April 14th, 2008
What a glorious time of year to be a sports fan. Between the NHL playoffs, the world curling championships, the Master's golf tournament, the major league baseball season beginning and the NBA entering its most crucial time of the year, one needs a couple of extra pairs of eyes and a few TV sets just to keep up!
I came by my sports fanaticism quite naturally. I wasn't born a “Blue Baby”, I was born a “Blue and White” baby. My Mom was a die hard Maple Leafs fan. Yes, my parents and all eight siblings were huge sports fans. In retrospect, given the Toronto Maple Leafs futility since their 1960's glory days, I sometimes wish she would have cheered for someone else!
Mom's 86 years old now, and I'm not sure if she watches much hockey anymore but everyone who knows her at all had better not call her when her beloved Blue Jays are on TV! How can anyone not know when the Blue Jays are playing, for Heaven's sake!
One of my earliest childhood memories, of sports watching, was coming home from school to find Dad in the living room with the windows covered over, blocking any sunlight coming in, so the fuzzy black and white TV images of the afternoon World Series games were easier to see.
Now we have 52” High Definition Plasma TVs. We have satellite dishes bringing in hundreds of stations. Gone are the days of fiddling with tin foil wrapped “rabbit ears” antennas with your brother yelling at you to move it to the right. NO! THE RIGHT!!
The family tradition has continued as my three children became sports fans almost through osmosis; they have always been exposed to it. Even now, years later, they know that the “Hockey Night In Canada” theme song signifies “Quiet Time”! For them anyway!
Our eldest daughter was just over a year old and spending a lot of “quality time” watching playoff hockey with me. Her budding vocabulary was starting to take on a more interesting vernacular when her mother put an end to my “cheering”?! Not all the cheering, just the saltier stuff.
Again, my cheering came naturally enough. Mom could not restrain her disdain for Danny Gallivan's bias calling of the Montreal Canadiens' games. As I recall, she did a pretty good impression of Danny calling out “CORN-WHY-AY”every time Yvan Cournoyer touched the puck!
As our thoughts move toward the fast-approaching springtime and the imminent yard-work it entails, I for one, wouldn't be too disappointed with a few more weeks of ugly weather. I'm not hoping for it! But if it happens, it might ease my guilty, sports-addicted conscience.
“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer,”-Mark Twain (1835-1910).