One Wish

14 12 2009

I have a recurring thought:

I need least, yet want;
I want for nothing, yet need.

2009 saw the end of my 10-year relationship (and 8-year marriage), the end of the Detroit Shock (reborn in Tulsa) and the Sacramento Monarchs (gone, future TBD), and the death of Kay Yow, to name a few revolting developments.

This is not an article about any of those events.

Instead, I believe that much energy has been devoted to pessimism at the expense of appreciation.

Team USA Women’s Hockey lost to Canada 4-2 in Denver on Saturday night, in what was called a meaningless game, but sadly, the US coach must pare the roster down by two spots by this coming Wednesday. As the announcers noted on the NHL Network, the next time we see Team USA play (December 30) we will be seeing the Team USA that will represent us in Vancouver in February 2010.

Pessimistically: Team USA lost. On national television. To Canada.

Yes, but.

Team USA was in High Definition, on the NHL Network, on national television, on a Saturday night.

Which preempted…

Hockey Night in Canada.

That’s huge.

Let that sink in. The NHL Network, pause, preempted coverage of NHL teams, pause, on a huge ratings night, pause, to show women’s national hockey in high definition for what was called a meaningless game in preparation for the Olympics.

Huge!

And they’re going to air another game on December 30 (Wednesday).

Here’s what I saw during the valiant yet disappointing loss:

I saw another generation of heroes. Yes, it sounds tired, but when the camera panned to the audience and I saw kids wearing USA jerseys and waving signs egging on their favorite players, we’re not talking about heroes that are mine alone.

I saw the inspiration that they are giving to the next generations of heroes. Not just in playing the game, but putting in local appearances, running clinics, and other activities aimed at bringing people and hockey closer together.

I saw young girls waving a copy of ICE Magazine in the audience. I actually cheered when I saw that. I’ll have more on ICE Magazine in a future post but don’t wait for me. Check ICE Magazine out (I have zero affiliation with it) and maybe some of your holiday shopping just got taken care of. Or a friend’s, if you pass the link along.

I saw proof in something that the NHL has been touting over the last few months, ever since hockey “clicked” for me the way soccer did in 2006. They have a campaign called “Hockey is for Everyone” which is another must-click link. I’ll have more about that in the future but again, don’t wait for me. Learn and explore.

The broadcast team recognized the opportunity that the NHL Network afforded them and they took full advantage of it. Plugs for training DVDs. Plugs for clinics. Plugs for hockey-themed movies. And perhaps most importantly, a plug for the USA Hockey Foundation.

As you will see after clicking the link, the page is titled, “Bringing Miracles to Life for the Next Generation.”

I thought that was a bit much, at first glance. Ca-mon, it’s “just” hockey. While it’s cool to be able to donate directly to Team USA and support the quest for gold in Vancouver, miracles, really? Ca-mon.

Remember the first time you played hockey? Or the feeling you get every time you put on your skates? How about the look on the face of a youngster who has fallen in love with the sport? The USA Hockey Foundation wants more people to experience these joys by expanding opportunities to participate in our great game.

This is one of those rare moments when a hockey organization doesn’t get penalized for hooking. (Ba dum bum) Please, click the link and read the rest of the page. I’m not stealing any more thunder from them. Maybe you’ll be all choked up like me, and wishing you could do more to make an even bigger difference. They’re the difference-makers. I just want to help them succeed.

Speaking of being choked up, there was a great line in a recent episode of How I Met Your Mother where one of the characters says that being alone means having time to learn about who you are, and what you want.

Here’s what I want:

I want to inspire, encourage, and enable the next generation of heroes.

I’ve talked a lot about hockey today, but really, there are countless methods for providing that inspiration and encouragement. Time and time again, I have encountered amazing stories about people who aren’t listening to “no”, aren’t daunted by what should, could, and can’t be done, and are devoting every spare ounce of energy to make a difference to and for somebody.

As I have been inspired, I wish to inspire others.

Best holiday wishes to you all.

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