Chris Pinkard

Chris Pinkard is a staff writer for the Blytheville Courier News

Waiting for the day my numbers hit, and the return of the NHL

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Welcome back everyone. I hope you all enjoyed your three-day weekend -- those of you that had one, that is. For me, the weekend was a particularly exciting one. Ashley and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary Sunday. Honestly, while it wasn't our most elaborate celebration it was a great day. Since Ashley gets tired early, we made it a day date this year, starting with a nice lunch. We made a trip to the bookstore, then over to my favorite coffee place and finally we thought we'd look at some baby clothes since we were out.

This was a bit of a mistake.

We ended up spending way more money than I care to disclose on baby clothes. This impromptu shopping spree brought two points to mind. The first, this baby isn't even here yet and I'm already spending way too much money on her. I don't want her to be vapid and place great amounts of value on superficial things, but some outfits are too cute to pass up. Already having the propensity to NOT be able to say no to Ashley, I can't imagine it'll be much easier when Caroline asks for something. At any rate, if it keeps going like this I'm really going to need my numbers to hit on the Powerball.

The second thing that I thought of was how little we spent on one another for our anniversary versus how much we did spend on the baby. Now this isn't necessarily a bad thing, rather a bit of a surprise to me. When I was a kid, I couldn't understand how my parents could continually put off getting things they wanted in order to get things for the three of us and still be happy about it. Truth be told, though they never did anything to make me feel this way I always felt a bit guilty. I needed (or wanted) this thing and as a result they couldn't get that thing. I'm learning though that as a parent you often don't think of it in those terms. Throughout the entire day Sunday, I don't think my wife or I either one ever had the thought "I can't get this thing because I'm buying Caroline that thing." It just didn't matter.

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure I did buy a scarf, a magazine and a cup of coffee and Ashley got a card and flowers.

This weekend also marked the beginning of the NHL season after a long lock-out. I think I've made it abundantly clear that I'm not a big sports fan. I don't like the competitive nature of sports, I think it's ridiculous that these athletes make as much money as they do and if I'm going to spend two-and-a-half hours sitting in front of the TV, I'd much rather be playing video games. That being said, I do enjoy hockey. I still don't spend hours watching games, but I do keep up with the action. I follow the Redwings on Twitter and have the NHL app that keeps me well-informed about what's happening across the league.

I think I've always liked hockey because it seems to be the underdog of the professional sports world. It has a camaraderie that other sports often lack. In fact, hockey seems to be the punk rock of the sports universe -- which would explain my affinity for the game.

As far as professional athletes go, they definitely get the short end of the stick (pun intended).

Hockey players make less money on average than baseball or basketball players, they aren't as recognizable and therefore often don't get the credit they deserve (most people might recognize Tom Brady but I doubt they would give Alex Ovechkin a second glance) and they play a very brutal sport but don't get six days to recuperate for the next game like football players.

Football, baseball and basketball are all sports built for the media. Slap Kobe Bryant's name on anything and it'll sell. Hockey, though, is a sport for the fans. Every line change, every power play, every hat trick, every shootout, every period -- we relish these moments as fans, not taking any of it for granted because it may not be there next season.

So here's to a great season hockey fans. May Lord Stanely's Cup find it's way to your team's city ... provided your team is the Redwings.

Follow me on Twitter at @TheJediDad and visit www.thejedidad.wordpress.com. May the force be with you.