While three professional sports leagues sit embroiled in scandal, we hockey fans can sit back and laugh. Steroids? Nope. Point-shaving? Don't think so. Dog fighting? We're talking about Canadians, here. (ed: and Swedes, and Russians, and Czechs… and Kazakhs, too!)
Sure, there aren't many of us these days. But maybe these latest headlines will be enough to convert some disgruntled fans of the so-called big three. If not -- who cares? We know why the NHL is the best professional sports league.
Just in case, though, I thought I would take this time to review some of the reasons.
As Ms. Barone sez: “Let’s review.” And she does a bang-up job of it, as well. My basic point, aside from the power, grace, beauty, speed, and excitement of the game (did I miss anything?), is this: you can’t find better role models in the community of professional athletes than hockey players. Period. Full-stop. Hockey fans know this fact is as constant as the eastern sunrise. Want your kids to emulate a sports star? Point him towards the rink, Gentle Reader. You can certainly do worse these days, and I’ll submit you can do NO better.
Blog-buddy Morgan has had admirable success in the realm of on-line dating (see his comment here). Ah, would that I could make the same claim. In those same comments linked in a preceding sentence I gave you the “Reader’s Digest” version of my issues with on-line dating. And now for a short war-story about this sort of social activity…
I was pretty active in the on-line dating game for a few years, most notably in
It started as these things always do…I read her ad, dropped her an e-mail, she responded, we spent a few hours on several consecutive nights in instant messaging conversation, followed by several phone calls. We both decided we should meet, and we did. She turned out to be everything she appeared to be, and I was happy with that. There were distinct possibilities, in other words, for something other than casual dating. In a nutshell: articulate, intelligent, owned her own business, a voracious reader, great conversationalist, and not at all hard to look at. Fetching, if I may go that far.
So. It was on our fourth date, and we’re having coffee and cognac after dinner at one of SFO’s numerous superb restaurants. We don’t have any firm plans for after dinner, and I casually ask “Well, where to now?” She smiles and says “Your place?”
There couldn’t possibly have been a better answer.
We get back to my place and I’ll spare you most of the details, Gentle Reader, save for this one tiny thing. The lights are low, things are getting hot and heavy, we’re in a state of dishabille, and the deal is about to go down. Suddenly, and I DO mean suddenly, she sits up on my couch, pushes me away to arms-length and says with a very serious look on her face “I have something to tell you.”
“Uh, OK,” sez I, thinking “WTF?”
“I have herpes.”
Wow. Talk about mood-killers! So. The lights come back up, I go to the kitchen, freshen our drinks, and return to the couch, where we spend the next hour or so discussing her problem. “There are ways to work around this,” sez she. “Umm-hmm,” sez I, nodding. The bottom line, as she suggests, is that we should both give serious thought to where we’re going and what we should do. I agree. We finish our drinks and I take her home.
And that, save for two subsequent phone conversations wherein I explained myself in great detail, was that. Work-arounds or no, herpes is forever. I wasn’t willing to take the risk. She understood, and we went our separate ways.
I’ll always appreciate the woman’s honesty, if not her timing. I hope she found someone because, with the exception of this one tiny (?) flaw, she could have been a potential mate.
There are eight million stories in the Naked City; this has been one of them. But it’s pretty illustrative of my experiences with on-line dating. I don’t have any good stories to relate, in other words, Gentle Reader, and I have a couple that are worse. Much worse. But let’s not go there.