Hockey is more than a game

By Jason Sutcliffe

I was originally going to write about the Toronto Maple Leafs and what they mean to the city of Toronto and Torontonians. However, when I began to brainstorm, and started reflecting on my childhood memories and the role the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey played in my life—well, I had a much more personal story to tell.

My first memory of hockey goes back to when I was about 3 or 4 years old. I was in the living room of my house at Woodbine and Gerrard. I was running around with my little stick, and ball well my Dad and my uncles watched hockey night in Canada on Saturday night. Saturday night was a special night for me as a kid. That was the night I got to stay up late and hang out with the guys (as my Dad would say). Those were great nights, eating chips, drinking a bit of pop and watching the leaf game—so cool!

Some of my favourite times with my Dad were when he would take me to the Leaf games at Maple Leaf Gardens. I was about 8 or 9. We would do that like 3 or 4 times a year. I got to see Wayne Gretzky play that was awesome.

As a teenager, when we were not seeing eye to eye, and he did not agree with the things I was doing or the decisions I was making we could find common ground with hockey. We could talk about hockey or take in a hockey game. It always seemed to help us find a way to work out whatever problems we had. For us hockey is not just a game, it is a passion, it is part of who we are.

I am now 32 years old with a family of my own. My Dad he is now an old man, and in poor health, but still every morning we get together for a coffee at the local coffee shop. We sit out in his car, have a coffee and talk hockey. We share a passion for the game Of course there are other reasons why we are so close, but I would like to think that part of the reason we are best friends today is because of our love for the sport of hockey.

It has been almost 30 years since I was that young boy running around with my little hockey stick, scoring goals on my little net. I now have a son. He was born on March 6th of this year. A couple of weeks after his birth he sat with me on the couch and watched his first Leaf game.

My wish is that one day I will be that old man having coffee with him talking about the leafs, and he will be curling up with his son on Saturday night to watch the greatest game on Earth. We grow older and time passes, but the game—the game stays the same.

That is what hockey means to my family and me!

  1. jewlz says:

    this is probably one of my favorite pieces you have written jase and ur right hockey and soccer always played big roles in our family not just as a sport but bonding time and built closes net relstionships♡ love this peice and u

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