You probably noticed that in many of the pictures here, I’m wearing a bright gold jersey with a cartoon fish on it. Really, it’s kind of hard to miss. A lot of people have asked me in person “what’s with the fish?” It isn’t every day that you see a smug cartoon fish — wearing a crown, no less! — on a hockey jersey. And that is a shame.
When I decided that I was going to learn how to play hockey, I knew I didn’t want to wear a Blackhawks jersey. Sure, the Blackhawks have the best jersey in all of sports, and many of us are playing hockey because of the ‘Hawks Stanley Cup wins in 2010 and 2013. But that’s just like wearing a Metallica t-shirt to a Metallica concert: totally unnecessary. (Of course you are a fan — you paid for a concert ticket.) The same logic holds true for new hockey players in Chicago.
Likewise, the other end of the spectrum is the soulless blank practice jersey. That, my friends, is the plain white t-shirt of hockey jerseys: boring! If I had a dollar for every one of those jerseys I saw out on the ice, I’d have my hockey lessons paid for through the end of the year.
Thus, I needed a jersey that fit my personality. So I decided to go with the most ridiculous logo I could think of, which was that of the Victoria Salmon Kings. The Salmon Kings were a minor league team in British Columbia from 2004 to 2011. Never heard of them? That’s because they played in the ECHL, which was a step below the AHL (the Chicago Wolves play in the “A.”) We’re getting obscure here. But my intention wasn’t to be obscure; it was to be ridiculous.
When searching eBay last May for a Salmon Kings jersey, I found a gold practice jersey…and I knew this was the one! This was the jersey that I was going to learn to play hockey in. I put down a bid, then increased that bid many times, anxiously hoping that I would win it. Surprisingly — OK, maybe not — no one bid against me, and this beauty was all mine, ready to keep me warm while I learned world’s coolest game.
Just look at it. The color is gaudy. The logo is silly. It is hard to take myself seriously when clad in a yellow sweater emblazoned with a cartoon fish. It keeps things real for me. Plus, when I’m frustrated, or tired while I am out on the ice, I take a look at the logo and it makes me smile. It reminds me that I am here to have fun.
That is what the fish is all about.
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Filed under: Advice