When sports makes you feel old
With the trade deadline still a week away, the Pittsburgh Penguins wasted no time by trading defense prospect, Joseph Morrow, and a 2013 fifth round pick for Dallas Stars captain, Brenden Morrow (along with a 2013 third round pick) and in the process ruined my dream of ever playing in the NHL. I hope you’re happy Ray Shero!
Brenden Morrow, while on the downside of his career, is the type of grizzled veteran cup-contending teams go after around the trade deadline (think Bryan Trottier for the ’91 Penguins, or Glenn Anderson for the ’94 Rangers). But I remember when Brenden Morrow first broke into the NHL with the Dallas Stars, playing alongside his future father-in-law Guy Carbonneau. It was 1999 and there was nothing better than watching NHL hockey on my 75 lb tube TV. It was the golden era of televised hockey, when Gary Thorne and Bill Clement were calling games on ESPN (yes, hockey was once on ESPN….okay, ESPN2).
As successful as I’ve been avoiding real responsibility in my first 39 years on this planet, seeing a player younger than me go full circle in his career is a bit of a wake-up call. I will never play in the NHL. While that may seem obvious to most, deep down every former athlete has a subconscious hope that one day a large portion of your local pro team will contract Scarlett Fever. Your phone rings to fill a roster spot because it’s too late for a call-up from the minors. You score 3 goals on the league’s top tender while pummeling the other team’s enforcer. You become the hero of your city. You are immediately signed to a long term contract, despite the fact that you are non-drafted 30-something beer league player.
But even if 15 Blackhawk players contract Dysentery tomorrow (which apparently is unlikely according to “science”), the fact is, I would still never get that call. Because as Brenden Morrow so callously reminded me, I am well past the age of most active NHLers. I’m more qualified to do Binny’s commercials, or best case, argue with Mike Milbury on OLN, Versus, NBCSN or whatever it’s called now. Did I mention hockey was once on ESPN…….2?
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