By Tim Lacy, Special to the AFRO
The Washington Capitals had monopolized our TVs for the past two weeks. One couldn’t turn on the tube without seeing Ovechkin’s missing tooth smile looking out at you.
Hockey isn’t the most popular conversation among people of color, but there are some dyed in the wool fans who didn’t miss a minute of the playoff contests. I am among the so-so fans simply because, unlike other sports that come alive in my kitchen, when hockey is mentioned, the usual reply is, “Huh!”
It’s pretty hard to hold someone’s attention when Steph Curry “The Baby Faced Assassin” is doing battle against LeBron “The King” James on the next channel. My wife and the knuckleheads are Steph Curry fans and I am left with trying to hold a conversation with the toaster.
This contest was taken so seriously that the owner of my gym was part of a group that wouldn’t shave as long as the Caps kept winning. They should have been named the Grizzlys.
The winning of the Stanley Cup brought a whole new meaning of pride to the people of the metropolitan area. All shots of the celebration treated your eyes to a sea of red. Even the TV talking heads were dressed in red out of respect for a Championship team of homeboys.
My interest in hockey stems from my childhood when I was old enough to board a bus at the corner and venture out to an arena that had ice on the floor. This all came about as a coincidence, and the story is probably familiar to those of you who have survived puberty.
My cousin, David, had skates, and was the lucky recipient of a new pair for Christmas. This made me the beneficiary of his old skates. Some duct tape and a little shoe polish sufficed to make the necessary repairs to my newfound wealth. At the same time, I was friendly with a girl in my 8th grade class who had a sister. We would hang out together and this sister had my hormones bouncing all over the place. One of the favorite get out of the house activities was ice skating. I learned to skate.
Just before I went off to high school, I received a new pair of skates. This was timely because I went to school in New England and when it snowed you didn’t see the concrete from October to April. The favorite non varsity activity was hockey. It was play hockey or look out of the window.
I figured, “What the Hell?” I can skate. I was fast, but my skills would rate a 1 on the scale of 1-10. Remember, this was in the days of no mouthpiece and most of the guys were front teeth challenged. I guess this was the reason I longed for the basketball season, not to mention Ovie’s smile reminded me of the old days.
The Stanley Cup is firmly entrenched on our home turf, and now I can join in the arguments taking place in my kitchen. The topic du jour is Michael Jordan against Steph Curry in a one-on-one contest. My results will be posted here in our next edition.