Just An Observation: From a game to some Games and back again

With the dead of winter rollercoastering us along, here’s a few random thoughts

With the weather going into the tank once again, I think it’s time to empty out some thoughts this week especially with the fact I’ll lose an hour of my life come the weekend.

It’s JUST a game

Minor hockey is no longer a chance for kids to simply play something they love, as adults have once again decided it has to be all about them.

This time it’s a bantam team from Rimbey that was told just days prior to their playoffs that they will be given a banner, but don’t bother coming to the rink anymore. The team didn’t ask to be in the situation, in fact the coaches wanted to be tiered higher, but the league gave them no choice. So, the team was pretty dominant. What did the league expect would happen?

And now, they turn around and go — oops, some teams feel you will blast through and win the title, so see you later and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

There has to be a solution out there to let kids play competitive hockey, but the leagues and Hockey Alberta are only managing to drive kids away from a game that is seeing numbers continuing to dwindle.

Games over

While I — and the family — would have liked to take in more of the events and activities, I certainly enjoyed being able to catch some of the Canada Games action in Red Deer.

Being a media member and photographer, you get a very different perspective than the majority of those who had tickets to various events and that is something I relish as a sports enthusiast.

It was also a great opportunity to take in sports that I don’t normally see such as a speed skating — both short and long track — as well as freestyle skiing and biathlon.

That’s not to say the wheelchair basketball, gymnastics and other events I’ve covered before weren’t great to shoot and watch, but as a sports photographer, it is always nice to challenge oneself with something new. It’s also an excellent chance to come up with that spectacular image that you may not get again.

It was also the first time I was able to see live action at a Canada Games and you never know when you’ll get another chance.

Look, around the corner

Yep, that strange coil has been spotted hanging out near corners all over the place — and for those that saw it fly over their heads, it’s spring.

And with spring, comes the ‘diamond’ of all sports (again…my apologies) called baseball.

Now while I grew up as a die-hard hockey fanatic — and a crazy goalie — I spent probably a month or so once hockey finished waiting for baseball to start up.

This was also back in the day when kids played pretty much every sport that was available and developed a variety of skill sets that allowed them to later figure out what they were really good at — as opposed to the specialization, year-round occupation some parents feel their kid needs to be a success these days.

And as much as I loved hockey growing up, baseball has grown from a fun summer sport to something that I enjoy watching as much as I do participating.

As well, I’ve found that hockey — especially at the professional level on television — doesn’t provide the same level of excitement it used to, whereas I can sit and have a ball watching baseball with the family whether it’s live or on the screen.

Even with the demise of the Montreal Expos about 15 years ago and not having a favourite team anymore, the sport has been able to hold a greater interest for me over the years. Why? I think it has to do with the fact baseball, especially at the lower levels, remains more true and pure to the original game while hockey has been taken over by adults and business.

But that is…just an observation.


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