Ahhhh the life of a father of two. Weekends are a Blast Blast Blast… Birthday parties, hockey rinks, play dates..It doesn’t get better then that. The highlight for me is always the trip to the grocery store on Sunday afternoons. Usually I have at least one with me and then usually,”daddy I want” ensues. Well, sports fans, this Sunday was a tad different. One of the kids was at birthday party and the other was with Mrs. TSM and LT’s family skating. I was at the grocery store SOLO… Excited about where this going yet? (For what its worth, Berger’s column today is more of the same on Wilson v Cherry, which we talked about last week!). Anyway, the store I hit most Sunday’s is frequented by a feb local celebs, most in the sporting arena. I have seen a few current buds there and I used to see JF quite often too. I have never been the least bit interested in any of those I have run into. I see quite a few of the athletes in this city out and about. I see a few of the media personalities from time to time too. Bill Hayes is often at the same TD branch I bank at. Kyreos’s kid plays soccer where little TSM does, so I see him most Saturday’s in the sring…. Again, a bit of a yawner, nothing really interesting…I digress.
Today was different.
Growing up a Maple Leaf fan in this city, we have seen a ton of players don the blue and white. Some we remember more then others. I don’t know why but some obscure ones seem to stick with me more then others… There is one player who was a huge favorite back then. I remember watching this guy every Saturday night, waiting for the black haired Dave Hodge in the those lovely baby blue blazer:
In my life (at least those I remember), there has never been a better Maple Leaf then Sittler. I remember so many a night down at the Gardens, or on the tube watching number #27. I also remember getting Sittler’s autograph when I used to see him around town, he often was at a booth signing autographs during charity walks or other community events.
As I was walking the aisles at the store today, minding my own business, I was totally taking by walking by Sittler not once but 3 times. He clearly knew I recognized him as he smiled at me. I am sure it was the goofy smile on my face. I was excited to see him as I was back in the day. I was not alone. 3 different people asked me as I was checking out (and paying for plastic bags) if that was indeed the Captain. He obviously had as a big an impact on others as he did on me. The really funny thing is, I didn’t know what to say to the guy. I was totally tongue tied. I didn’t have a camera and I didn’t think fast enough to get him to sign a package of oreos or something. When I got home, I told little TSM that I have seen my boyhood idol today. He asked a ton of questions, including, “who is MY boyhood idol?” A great question to ask, don’t you think…..
By the way, Sittler looked great…I hope the ribs were good Darryl!