A while back, I posted about the Pittsburgh Penguins having earned the right to first pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, and in so doing, were bequeathed the right to teenage phenom Sidney Crosby's rookie season.
I was excited that we'd have yet another bilingual player on our team. My 15-year-old sister, however, was excited that we'd have a teenage player on our team. She begged me to watch the game with her on TV last week. I agreed, figuring that I could just fall asleep if it got too unbearable (I'm chronically allergic to sports).
It turns out that the Pens were playing the New Jersey Devils. This would seem like an ordinary match-up to any average hockey fan tuning in, but for me, it brought back a flood of nostalgic memories.
My first boyfriend was a hockey nut (His younger brother was actually drafted by the Pens about a year after we had broken up). He was also a francophile (but has since kicked the habit, so I hear). He loved the New Jersey Devils, and, in true 14-year-old fashion, I set out to memorize every player stat and jersey number I could in hopes of impressing "Paul". Paul was one of my best memories of high school--I still can't believe that my parents let me date him. He was 19 and a freshman in college; I was naïve jailbait. Paul took me to my first (and so far only) professional hockey game, and I was trying my darndest to pay attention so that I could actually talk with him about it later. I figured that out of all the sports, hockey was most worth my attention, since at least I could work in the French angle.
After all these years, the only name I remembered was Martin Brodeur, the team's goalie. Brodeur, miraculously, is still playing for the Devils 8 years later. 8 years! I've gotta hand it to the guy--hockey players age like dogs. I suppose it's one of the more rough-and-tumble sports that's not too friendly to a guy after hitting 30.
The reason good ol' Marty remains the last one standing of the 1997-1998 New Jersey Devils in my memory is because I always got a kick out of hearing the sportscasters say his name:
At least they put the accent on the right syllables!
I told my sister that I'd take her to a game the next time the Montréal Canadiens "Mon-TREE-All Can-ADE-y-ENNS" come to town (November 10). I won't really be interested in the game much--I'll be too busy trying to get on Canadian TV with my cleverly-worded French signs, bien sûr!