October 31, 2005

Special report: Legend laments doubters

Sunday Morning Road Hockey should be stronger than any one player, says the game's founding father, the Living Legend, whose absence from two games so far this young season has led to speculation the weekly match may be in its last gasp, or provoking veteran players to seek their road hockey fix elsewhere.

"It's killing me to see some of the guys losing their enthusiasm for the game," says the Legend, reacting to reports in the road hockey media after Sunday's soggy game, which he missed, that some of his teammates are feeling "discouraged" by his "abandonment."

Since founding the first game one fateful Fall morning 15 seasons ago, the Legend has been the game's staunchest stalwart, guiding the ever-evolving cast of players through Sunday Morning's formative seasons, through rain and snow storms, through goalie crises and violent goonings. He's the reigning road hockey ironman, having played almost three full seasons before he was finally forced to miss a game in December '03 to deal with a family crisis, a record that will likely never be broken.

But, says the Legend, that kind of dedication came at a price. While the other roadsters scurried off to their regular lives after the Sunday games, he beat the promotional drum, putting in long hours to ensure enthusiasm for coming matches remained high, cajoling truant players to mend their wayward ways, securing the court from marauding roguesters intent on upsetting the tradition of the longtime league.

"I became a kind of road hockey monk," says the Legend. "There were times it actually felt like a job, and I wasn't getting paid!"

When new interests away from the court developed over the off-season, the Legend says the time was right to turn his stewardship over the game to his fellow roadsters. So far, it seems they've been slow to warm to their new role; attendance is down and the starts by some of the game's other stars, like Lak Attack and Paul One, have been sporadic.

Weather might have something to do with that, says the Legend. Sunday's game was played in a driving rainstorm, and the scheduled regular season opener was washed out by a monsoon; five weeks into the season, only one game was completely dry.

"There was a time when the rain didn't matter, we'd play no matter what," says the Legend. "But we're all getting older, we're all a little more prone to injury, and I think many of us have better things to do than risk our limbs sliding around on those slippery courts, catching our death of cold."

The Legend says he's confident the game will survive his occasional absences, as long as the other players don't lose their faith.

"Things are always tough early in the season," says the fellow founding father. "There's a lot of guys still nursing off-season injuries, the Fall is a busy season. It's not really that much different this year than any other years. I'm gonna play as much as I can, as much as I want. As long as the doubters don't panic, I'm sure there will still be a game."

Posted by jaysuburb at October 31, 2005 06:30 PM

Lobster, are you coming out this week? I need to know if i should go shopping for a pure fluke goal scorers stick?

Posted by: Gump at November 3, 2005 03:22 PM

Way to go living legend, keeping the faith, i look forward to darning my lobster pants and entering the fray in november, despite my 2 children, my wife and my old age, i will return to claim a stanley stick victory.

wendel new borns are no excuse to miss the games

Posted by: lobsterboy at November 1, 2005 08:47 PM

sounds to me like you are looking for yet another nickname to add to your list ... "road hockey monk", or RHM (pronounced RHUH-hmm, like a car revving). Sounds like the Canadian version of "bullet-proof monk".

Thanks to those who are keeping the game alive. I'm dying to get out and rejoin the fun, rain and all. I'll definitely be out in mid-November (wife & baby going out of town) but I sure as hell hope for sooner.

Posted by: wendel at October 31, 2005 09:35 PM