Monday, October 6, 2014

There is no crying in hockey...or is there?

I'm an emotional guy. I laugh easily and I admittedly cry easy too. I am brought to tears both in sadness and in joy. It is just the way I am. I am man enough to admit it. What may seem hard to believe is I've cried in a hockey arena a handful of times. Sounds weird doesn't it? Who cries at a hockey game? I am not talking all out breaking down and crying with sorrow and falling to my knees and making a spectacle of myself. I am not that emotionally unstable. Come on!!
I do remember tearing up twice in short order when the Swift Current Broncos were the focal point.
I was there at the Civic Centre in Swift Current when the WHL held a public Memorial Service for the four lives that were lost in a tragic bus accident in 1986. It was a terribly sad day as the community of 15 thousand mourned the loss of four of its adopted sons. I was friends and teammates of Trevor and Darren Krugar, whose brother Scott was killed in the crash. It was a sad, impactful day. No dry eyes in the hockey arena that day. Even the toughest hockey men were looking for a Kleenex.
Tears of pride and joy were soon to follow though, when the Broncos elected to play out the season despite that terrible accident. I wouldn't have missed it for the world as the team played its first game after the tragedy at Moose Jaw's old Civic Centre. I was not a member of the media at the time, just a 19 year-old spectator watching at the far end as the Broncos made their way onto the ice for the pre-game skate. No one dare look at the person next to you as eyes watered with fans of the Warriors and Broncos applauding the visitors.
I don't remember the score that night. All I remember was the sense of pride I had for my city and the team that represented little old me when the Broncos skated out of the tunnel that night wearing those road, blue/green and white jersey's with the bucking bronco logo in the middle. 
That single memory sticks in my mind over 28 years later.
That jersey.
That logo.
That specific Broncos uniform will always have an impact on me.
In Swift Current, we didn't have much. What we had was a team that suffered a massive blow that affected everyone. But it was a team that brought us immense joy too. They would again wear those same jerseys, the road blue with green and white trim the night they won the 1989 Memorial Cup four years later.
So, if the Broncos indeed wear those uniforms tomorrow night at Prospera Place, I anticipate a little lump in my throat as the memories start floating back.
I won't hide the fact that I want my team, the Kelowna Rockets to win, but what won't change is my opinion that the Swift Current Broncos retro road uniforms are the best this broadcaster has ever seen.

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