Barry Bonds made me a hockey fan.
How did a California gal who has loved baseball and the San Francisco Giants her whole life become such a San Jose Sharks fan in a mere four years. Barry Bonds, that's how. I hate cheaters. I hate people who lie. And I detest when people do all those things in order to get ahead, make a lot of money or make a name for themselves. Hello Barry.
I grew up watching Mays, McCovey, and Marichal. I always wanted to be Orlando Cepeda when we played outside because the Baby Bull was my favorite. My first time freezing my ass off at Candlestick was with an uncle sitting on the third base side for a double header against the Cubs when I was in the fourth grade. We all just don't forget those things.
Nor would I ever forget the first hockey game I went to with my cousin Steve. I saw the zamboni for the first time. I saw men on ice skates doing things that most of us cannot do in tennis shoes on solid ground. I didn't know the rules, nor the plays or the nuances but I knew I really liked this game right away. It also helped that this was the Stanley Cup playoffs.
This is one of those times it pays to have an obsessive personality. I absorbed everything I could about hockey and the San Jose Sharks, names, numbers where the guys were from. I checked out Hockey for Dummies at the library. Got all the hockey videos and watched them on hot summer nights.
Tonight, the Sharks beat the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton, 3-2. We have 5 games left and are ahead of Detroit by six points. We are ahead of Boston by three points. If we have the most points on April 11, we win the first part of the season. That means we will have home ice during the Stanley Cup.
All of Canada is watching this tourney, the US is watching, for the most part, the opening of baseball season. One of the many reasons I like hockey, as I said was because I consider hockey players to be much better athletes. OK, if I didn't say, that's what I meant. Know what else? they are really nice guys, at least the Sharks are. I go to practice sometimes and they autograph my jersey, have given me hockey sticks and just chit chatted with me. Can you imagine having a chat with Barry Bonds? I can't imagine wanting to chat with him. That's the difference for me, who would want to talk to him unless you are a sports writer? If I wanted to get abused, I could go get another crappy job.
My point, with dwindling resources, we all have to make decisions about where to spend our money. Sometimes in the past I had to choose between food and meds. I would not go to a Giants game unless someone handed me a free ticket and free food, drove me up there and paid for the parking. Obviously I am not a cheap date.
Ah, but for my bos in teal, I would ride my bike down to the Tank. I would still need a free ticket but I was offered one the other night. My friend Genevieve is struggling in this economy but the Sharks always take care of her because she helps out the guys with errands and cooking, things like that. How's that for helping the community.
Or even better, one of our local councilmembers had to cop to taking free tickets from one of the Sharks owners before voting on one of his projects coming to a council vote. Oh whoops! Big mistake.
Anyway, thanks Barry for steering me away from baseball and towards my local team. good luck Gigantes, maybe I'll come back some day. At least the new park is way better than Candlestick.