When I can, I like to get a skate or two in a week.
It’s nothing major, I’m not going to sit here and tell you how great a hockey player I am, but I’ve been trying to get back into pickup shape and an open skate or two is good to get your legs going.
So last Friday I’m skating and a group of little kids comes in with a guardian or two. This usually means trouble. First of all, the kids will take over the ice and play some crazy hockey-esque game with a glove until a skate guard comes in and yells at them. Also, there is a distinct chance that one of those little kids will be a better skater than I am, which is just plain depressing.
Of course, curiosity took over and I spent the majority of the time watching these little kids. It’s amazing to see what little humans can do, especially if they do it better than you. There is a reason people marvel at Sidney Crosby, and it’s because he’s winning scoring titles while other kids his age finish Bio labs.
As I continue to circle, I notice one little kid in his replica #48 Sabres jersey. Of course it’s a Briere jersey, which makes me feel bad for him. I have many a jersey of a now defunct player, and it really is a letdown when your favorite sweater is suddenly unwearable. (little kids can’t be blamed for an “expired” uniform, so he gets a pass…)
Then something happens that gets me thinking. All of a sudden he streaks towards the empty crease, pretends to roof it with an imaginary stick, and goes down on one knee to do the fist pump.
You all know the fist pump. Today it’s a standard goal celebration. Score a goal, down on one knee, pump fist, accept congratulations from teammates. There are probably dozens of players that do that move when they score, but what player do you think that little boy learned it from?
I’m going to guess it was from the guy on his back. It’s a sobering thing to see, because a kid that age doesn’t always understand why Briere isn’t playing for Buffalo this year. I wouldn’t even begin to try explaining how Darcy low balled Briere in an attempt to appease the fans, because it is even more of a headache than it sounds.
Still, seeing things like that make me wonder what kind of legacy Briere and Drury are going to leave on the next generation of Sabres fans. Fans above the age of suffrage know and understand what happened this past summer, but how long will it be until a player takes over where Briere and Drury left off with the little hockey fans among us?
I’m curious to see what you guys out there think; I’m just the one thinking about this while skating in circles. Maybe those of you with children have better insight into this than I.