Friday, October 30, 2015

This is Men! Real Men

Ok, one more about hockey. Though, as you can tell by now, my stories aren't about the surface topic. Though we'll start there.

This one is about men. Real men. Now for those of you who may think this topic sexist or old-fashioned or silly, you may be right ... and you can excuse yourself if you want. 

Back to topic, where else will you find some examples of real men but - where else - NHL Hockey?

Here is the scene. It's the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals between the New York Rangers and the LA Kings in 2014. Uber LA defenseman Drew Doughty believes he has been intentionally banged with the end of a Ranger's stick. On the bench he pleads his case with the officials getting visibly upset. Two of his teammates, Matt Greene to his left and Jeff Carter on the ice, attempt to calm down their irate teammate. How do they do it? Gently? Calmly? With the sort of deep empathy and compassion that would soothe Doughty's inner child?

Hell no. 

They let their bud have it. Greene is barking "Come on!" Carter is poking Doughty's arm and jersey. Still in the heat of battle, Doughty then looks over at Carter and jabs his teammate with some strong language. Not a lip reader myself, my guess would be "Shut the F&*# Up!"

Click this link for a view and then come back: CLICK HERE

Now where does the "real man" part come into this story? Not in the strong language or the barking. Not in the emotional upset of any of the players, though this is justifiable for men in battle. Where does the "real man" aspect arise in this scenario?

It's subtle, but it's right there - in Carter - as he skates off. It's right there in the silence of his non-response, in his knowing there is nothing to take personal in Doughty's verbal onslaught. It's in a man who couldn't care less about another's emotions even if they were directed at him. It's in a person who sees through surface feelings and realizes the truth of the moment.

Now I don't live inside Carter's head and don't know if his teammate's words wounded him or not. But I'd put big money down on the fact it didn't reach him one bit.

Warriors have a job. Men on missions have a purpose. And no amount of emotion will sway their purpose.

For you men out there - consider this any time you start to engage with another person's emotional jabs. Consider this any time you take anything personal or choose to be pulled into a fight with, say, a girlfriend or a wife. Would a warrior battle his woman? Would a leader get emotionally tangled by another's supposed attack?

A real man wouldn't even SEE the attack. A man worth his weight would stay on course no matter what is happening around him. No matter the storms of life, a man stays steady with the job at hand. And in the end, when the storms are over, the man may stand proud, with the award raised above his head, as a real man, as a winning warrior, as a triumphant King.

Jim Ellis is an LA Kings fan who is quite proud of all the LA Kings players, especially the likes of Doughty who lets his passion out. More good stuff at

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