TWO VASTLY DIFFERENT HOCKEY AUTOBIOGRAPHIESI've been on a bit of a hockey player biography kick lately. That cool air in the arena bring on this hockey-mania I guess? I read two book ORR (by Bobby Orr) and OFFSIDE (by Sean Avery)...and, boy, oh boy, were they completely different narratives.
The stories he shares are all shining examples of how he lived his values. He is one of those very humble guys who prefers to deflect the spotlight off of him and shine it on others. A great example is his story of the goal he scored to win the Stanley cup in overtime. That infamous picture of him flying through the air with arms outstretched in celebration...
This is a picture and a goal he is asked about often. And, who wouldn't be proud of that! It's every hockey players dream as a kid right? To be the hero that scores in overtime to win the Stanley Cup! That would be story to tell over and over and over...right? Well, not so much for Bobby. His response is always about the rest of the play that led to this goal - Sanderson's great forechecking that kept the puck in the St Louis end and his pass to Orr. He makes sure to point out that was his only goal of the entire series...his team mates had scored all the other goals to get them into the final game. His goalie stopped all the shots to put them into overtime. He just happened to be that player that got the game winning goal.
The second book I read, OFFSIDE by Sean Avery was the exact opposite. Avery prides himself on being in the spotlight. I don't remember how many times he mentioned the crowd at Madison Square Garden chanting his name. And, it wasn't because he scored the game winning goal in overtime to win The Cup...it was because he caused trouble out on the ice. He was a pest, and his game plan was to annoy and bother the other team until they could take no more and slashed him or hit him and got a penalty. He also loved to use his minor celebrity status to get into 'cool' clubs and impress the ladies. Not the role model type of person you want your kids to model their behaviour after.
I really enjoyed both books for different reasons. ORRs was easy to relate too. I agreed with most of his views on life and sports, and kept thinking was a great role model he is for young hockey players like my sons. Avery's book was interesting to read because it was a world I'm not familiar with. His stories were of a player desperately trying to keep a spot on an NHL team by using less than role model worthy strategies. His off ice tales are wild and erratic as well, which made for some interesting reading. One of those books that take you into a life that you would never imaging leading.
Well, gotta go, back to the rink to watch the boys play some hockey.