Monday, November 17, 2008

Goonchild

We talk a fair amount of sports here. From predictions, to betting strategies, to the relative merits of the various sports, to the sexcapades of certain professional football squads, we've covered a lot of sporting turf. So you can take it to the bank as Revealed Truth when I tell you this:

There is no more entertaining sport to watch in the known universe than 4-5 year-old floor hockey.

Moonchild started playing 4 weeks ago - his first "organized" sport. And I gotta say, I'm hooked. There's nothing quite like the adrenaline tweaking frenetic chaos that is 4 and 5 year-olds playing floor hockey. Basically it's a scrum of 10 kids flailing away at a little orange plastic puck, usually hitting nothing other than the other players' ankles. When the puck finally does get free, the kids who aren't left on the floor bleeding or otherwise incapacitated by repetitive blunt-force traumas swarm after it obsessively regardless of their respective positions.

Oh, and then there are the goalies who tend to get bored, so they sit down in the crease and pick their noses most of the time.

Moonchild has taken to the sport remarkably. He flies around after the puck like a roided up linebacker on crack. Sometimes Often he gets a bit too aggressive, and starts hitting, pushing, hooking, slashing, spearing, checking, pulling or tackling the other players. Regardless of which team they're on. He is focused on and has committed himself to a single mission: HIT THE PUCK. Doesn't matter where it is on the floor. Doesn't matter who's in control of it. Doesn't matter which direction he hits it. Just as long as he hits it and none of the other 11 pain-in-the-ass players gets in his way, nobody gets hurt.

Of course, most of the other 11 players on the floor subscribe to the same philosophy. That's what makes the game so fun to watch.

I think he's finally starting to get it. Last week, I had to pull Moonchild out of the game 3 times to yell at him for mindlessly trying to brutalize members of the other team. The third time was especially egregious: some kid did something he didn't like so Moonchild took a swing at his ankles with his stick, tripping the kid. I pulled him over and told him in extremely forceful terms that he needed to dial back his goonery. He indicated compliance and ran back toward the action. As he was on his way to the puck scrum, some kid on the other team cut him off.

Moonchild absolutely leveled that kid with a vicious cross check and just kept on running.

I let it go. If Derek Boogaard can get paid big-time money for doing basically the same thing, who am I to restrict Moonchild's development? And develop he has. In his game last Saturday, Moonchild scored two goals.

One for his team, one for the other team.

At least we're getting somewhere.

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