Sometimes as siblings, you find yourselves annoying one another just because you can. Sometimes you find yourselves maybe a little envious, sibling rivalries are a thing for a reason. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get to bear witness to your sibling doing something really cool and you find yourself beaming with pride.
July 25, 2010 was the most recent rec-league hockey game my brother Scotty had played before signing up again this spring. His last venture out onto the competitive ice found him leaving in a red bus with flashing lights- he’d broken his leg in 3 places and would require surgery. I literally froze my ass off for him that night, sitting on the ice, keeping him company. In addition to his broken leg, he received a plaque at Christmas that year of his very own hat trick courtesy of his little sister. (I’m cool like that.)
He’d planned to join an Over-40 hockey league the year he turned the big 4-0, but the world had other plans. It’s really hard to play an organized sport when social distancing and masks are the norm. At the start of this year, he got a physical, made a workout plan and went for it! He promised that he’d give “70% max effort” at any given time on the ice, to try to alleviate some of the potential injury risk.
He chose #7 not because it’s considered lucky or because it had anything to do with the Broncos, he chose #7 to honor our late friend Lewis. Lewis would have loved seeing Scotty play again, and it touched my heart knowing that Scotty had included him in the pursuit going after this goal.
Scotty was surrounded by people, teammates, who had his back as well. On the eve of his birthday, he had his first “intentional assist”. He’d gone into the corner, fought hard for the puck and passed it out to the front of the net where it was driven home. To any onlooker, it very well could have seemed like Scotty had netted the goal- his team rallied around him, fist bumps, head pats and hugs on the bench. I know not all teams are like that, and I was (and am) grateful that he was surrounded by such great people. He was like a sponge, soaking up insight and tips from almost anyone who was willing to share. After one game, one of the refs stopped to chat with him and gave him some tips as well. Cool.
It wasn’t until Game 1 of the playoffs that Scotty buried his “first” goal. I say “first” because he argues that the score sheet is wrong for the other credited goal, all because Patrick was louder about whose stick the puck went off. Again there was grand celebration from his teammates and they kept the puck for him, even going so far as to tape and date it for him. The camaraderie and love between the Seals teammates was really cool to see.
April 27, 2023 was the Championship game for the EAHL- Adult Hockey Over40 Draft Spring league- Seals (3) vs Flames (1). There were teal and yellow signs a-plenty; pom poms and loved ones galore, in order to be the champs they needed to win one more. And they did, by a score of 5-1!
There’s something cool about seeing a team you’ve cheered for and gotten to know over the last few months win. There’s something cool about seeing people come together to encourage each other and pushing them to grow. It was so neat to be a part of the roaring crowd of about 20 people, cheering on the team.
There is something really cool about seeing your older brother hoist a cup over his head, steady on both legs, as he stands in the same rink he broke his leg on. There’s something super cool about bearing witness to someone accomplish a LIFE GOAL, especially someone you love. It’s even more super cool that he had so many loved ones there, both in body and in heart. It’s even more super cooler when, after a moment of silence, your older brother looks over at you and just says “Thank you.”
We’ll see if the proverbial band sticks together, as his next team draft is later this month. Go Seals!
With love from the “Superfan”,