Thursday, November 20, 2008
News Flash: Santa Slashes Elf Workforce in Half - Christmas Will Officially Suck!
It's the holiday season. So - instead of talking about the Isles (that's for the next blog) I'm gonna talk about the dilemma faced by many a parent this holiday season. No... not the ethical quandary associated with deciding whether to return most of the gifts friends & family gave to your kids and pocketing the cash to pay the mortgage or car loan - although in the current economic climate that presents less of an ethical problem than perhaps it did in the past - rather; the question centers on purchasing "gear" - Isles' gear to be precise.
As you readers may remember, I have 3 sons who are hockey players and huge Islander fans. Last Christmas, one of their favorite gifts under the tree was their authentic Isles jerseys. My oldest son got number 32 (Witt); my middle guy got number 26 (Fedotenko); and my youngest got number 39 (DP). At the time - these were their favorite players. Well, my middle guy got screwed and is struggling with wearing his jersey since Fedotenko is now a Penguin (with 4 goals, 4 assists) and not an Islander. As a quick aside, his second favorite player was Bergeron - go figure. Anyway, I am debating whether to replace his jersey this Christmas - and of course, if I do, then in fairness to the other 2, I should probably get them new jerseys as well. Now before any of you go & tell me I really only need to buy 1 jersey and that I should tell the other 2 kids that "life's not fair" and they should just deal with it since Witt & DP are still on the team - let me just say.... I agree. That being said, as a Dad - I like getting sports gear for my boys.
OK - so let's get down to brass tacks here - the real question is - who the hell do I put on the back of their jerseys? There is the old-school fan in me (I've been a fan for 30 yrs) who says they should get one of the retired guys' names - Bossy, Trots, Nystrom, Smitty, etc. By the way, this also appeals the frugal (a/k/a cheap) side of me since I never have to worry about those guys being traded or leaving as a free agent. In this day & age where there is no loyalty between players and teams you are taking a risk by having a current player's name stitched into the back of your jersey. Here today, gone tomorrow. But in all honesty - like some of my blog box cohorts - my boys are so young they never experienced the thrill & pride of watching the Dynasty guys play and they are really not much more than mythical figures or sadly, another story Daddy trots out about "the good ole days."
On the flip side - how do I get my kids to be invested in the current players on the ice and root for more than just the jersey if I don't let them get their favorite player's numbers & names on their gear? They can't live in the rafters like so many of us do as we wait for this team to mature & compete. But, if I buy a current guy's jersey, am I going to be making another short term purchase?
Of course, whatever I decide - Mommy will NOT be part of the equation. I remember my 16th birthday & my parents surprised me with an Isles jersey. It was a big deal b/c we didn't have much money. Since my dad is not a hockey fan and knows nothing about the sport - my Mom picked out the jersey. I saw the logo on the front as I opened the box... but imagine my horror as turned the jersey over and saw the big #16 in the middle, and then above it MY LAST NAME. I felt like Ralphie from Christmas Story when he opens the bunny pj's. How could she!! I can't walk around wearing this! Everyone will think I'm gay with LaFontaine's number on my back and that I'm an idiot because it had my own last name on it and not his. That is just NOT correct protocol for jerseys - any self-respecting hockey fan knows this. Of course, Mom's rationale was - it was your 16th birthday, so I got you number 16. She should have just bought me a dress. Needless to say - I hardly wore it.
Back to my dilemma - and Mommy will not be part of the decision here because quite frankly, she doesn't understand the nuances of picking a jersey and what your choice says about you. This is an important decision as a fan. First and foremost - I have to decide - old school rafter guys, or new possibly temporary guys?
Some of you may say - what's the big deal, just get the damn jersey and stop whining. You may be right, except for some of us, the $150-$200 we spend on a jersey (and in my case, multiply that by three) means we don't have that $150-$200 to put toward some other important bill. Let's face it, the stock market has gone in the toilet, the economy is a disaster, every day more huge layoffs are announced, and some of us are praying we don't have to figure out how to squeeze a Christmas tree into the cardboard box we'll be living in after the bank forecloses on the mortgage. So - yeah, a few hundred bucks is important. Fortunately, things are not that dire for yours truly. But - money is money and I don't want to just throw it away.
After weighing the options I decided to take the safe route.......
No, I didn't buy the jerseys with the Hall of Famers on them -- I bought 3 Charlestown Chiefs jersey with numbers 16, 17, and 18 - and they all say Hanson. Now I just need to get them the glasses!!
Until next time... subject- a 20 game report card.