I was out walking the dog in the neighourhood this morning and came across two young boys playing hockey in their driveway. I actually heard them before I saw them. It was that distinct sound that occurs when a hockey stick hits a paved driveway as a tennis ball or one of those orange ball hockey balls is shot. As beautiful a sound as there is.
As I got closer (they were playing across the street from where I was walking), I noticed the bigger and older of the two kids, probably 12’ish or so, was shooting on a younger boy who looked like a little brother. One of them had a Leafs jersey on, (the older boy I think – God Bless the optimism and hope the young seem to possess) and the goalie had pads, a blocker and trapper etc.
Just after I had passed them and looked away, I heard one of them yell “He scoooorrrrreeesssss….number 4, Bobby Orr!” in a very animated sports announcer sort of way. Bobby Orr? When I was their age, Orr was already past his injury-shortened prime and we had moved on to being Guy Lafleur, Darryl Sittler and Mike Bossy wannabees. And that was more than a few years ago. It brought a smile to my face to think that this would have been like me yelling “He scooooooorrrrreeeessssss….number 7, Howie Morenz!”
I’m guessing these boys were talked to recently by a grandpa or a dad or an uncle, or, not to be sexist, perhaps a grandma or mother, about what a fabulous player Bobby Orr was many, many years ago. Perhaps even the best ever as my Dad and father-in-law would argue. Whatever the reason, it was a wonderful thing to hear on a day where I’ll be heading off shortly after noon to my son’s end of year tournament in St. Catherines.
Orr really was something wasn’t he?