The Friendly Funeralista

Archive for the ‘hockey mom’ Category

I’m taking off my funeral hat and putting on my touque …

As mother of not one but 2 goalies, I am in mourning for Martin Brodeur’s mom today.  Team Canada had a tough loss to Team USA last night, losing 5-3 in Olympic hockey.  Sadly, credit for the loss has been laid at the feet of goaltender Martin Brodeur. 

Driving home from my eldest son’s 7am practice this morning, I had the “pleasure” of listening to the Toronto hockey pundits remarking on the “overly aggressive” and “careless” play of Brodeur.  Funny, these were the same guys who were calling for his canonization when he shut down the Swiss sharpshooters to lead Canada to a win Thursday night.  How fickle is fan. 

Goalies have a tough row to hoe.  At the end of the game, you are either the saviour or the goat … when you make a mistake a horn blares, a red light flashes and 20,000 people stand up and start cheering … and your Mom, her heart breaks for you.  Yes, it’s the nature of the beast and yes, you knew when you strapped on the pads that this was what you were in for … but it is never easy.

For what it’s worth, I love the way Brodeur plays.  I like the fact that he is aggressive and takes chances.  I like the fact that he commits.  I like his courage and tenacity (which is more than I can say about Chris Pronger … don’t go there!)  So my hat goes off to Madame Brodeur … I suspect that she will hear all about her son’s failings everywhere she goes today.  I also suspect that she will be on the phone to her son telling him what we all tell our goalie sons … “watch your angles”, “be patient”, “don’t guess”, “keep your glove up” and “I am proud of you and will always love you no matter what”.

PS — Marty, that was a heck of double you hit last night!


My other full-time job is that of “Goalie Mom”.  I have two boys, 10 years apart in age, and both are goalies for their hockey teams.  Our eldest is in grade 11 and we have just begun our discussions about his post secondary plans.  The hope, of course, is that hockey might take him to a university or college in the States on scholarship.  He plays for his school team and a Junior team.  Our little guy, is playing his first year of rep hockey, and is more interested in the camaraderie in the dressing room, the great looking uniforms and the post game snack.  That said, I spend a great deal of my time eating arena popcorn and chugging back the extra-large double doubles from Tim Hortons. I know a lot more about hockey than I like to admit and grumble endlessly about the constant ferrying of kids to arenas — the truth is, however, that I love it and I love the life lessons that the game teaches me, my husband and our boys.

The game taught us a tough life lesson on Friday, when it was reported that the son of Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager, Brian Burke, lost his son in a fatal car accident in Indiana.  Brendan was just 21 years old, student manager of the Miami Red-Hawks NCAA hockey team, with plans to study law.  He was driving in a terrible snowstorm on his way to the arena when his car slid into an oncoming vehicle.   How the Burke’s will get through this is beyond me.  What I do know, is that they will never recover completely but will endure. I know that the hockey community has rushed to support this family in their grief.   I wonder if the game and the hockey community and culture will give them some respite as they face the “new normal” of living without their son.  I hope so.  If I thought it would help, I would send a bottomless bag of stale arena popcorn and a vat of Timmies.    Both my boys are on the ice tonight, and I thank God for it. 

Here is a link an article from the Toronto Star reporting the accident:


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