This article was originally published on LinkedIn
Winter finally is over in New England (kind of) but playoff hockey remains, with two cold-weather teams fighting it out to face off against a warm weather juggernaut. Watching this saga unfold while in Chicago got me thinking about how fans from each region view their team and sport.
Lots of kids my age (42) grew up hockey-obsessed and pond-adjacent and thus wound up playing pond-hockey… For those not of the North Pond-Hockey is its own brand of- self-organized, non-denominational, age-unrestricted, variable-skill, clock-free, referee-free, fun-first, Mayhem. Games typically formed in or near coves where falling through the ice would result only in temporary discomfort. Start time was a loose 2:30 with students piling off of bicycles plunked by the street or gliding across the pond who were later joined by adults on their way home from work. A 32 year old machinist attempting a break away might find himself set upon Gulliver-style by a trio of third graders out for blood and glory at the exact moment a score is settled between two teens with a cross-check and subsequent Jerseying. The first hand accounts I’ve heard over the years from friends in other cold weather regions have verified that this cross between Norman Rockwell and Phillip K Dick and Gary Larson wasn’t unique to my neck of Massachusetts. This is just how things work out when people find themselves in that environment.
What does this have to do with anything Kiosk, Self Service, or LinkedInish? The short answer is that every one of these denizens of destruction had learned to skate. We had all taken our lumps over the years getting proficient enough to ‘play’. Ice hockey is the one sport that requires attainment of a certain level of a particular skill to even be considered terrible… no matter how, big, strong, fast, quick, or competitive you are…If you can’t Skate, you can’t even Stink…you’re a non-factor at best…relegated to the land of the shamefully sneaker-clad, awkwardly shuffling and rotating, using your stick as a cane desperately trying not to add a concussion to your rapidly growing list of the afternoon’s impact injuries.
Crossover potential has great appeal and makes for great debate and conversation – Lebron playing Football, Kobe playing Futbol, Bo Jackson playing anything! ….. anything except ICE HOCKEY…..
Be mindful of the sport you are playing and if you are on the ice – of who can skate, and who only looks like they can.