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I have been a fan of Kirby Puckett since his rookie year. My entire family bases the quality of any sports moment on how it compares with "the solo home run in game six." If you don't get it, you're not one of us. When he was forced to retire, I attended his final ceremonies so pregnant with my daughter that I couldn't even fit into the stadium seat. In addition, I had a severe eye infection that made it virtually impossible to see. My eyesight was permanently damaged at about the same time as Kirby's. Nevertheless, NOTHING was going to keep me from being at that ceremony. I spent the entire evening with tears streaming down my face, clapping until my fingers were numb. When my daughter was born several weeks later, the first outift I bought for her was a Twins jersey with number 34 on the back. She is now ten years old. Last night, before we heard the news, I was reminiscing with her about how she was there, invitro, when Kirby retired. What this man did for the game of baseball and the state of Minnesota is indefinable. Even kids who were not even born when he played are sad today. Those of us who saw him play are devastated. He was a living icon, a real person, like in the old days of baseball. A man who loved what he did and led everyone around him to believe that it never had to end. The final home run, my friend. Rest in peace.
posted by hockeygirl at 11:08 AM on March 07
Don't let the actions of a few spoiled brats scare you. The people come and go, but hockey remains hockey. It's the game that really matters. There is nothng in the world like the sounds of skates and sticks on ice. The game is fast, challenging and incredibly fun to watch. It will take you an entire season just to understand everything--you won't have time to worry about the players and owners behaving like children this past year. Once you understand it, as you can see by many of these postings, you're hooked. Give the game a chance, even if some of the people involved in it leave something to be desired.
posted by hockeygirl at 07:31 PM on July 06
I wouldn't fault anyone who gave up on this league, either. All I would say is, if you're going to quit, quit with dignity. WE (the fans) are the ones who have been wronged here, and whether we go or stay, we have to do it with our heads held high, believing that we're doing the right thing. This crawling back with apologies (or not even bothering to crawl back with apologies) is consummately wimpy. I for one would have a lot more respect for a player who owned up to the fact that he struck because he was greedy, than for one who says, "The Union made me do it." Same goes for the fans. If we go back, we go back the victors -- after all, we got hockey back, didn't we? If we stay away, we stay away out of a sense of conviction that the recent behavior of the NHL should not be condoned. Either way, we have to be the ones to take a stand and stick to it. I've already said that I'm going back, but I fully support those who choose to stay away. Power in this country comes from the dollar. We ALL have control over where we choose to spend our money. If we choose not to own this sport in America, then it will cease to exist. If we choose to own it, then it will continue. No matter how much the players make, the net worth of the fans far exceeds the players' paychecks. Therein, one way or another, lies the fans' strength.
posted by hockeygirl at 02:43 PM on July 06
I personally wish that I could spend an entire year with no particular problems other than negotiating the number in millions of dollars that I would be allowed to receive in coming years. However, in the real world, the rest of us have to go on. We went on for a whole year without hockey. It's a heck of a lot easier to get by WITH hockey. For that reason, I simply do not care who is to blame. We get hockey back. Our season tickets are good again. We go back to our individualized rituals, the practice of which is sure to push our team into victory. I live in Minnesota. We simply have nothing else to get us through eight months of cold and darkness. My daughter thinks that the national anthem goes "O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave let's play hockey." Now is not the time for the fans to take their proverbial toys and go home. The players and owners already proved who loses when that happens. Let's choose to be the grown-ups here, welcome our teams back with open arms, and show them exactly what they miss when they stomp their feet over a few petty millions. Let the money people worry about the money. As for me, I drug out my jersey, polished off my commemorative puck, went over the roster one last time for good measure, and I will be there, first in line, to watch that puck drop this fall. As I said, maybe the players can afford to be descriminating, but the rest of us just have to go on.
posted by hockeygirl at 12:29 PM on July 06
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