When I was in elementary school there was a kid in my class, let’s call him Chris, who was always just kind of there. You know the type I mean. Didn’t say a lot, never caused trouble, was relatively unassuming; usual grade school nonsense stuff. I didn’t know a lot about Chris other than that his parents were divorced and that he was always falling behind in school. Kids weren’t mean to him per se but they were exactly accepting of him either. He’d kind of linger near the door during recess while we played football or red-ass or whatever game was popular at the time. He’d never ask to join, and I don’t think we would have said no if he had, but we never asked him either.

Eventually, by sixth grade, a few kids started to tease him if for no other reason than kids are assholes. With a very small amount of pride I can say that it wasn’t my friends who started to give him a hard time, but I can say that no one stepped in to do anything about it either. No one came to this poor kid’s defense because God forbid you do anything that would make you stand out in sixth grade.

This went on for a while and I have to admit I still feel bad when I think about our lack of any sort of action now. He finally stopped being made fun of when it came time for the tryouts for softball. We had a pretty steady team going for the last few years, very rarely were there new kids on the roster or even at the tryouts – except for this year. Chris was there. Now Chris played the game a little differently. In the outfield, if there was a fly ball hit towards him, he’d whip his glove to the ground and take off to try and catch it with his bare hands. Of course, we all found this hilarious but the weird thing was that Chris was actually pretty good and we soon found ourselves hanging out with the kid after games.

Until things didn’t go his way. Then he would get mad. I’d never seen Chris mad before, not even when he was being teased in school. Chris mad was a scary thing to see. One time he threatened a kid on an opposing team with a bat – he was suspended from the team for 3 games after this, probably because it never went further than yelling with a bat in his hand. Because our team wasn’t very good, these outbursts started to become a regular thing and by the end of the season he was back to being on the outside; all the good will he had garnered from the team had been squandered, mostly because we were all afraid of him.

Chris left the school after that year and I haven’t seen him since. I have no idea what became of him but he was in my thoughts the other day when I was watching game 2 of the Coyotes/Kings series. Chris is the Phoenix Coyotes. Kind of on the outside, not really making any sort of impact on anyone, eventually getting beat down by forces outside of their control before getting it together only to lose it when things don’t go their way.The way the Coyotes played at the end of game 2 was almost frightening and I was glad to see cooler heads prevail in game 3 (or they just got their asses kicked and slinked away. That worked too).

I don’t know what Chris’ future held for him, just as I don’t know what will happen to the Coyotes after this year. But I think we should keep an eye on them, just in case. You never know what could happen.

Links To The Past

  • This is devastating. Never shall there be such a crisis of consciousness such as this. (Puck Daddy)
  • Hey, you know what sucks? Losing to Slovakia in hockey. Just close your eyes and think of Crosby’s golden goal. Deep breaths. That’s it. (The Hockey News)
  • So, there’s this guy. And his last name is King. And he plays for the Kings. Isn’t that amazing? Seriously, though, who the hell is Dwight King and why is he so good? (LA Times)
  • If there’s one thing I like more than hockey, it’s GIFs. If there’s a second thing I like more than hockey, it’s infographics. I don’t have a GIF, so here’s an infographic. Just how much momentum do comebacks build, anyway? (Silver Oaks Casino)
  • So, is Colby Armstrong good at hockey or what? Maybe the numbers can tell us. (The Leafs Nation)
  • Down 3-0 to the best team in these playoffs? It’s been done. Oh. No it hasn’t. (Arizona Republic)
  • So these Conference Finals aren’t super fun, are they? (The Globe and Mail)
  • Unless you’re Adam Henrique. Then you’re probably enjoying yourself quite a bit. (New York Times)