Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Hockey Life: It's way too early

Early mornings, within the world of youth hockey, are a fact of life. Doesn't matter if you're in the states, Canada, Russia or Europe. At some point in your hockey life, the alarm rings way too early at least one time. Well, really, more than once.

Today, for me at least, it's one of those instances. I had to work at the paper until 1 a.m. today. It seems more than 350,000 people in the Hockey Bay area insist on having a Sunday paper to read while enjoying their breakfast. Actually, I'm very thankful for those of you who do, as you help pay for Colin's hockey.

What I'm not thankful for, though, was the alarm going off at 6:30 a.m., especially after getting to sleep sometime after 2 a.m. Colin's team, the Tampa Bay Jr. Lighting Pee Wee A White squad, had a game at 8 a.m. today and that meant we had to be at the rink by, say, 7:15 a.m.

Do the math, if you can, and you'll see I didn't get much more than a nap. So, if I seem a tad grumpier than normal today, that's the reason why. Not using it as an excuse, but more of a caution that any greetings, especially those before the clock strikes noon, may be nothing more than a grumble.

Still, that's a part of the hockey drill. Players, coaches and parents have been getting up early for years, be it for a skate and shoot, practice or a game. Thankfully, this tournament we find ourselves in this weekend, as the kids play four games in three rinks within 25 hours, is all a part of the preseason. Outcomes and statistics don't count, mind you, but the games help you prepare for the season ahead.

As it stands, today's 8 a.m. start was the earliest of the 2013-14 campaign. During the regular season, the earliest a puck drops is 10 a.m. Even better, we have to travel outside of the Hockey Bay area only once in nine game weekends. And the first game of that twinbill starts at 3:45 p.m. Some teams, I've learned, will have to make as many as four trips more than 30 miles away.

So, really, I shouldn't complain, should I? One morning out of 166 days, and it's the first one at that? I think I should deal with it. Honestly, it should be a piece of cake.

Bonus content: This is a special shout-out for the handful who told Colin to blog about the Jr. Bulls-Tampa Bay Jr. Lightning game yesterday. Nice game, boys, especially that new kid from Canada. He shows a patience with the puck that's far beyond his years.

And, as always, kiddos, thanks for reading as well as providing yet another opportunity to share with others what some of you are all about. Some things, I guess, will never change.

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