This past week has been chock-full of tributes down there at the Tampa Bay Times Forum: Martin St. Louis was honored last Monday for his 1000th NHL game (actually played previously at an away game against Los Angeles) and former-Bolt/current-Flyer Vincent Lecavalier was honored at last night’s game for his first return to our house.
Both tributes were memorable for the honorees as well as for the fans, I’m sure, but what I surprised me was seeing just how uncomfortable and twitchy Marty and Vinny were through it all.
Whenever the jumbotron singled them out, these two big, bad, tough hockey players squirmed in their seats like they had worms down the back of their sweaters, being forced to listen to all those accolades at nearly every break.
(“Marty is hardly a big, bad, tough hockey player,” says the husband. “Top-notch, but neither big nor bad.”)
We all know and appreciate the stamina, power, grit, determination, and brute strength they possess and utilize during games. Apparently warm, squishy public events are foreign and uncomfortable for these testosterone-laden hockey players. And no, I’m not saying we should have squishy hockey players, either. I just find it very interesting to see just how self-conscious and embarrassed they both were.
You could practically hear them cringing, trying to look nonchalant while avoiding peeking up at the big screen. (To paraphrase: Hey! There’s no blushing in hockey!)
It was clear all they wanted to do was get on the ice and play the game. And eventually they did, much to their relief. Although it would have been fun to see Vinny race up the stairs to make it to the club level for the Community Hero salute and hoist a Bolts sweater as previous recipients did.
Bless their hearts.