Friday, May 06, 2005


Hockey moms

In which I continue to pay tribute to moms in the run-up to Mothers' Day

I discovered late in life (late for this discovery, that is) that ice hockey may be the best game invented by mankind. I'm not talking about the bone-jarring checking and the lost teeth and broken noses and fights with gloves flung down on the ice. That stuff sucks, and is, in my view, a big bore. It's a crude overlay of mud-wrestling onto a game of pure beauty requiring subtle skill.

Hockey requires many of the skills of soccer or basketball -- the passing, the maneuvering past defenders, the intuitive choreography of reacting to the movements of teammates -- with the added challenge that you have to do all this while moving at 20 miles per hour on ice skates. You have to be really good at skating, then you have to learn all that stuff with the stick and the puck, and then put them together, and then work on your skating even more. Yikes!

I don't know why I decided I had to learn to play hockey now, but I did, and I was extremely fortunate to find a couple of beginner-friendly, co-ed hockey groups that I could play with. Enter the hockey moms.

These scrimmage groups apparently got their genesis in hockey moms who thought that they might enrich their lives by not just chauffering their kids around to youth hockey. "Maybe we could relate to our kids better on this if we took up hockey ourselves," seemed to be the idea. "Heck, who cares about that? It looks like fun!"

The women in my hockey group range in age from the college club-team goalie in her early 20s to some graying-haired hockey moms in their mid fifties. There is a mother-daughter combo, the daughter being a lawyer who graduated from my law school four years ago. These gals are all better than me at hockey, and the older ones are my inspiration. I plan to be playing hockey throughout my 50s.

We play year round. The spring session just ended, and we're about to start our summer hours. Obviously, we're talking indoor rinks here.

Let me just say this: you have not lived until you've had your ass kicked on the ice by a 55 year old hockey mom.


Do you know how cool you are, Professor Madison? My ex-brother-in-law played ice hockey in Madison for a couple of years, but I never heard tell of the wonders of hockey moms.

What position do you play?
Now that's a great idea! I enjoyed reading your post.
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