Thursday, January 7, 2010

Third period ... last game of the playoffs, too

I'm Canadian and darn proud of it, too.

On my left shoulder blade, I have etched into my skin a bright red Maple Leaf and hanging off the top spike of the leaf are a pair of hockey skates.

Deron of Solid State Tattoo in Kamloops, B.C., took my concept, designed it for me and inked it onto my body so I could write a story about tattoos for my newspaper. That's even before they were becoming the 'rage.'

Deron, trained by the Golden Buddha here in Calgary, was especially proud of his work and swore he would never replicate the tattoo without my permission.

During the summer, when I'm wearing tanktops, I regularly have people come up and compliment my art.

It was done in 2001, the year I first started playing hockey. I grew up in a hockey town - come on, it's Canada, right, who hasn't?

But in my town, boys played hockey and girls dated hockey players. That's just the way it was. I figure skated. And danced ballet (yes, I did, there are pictures to prove it).

A career in sports writing was a natural fit for me and, so, after years of watching - nay, studying - the game, I had the opportunity to play.

The Source for Sports in Kamloops gave me a pair of skates. The WHL's Kamloops Blazers outfitted me in the rest of my gear.

And thus my rec hockey career began in 2001. It was a momentous occasion for me and one that required a monument as permanent as a tattoo.

Many of us have grown up with hockey - whether as a player, a sister, a fan - and when we sit in the comfy atmosphere of the Saddledome, rooting for our Flames, we often forget the more simplistic roots of the game.

The old barns in the small towns, the fries and gravy, and being close enough to the ice to smell the players' sweat.

And that's what I was reminded of when I sat at the 'Dome tonight and heard the familiar strains of Stompin' Tom.

Come on ... you know the words. I know you do.


Hello out there we're on the air it's hockey night tonite
Tension grows the whistle blows-& the puck goes down the ice.
The goalie jumps and the players bump and the fans all go insane
Someone roars "Bobby scores!" at the good ole hockey game

Oh the good ole hockey game is the best game you can name
And the best game you can name is the good ole hockey game

Second period.
Where players dash with skates aflash the home team trails behind
But they grab the puck and go bursting up and they're down across the line
They storm the crease like bumble bees they travel like a burning flame
We see them slide the puck inside. It's a 1-1 hockey game!

Oh the good ole hockey game is the best game you can name
And the best game you can name is the good ole hockey game

Take me where the hockey players face off down the rink-
And the Stanley Cup is all filled up for the chaps who win the drink
Now the final flick of the hockey stick and the one gigantic scream
The puck is in! The Canadians win! The good ole hockey game!

Oh the good ole hockey game is the best game you can name
And the best game you can name is the good ole hockey game

Oh the good ole hockey game is the best game you can name
And the best game you can name is the good ole hockey game

Oh the good ole hockey game is the best game you can name
And the best game you can name is the good ole hockey game

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