Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Boy's First Leafs Game

As much as it pains me to say, my son is not much of a hockey guy.

He tried summer ball hockey, but hated the equipment and we pulled him out after his second season. He loves to skate, but doesn't want anything to do with pucks and sticks out on the ice.

He enjoys the occasional game of mini-sticks and sometimes he'll take shots out in the driveway, but he won't watch hockey on TV and he's not too happy about it when I do.

He loves to play soccer (and he'll happily cheer for Stoke when we watch streamed games on my computer) and he loves to ride his bike. He's all over gymnastics and swimming and says he wants a skateboard for Christmas.

But hockey? It's just not happening.

That's why I was so pleasantly surprised when I asked him if he wanted to go to a Leafs game with me tonight and he said yes.

Before the game, my son put on his Leafs sweater (something he never wears) and the two of us set off for what has to be a major milestone in any Torontonian's father-son relationship - a first Leafs game.

Rather than blather on about my boyhood memories, MLG, my dad, Keon, Palmateer and Kessel, I thought I'd let my son write up (or rather dictate) his thoughts on attending his first Leafs here it is, straight from the 6 year old boy's mouth.

  • When you asked me to go to the hockey game, I thought you were playing. I thought I'd get to watch you play. It's ok that you didn't play.

  • I was really excited when we were walking up to the ACC. They had big lights like at the beginning of movies [ed note: he means the klieg lights of the 20th Century Fox logo] but I thought the rink would be outside.

  • Everyone cheered for all the guys. One of them was from Whitby. My Papa Jim is from Whitby.

  • I didn't like it when the players fought. I cheered, but then I thought they might get hurt. You can't fight at school. Not even in the yard.

  • After the Leafs scored, I got to watch it again on the big TV.

  • During the first break, I really liked the spinning stars that were on the ice.

  • I got to have a second hot chocolate during the first break.

  • In the second break, the game wasn't so good. The Leafs had one and the other team had two.

  • It would be better if the rink was outside.

  • They put people in inner tubes and shot them down the ice at bowling pins. How do the pins stay up on the ice?

  • Why do people leave so early? Before the game is over?

  • It shouldn't count if your team scores into your own net.

  • I booed the white team at the end.

  • My dad kept asking me what the best part of the game was. I told him there was no best part just a worst part, the Leafs losing.

  • After the game we went for a falafel and a bubbly orange drink.


  1. Actually more insightful and far more honest than many modern pieces on hockey by professionals.
    MFJr. gets his first slow clap.

  2. I told him there was no best part just a worst part, the Leafs losing.
    I think you have yourself a little Leaf fan there, despite all the appearances otherwise that you mentioned earlier. Give L'il MF a hug for me; I'd like to tell him it gets easier after a while, but I don't like lying to children.

  3. This is excellent. Thanks for sharing, wish I could go back to my first game against the Panthers... Kidd started in net, and I believe we lost - but an awesome memory I'll have for the rest of my life.

    Work harder at turning him into an insane, illogical die hard like the rest of us though.

  4. Anonymous12:10 pm

    You're son is gold. He might not be a big hockey fan, but he's awesome, and I'll be sharing this on fb!

  5. That was a great little article! I'm going to post this on my favourite hockey forum!

  6. Bruins Fan1:13 pm

    Thank U Kessel

  7. Great piece Mike.

  8. That's actually pretty awesome. If you can convince him to go along to more games, it'd be cool to see this sort of blog again in the future.

  9. Anonymous9:32 pm

    Pretending to be a kid.... what a low level this site has reached.

  10. There needs to be a Leafs blog called "a falafel and a bubbly orange drink".

  11. way to man up "anonymous" with your cowardly comments. If you don't like it, don't stop by.

  12. Hebsie9911:28 pm

    Who would think you made this up? Who can make up "falafel and bubbly orange drink"? Great read Mike.

  13. Anonymous10:13 am

    Art Linkletter was DO say the darndest things!
    I had a smile on my face through that whole read. Your kids sounds awesome. I'm hungry for a falafel now.....