Kukla's Korner

Above the Glass

If I was Sidney Crosby

Now that he’s back, not only has he turbo-charged my favorite team, but my Twitter feeds are all alight with news and predictions about how many goals he’ll score this year and the like. One of my favorite things about Sidney Crosby is that he’s a lot more mature and responsible than I was at his age. And from what I hear from Pens prospect Joe Morrow, he’s a nice, normal hockey guy in the dressing room, a natural leader and a good role model to follow in terms of how professional he is with the media and other public responsibilities. Which got me to thinking about how I would handle the same pressures if my every move was watched, dissected and generally picked apart to the Nth degree. What if I, humble peon and camera-shy working girl who isn’t famous and doesn’t make $8.7 million a year was suddenly thrust into the 24/7 spotlight? I’m pretty sure it would be a lot like an ugly win: it would be ok in the end, but you wouldn’t want to watch it while it was happening.

I’d have to give up chocolate chip cookies: First and foremost if one is going to suddenly become a hockey star, one must be in tip-top shape. Therefore afternoon snacks of the chocolate chip variety must go. But watching me go without cookies…well, it’s like I said, I would probably look more fit in the end, but you wouldn’t really want to be anywhere nearby while it was happening.

I’d smash a lot of cameras to bits: Or, I’d lose weight while running away from photographers. I am painfully, notoriously camera shy. I have been known to leave parties and other social occasions to get away from camcorders and other small mobile devices in which I can be recorded for posterity. I’m horrified that the side of my head is in the Winterhawks pre-game intro video for a split second for the rest of the season. So I am quite certain that if I had photographers following me to the ends of the earth, I’d probably lose about 10 pounds from the sheer exercise of running away from them or I’d get into a few choice altercations with the paparazzi.

I’d have to make up a few new hockey clichés: Let’s face it, there’s only so many times you can tell a reporter “gotta keep it simple” and “we didn’t play our game.” So, if I had to talk to as many reporters as Crosby does, as often he does, I would have to make up a few of my own to maintain the supply, such as these variations on current clichés:

“It’s the thought that counts.” For those times when a well-intentioned, well-played game is lost because of sketch calls by refs or because grade-A goalies like Seattle Thunderbird Calvin Pickard were standing between me and the goal.

“You never know how it will turn out, but you just have to give it your all and do your best.” To be used when you don’t want to make a pre-game prediction that you know you’ll have to back out of later when it doesn’t happen.

“In the end, I’m here to help my teammates.” In case all your points come from assists and not highlight reel goals, and reporters begin wonder whether you are losing your goal-scoring touch and will never be the player you were.

I would need the fashion police: Now, I know how to put an outfit together, but let’s face it, here in the Pacific Northwest most our fashion choices are driven by the weather. Hence, Portland’s not exactly known as a fashion-forward city. Plus, I’m basically a grown up Garanimal, largely because I hate shopping. So, a little visit from the fashion police would definitely be in order to remind me that hiking boots, fluffy earmuffs and an orange titanium jacket with too many zippers simply will not do when I am getting ready for my close up with Hockey Night in Canada.

I’d need a PR handler: It saves lives. As a female hockey fan from Arizona, I am accustomed to people giving me the evil eye, whispering to their friends, backing away from me and calling proper authorities on their mobile devices. But I’m not always the best at handling my response to men who don’t get it that as a woman alone at hockey games, I’m there for the same reason they are…because I love the game. So a PR handler, armed with a choice selection of clichés and socially correct responses, would simply be a must.

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About Above the Glass

Welcome to Above the Glass, a definitive anti-expert’s guide to hockey. I started blogging in 2009 as part of an effort to learn all 87 rules in the NHL Rulebook in 107 days before the 2010 Olympics, 30 years after I discovered the sport. You can peruse the archival results here. Growing up in Arizona, I didn’t even know hockey existed until February 22, 1980, when the USA played Russia in the Olympics. And just like that, the game of the century changed my life. I still don’t quite understand the icing rule or which faceoff circle goes with what offense, but I do know that every aspect of hockey has something to teach us about life. That’s what you’ll find here, along with my unadulterated passion for the game.

I live in Portland, Oregon, home of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. I invite anyone who wants to know more about hockey in the Rose City to visit here, where I blog exclusively about the Winterhawks. I’ll post an occasional musing about the Hawks, the WHL and junior hockey here as well.

Follow me on Twitter: @AbovetheGlass

Email: samantha@kuklaskorner.com