DKM Hockey Podcast

Friday, June 1, 2012

Best Hockey Poem Ever: A Clean Sheet.

Hockey Equipment marketing in the US is about as foreign to most people as Hurling.  But sometime in the late 90's, Bauer was running some crazy ads with quirky goalies for their new fangled Nike hockey skates.


But Bauer was running some quiet and emotionally driven ads for their branded line of equipment.  I'm sure if you googled or youtubed Bauer Hockey Poem you'd come up with the TV spot.  I'm not sure if this is a 'borrowed' version of an existing poem or something that the sensitive boys at Bauer pounded out themselves.  Never the less, this remains my second favorite sports poem of all time - and possibly the best hockey poem ever.

If I give you a clean sheet, what will you write?
Will your words be long and graceful or short and sweet?
Will it be poetry or brute instinct?
If you have something to say, best say it now
For soon, always, too soon.
My sheet will be filled
And this chapter will end.
As sure as the next will begin.
With a clean sheet, new authors,

and a million possibilities...

The words of this poem fit really well with hockey.  Sheet is a sheet of ice.  The immediate comparison to the Zamboni clearing the ice of what just took place (unless of course you have practice right after a U18AAA team, those gouges stay for weeks!!).  Poetry or Brute force.  I could go on and on...  This poem is simply the best one for capturing the emotional attachment of playing hockey in writing.

I liked it so much that I wrote it on my tip trays when I was bartending at TGI Friday's in the summers during college.  Needless to say, it was a great ice breaker for hot 23 year old girls crying into their beer about jerks they meet at the gym.  Hot girls searching for meaning and emotional fulfillment - fish in a barrel.

And you ask what my favorite sports poem?  Well, it's the truncated portion of Thomas Gray's "Elegy written in a Church Courtyard" Lines 55 and 56

"Full many a flower are born to blush unseen
And waste its sweetness upon the desert air"

This poem unto itself has no bearing on sports, until you hear Susan Sarandon reading it aloud as Crash Davis rounds the bases after hitting his minor-league record-setting homerun in the movie Bull Durham.  In that context, and being in a family of career minor leaguers, it has special sports meaning to me...

We're dealing with a lot of shit.
And then before I start tearing up, I remember this scene from the movie.  "Okay, well, uh... candlesticks always make a nice gift, and uh, maybe you could find out where she's registered and maybe a place-setting or maybe a silverware pattern. Okay, let's get two! Go get 'em."

What's Hurling? 

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