I Coulda Been A Contender

If you are reading this, I feel pretty confident in assuming that you have already read April Witt's feature on Alex Ovechkin from the Washington Post's Sunday magazine. So you don't need me to tell you about how fantastic it was. Not that that's going to stop me talking about it, but nevertheless.

The best part, for me, was reading about Young Alex, and the way his parents dealt with him when he was just a young boy who couldn't even skate backwards.

"I tried not to praise him," his mother said. "After a win . . . the next morning over breakfast I could tell him: 'You know, you did okay. But right there you made a mistake. And there you didn't skate hard enough. And there you didn't go all the way to fight for the puck. And you were lazy in that episode, so work on that.'"
Wow. Tough love much? Actually, my parents were the same way when I was playing youth hockey. Minus, you know, the astute knowledge and wisdom regarding the game of hockey or sports in general. I still remember the first time I ever got called for a penalty. My mother spent the entire ride home that day making me feel as though I had just killed several puppies as well as a baby seal. Never mind the fact that I took a roughing call because I got into a tussle with a kid from the other team who had been making runs at my teammates all game. Heck, I managed to draw him into getting a matching minor, so it didn't even hurt the team in terms of manpower.

But I digress. The point I'm trying to make, aside from the fact that I would have been a heck of a hockey player if not for the misguided notions of my parents, is that much of what we see on the ice on gamenight from Number Eight is owed largely to Tatiana Ovechkin. Which, given the rumors that have been flying ever since Ovie fired his agent, is, at the very least, reassuring. She seems to be genuinely concerned for his best interests, and she definitely knows what's what when it comes to the business side of sports as well.

My mother? She's a heck of an accountant. Which is why, at age 18, Alex Ovechkin was being drafted #1 overall in the NHL Draft, and I was driving a Zamboni in Wheaton.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

O boo friggin hoo, Biff. At least Mom and Dad let you play hockey at SOME point. I was given a speedo and pointed in the direction of a pool.