…and really second favorite is good. (Sarcastic voice) Really, really, it’s good and besides silver goes with your eyes…it really does. (Gently strokes hair and hums affectionately)

The part that’s always frightened me about my love of hockey was how its disappointments (remember I am a Leafs fan) how its many disappointments left me feeling crushed, empty. Akin to getting dumped by my girlfriend, which happened to me in both the Wendel Clark and Sundin years (twice). I don’t cry cos really I’m all cried out. I may be a pessimistic fan at times but they are my team and like Harold Ballard didn’t once say, “you will always take that bitch back.”

And you can go ahead and call me old fashioned but I am at an age before the dawn of mylar. When hockey cards were scrambled or played. We are from the same generation, you and me, if you know what I mean by play hockey cards. The knock down the cards leaned up against the wall game or flick it closest to the wall game. The word scramble makes me flinch to this day. And I truly feel sorry for the child that doesn’t know the beautiful summer sound of a hockey card in a spoke. And for those of you thinking it…a playing card just doesn’t sound the same. Come back in another 50 years and I will be saying the same thing only prefaced with a craggily voice and the phrase Back in my day…

My point to you is that I love hockey. I love hockey a lot.

By the way fellow babies…..blogger!

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