The winter of 1987, my parents decided that it was time to get real serious about this being Canadian thing and to do probably one of the more drastic things parents from Saharan climate could do…enroll their only son (me) in HOCKEY!! The reason why I remember this year so vividly is because of two reasons, 1) it was my first hockey season and I was given #99, don’t ask me how I got this number, but I did and I had no clue as to the real significance of these two numbers I was wearing. For those of you, who don’t know, #99 is the very number that this guy made ridiculously famous, so much so that no one else in professional hockey can wear it…EVER. Reason #2, this was the first time I had ever heard my mother swear in English. You don’t understand the impact this had on my brain, my life, my way of thinking…here’s a glimpse at how the moment went down:
Setting: Mom is trying to tie my skates, because Dad was late coming to the arena from work…and action
Mom: I don’t understand why zey make zese sings so hard to tie…whoever heard of shoe wiz knife at bottom
Me: Mooooooooooom, they’re still too loose…I can’t even walk straight…where’s Daaaad??
Mom: Sherief, I don’t know where your dad iz…(mumbling to self in arabic)
Me: Moooooooom, hurry up we’re the last ones in the change room
Mom: I’m tryyyyy…SHIT!! you know what, zis iz good enough
So that’s how/why my hockey season in 1987 sticks out in my mind so much…important point, never annoy your parents while they are trying to tie your hockey skates, you probably won’t like the outcome. SIDENOTE: after my mom swore, I thought it was ok to swear as well…NO, it definitely was not…AT ALL.
Moving on, the point of my saunter down memory lane was to segue into my real point of discussion, the night of February 22, 2011. On this night I revisited the game called hockey, only this time I had no skates to worry about, no my friends, this time we would be playing hockey on the two feet god gave us and the skill that god blessed us with…some more than others. It was 2 on 2 hockey, one goalie…”hog” as the cool kids called it way back when. The uniform of choice was running shoes on the feet, soccer shin pads, soccer socks, male…I repeat MALE black tights, basketball shorts, winter gloves and a football jersey…you know, hockey stuff. I don’t think I will ever experience such a mix of physical and emotional feelings in my life. The fun and joy I got from running around with a stick in my hands as if I were that same young boy wearing #99, was almost immediately erased with the onset of lung failure, leg numbness and severe dizziness…aka I AM NOT THAT YOUNG BOY anymore!!!
Physical deficiencies aside, the game was a back and forth affair pitting two teams against each other that on paper and in actuality were very evenly matched. The wildcard in this scenario was the goalie, and I use that term very loosely. This goalie (no names will be used) was a brave man, not much earlier, this man had severe back pains and instead of cowering away and calling it a day, he decided to take seven Tylenol 3′s and “get this shit done.” Unfortunately, that is where his nobility ended, for he had a hell of a time actually being a goalie instead of just being dressed like one. He let in 17 goals, among them the infamous “blackberry goal”, in the span of six minutes. Players were literally shooting from anywhere in the gym and scoring- from halfcourt…scores, from the change room…scores, from behind a closed door…scores. Yes, he made some saves, some of them good too, but when you have a save percentage of .136, how can you talk about anything else???
Now usually street hockey games are stopped due to darkness outside, a player injury, a team actually winning, but rarely have you seen a game of hockey stopped because of vomit?!? Yes people, I think all the running and buckets of dripping sweat finally managed to overcome one of us and caused an excretion of all sorts of nasty stuff (hopefully the picture I’m trying to paint is working ;). Anyways, the game ended but the night didn’t…just when you thought this mystery goalie could not outdo himself with the comedy he provided playing goalie…he then provided the following gem:
Setting: Friends basement, eating McDonald’s @ 2am…ACTION
Goalie: Hey, you guys heard of the invisible suit??
All of us: What do you mean invisible suit??
Goalie: Some guy invented this suit that when you put it on it actually makes him invisible. It’s actually pretty crazy how well it works. I gotta picture, check it out…
(goalie goes to his trusty blackberry, the same blackberry that was launched 30 feet in the air from the infamous blackberry goal, and pulls up this picture)
Goalie: See it’s a suit of mirrors, and the reflection from the light makes him invisible! I remember when I was in San Diego, I was just walkin by and I saw this dude…it was CRAZY
WAIT, WHAT??? I’ll let you all of you who read this to make your own interpretations haha…can you vomit brain matter??? Hmmmm….