A bunch of splendid people
It’s easy to be negative about the sport sometimes and just reading some of the posts you see online make you wonder why they go, but this time of year is always incredibly uplifting.
I’m talking about seeing posts involving teddy tosses, donations of toys and the delivery of these items to local children’s hospitals and other charitable organisations.
As a father of a four-year-old, who spent time in a NICU ward in the first few weeks of her life, to see so many fans go out of their way to donate these things makes it something we, as fans, should always be proud for.
The photos of the club’s players visiting these kids in hospital is such an experience for them as well as the players, it’s truly amazing how much something so relatively small can make such a big difference.
In the past, I’ve spoken to footballers who did the same thing and they’ve told me it’s an incredibly humbling experience, from young guys with a different outlook and priority in life to fathers, who have told they the first thing they do hug their own kids as soon as they get home.
It’s because of people’s kindness that this happens every year and it’s a credit to each and every club and their fans who do this that provide some level of happiness at a time when it’s all a little upsetting and even sad for them.
WATCH: Hershey Bears’ Teddy Toss
When you see the videos of certain clubs in North America and the absolutely flood of toys raining down from the stands makes your heart swell and it would take the hardest of hearts to watch that and not be affected.
It’s easy to get snarled up in the usual run-of-the-mill complaints about the league, the referees, their own team, their players, the price of hot dogs, who’s sitting next to them.
Let’s be honest, people get so upset over things that don’t really matter a great deals in the entire context of their lives. I learned this years ago. You win games, you lose games. Is it going to stop me paying my bills or looking after my family? Absolutely not.
What these events do is give us a slight window into how being in hospital at this time of year for children and remind us there’s more to life than winning and losing.
Our kindness is the very spirit of Christmas and once again shows how ice hockey comes together to help others who are not as fortunate as ourselves.
We all have our rivalries, disagreements and arguments, but when it comes down to it, we’re all just a bunch of truly splendid people.
Greetings for the season
I’m keeping it short this week, but I wanted to sign off by wishing each and every one of you a fantastic Christmas and have a wonderful time.
Your feedback and tweets to these blogs are always good to read and I enjoy them immensely so it’s great to have you on board and following us.
So, go off, get the last of your shopping in, have a mince pie and a drink and enjoy what’s to come later this week.
Merry Christmas, everyone!