It’s almost that time of year once more. Memories of winter are shrinking, but for me, I see only ice. That’s right, it’s almost time for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Regular readers know how much I love hockey, and that I have a few friends who play, or used to play. The great Ron Francis, Paul Coffey, Tony McKegney, to name a few…well, to name them all actually, or at least I thought so until just the other day, when I had to write a letter of apology to a player I’ve never even met. I’m talking about the Toronto Maple Leaf’s Tie Domi.
Confused? Not as badly as I was, but the following letter to the NHL’s version of the Tasmanian Devil is fairly self-explanatory:
As our mutual friend Tony McKegney may or may not have told you, I am an idiot.
However, my own tremendous standards in this area rocketed upwards at a hell of a rate when recently, I made the startling discovery that one of the signed photographs on the wall of my office was of you, and not (as I had thought for the previous year) of the aforementioned McKegney.
Now even by my standards, this is a staggering piece of stupidity, and for at least five reasons:
- The inscription on the photo reads, “To David, all my best, Tie Domi.” (To some, this might have been a hint, although in my own defense here, you could be called for hooking, slashing, and off-side for your signature, although it does appear possible that you might have been tripped in the act of writing it.)
- Tony McKegney is a big, bandy-legged black guy.
- You’re not.
- You’re insane.
- Okay, you got me on this one. Tony’s insane too. To play hockey for a living, you have to be.
A friend of mine from Toronto was visiting me the other day, and he remarked upon your image, “Hey, nice photo of Tie Domi. I didn’t know you knew him!”
I told him I didn’t know Tie Domi, and that he was looking at a photo of Tony McKegney. “It’s just a reflection off the ice, or a trick of the light or something,” I muttered. But those Toronto people aren’t so easily fooled. Most of the bastards know you.
Subsequently, Tony told me he had asked you to send the photo about a year or so ago, around the same time he had sent me one of himself, but he didn’t realize that you had done so. Obviously he didn’t tell me. I’m thrilled to have your picture on my wall though, and I wanted to write to thank you, and explain why my letter took so long! You must have thought I was a bigger asshole than I thought you were, and I was wrong about that. Since I’ve realized you are watching me as I write, I’ve taken the time to visit your web site, and find out a little more about you. When you’re not beating the crap out of adults, you manage to find the time to look after an enormous number of less than fortunate kids. Thanks for doing that, and thank you so much for signing and sending your photo to me. It’s one that I will treasure.
Please accept a copy of my book, with kindest regards from one of your brethren. I’m sending you a photo, too, although it was taken from a strange angle, and I think it makes me look a little like Vijay Singh.
Good luck in the playoffs. Toronto has a new fan.