Triple Low Five
a prodigal son returns?
Stupid things make me cry.
I’m in tears right now.
I just watched it.
All canned, packaged and predictable.
It pushed every button.
The montage in the arena at the beginning was poetry.
Sure there were goals scored. The best part was through line: shot after shot of Brad Marchand being knocked again and again on his ample, mountainous, nose like Pinocchio’s nose after a big streak of lyin’. There are few things as pleasing as watching Mr. Marchand’s face register both shock and pain. This highlight reel tribute was peppered with such poetry.
They were honouring PK Subban. He retired this year and was for a time my favorite player. I loved him as a player. I met him when he was young. I was working as an arts educator. He was in grade eight or nine. I asked him what he wanted to do with his life. He moved incredibly. My thoughts? Acrobat? Cirque performer. He would be epic. He was so funny. I wanted to encourage him in whatever he did.
His response floored me. He said: I’m going to be in the NHL sir.
Sure, I ‘played along with him’, I don’t suppose you are one of those hopeless romantics dreaming of glory with the Maple Laffs?
No sir, I’m going to play for the Canadiens. I’m a Habs fan, just like my dad.
Years later, Karl, PK’s dad cowrote a book. Karl Subban didn’t always live in Toronto. When he first arrived from Jamaica, they lived in Northern Ontario. Every Saturday night it was Montreal on Hockey Night in Canada. With his new life in his new country, Karl developed a love for hockey with his coworkers in northern Ontario mining towns. Even after he became a principal in Toronto, he maintained his love for Montreal.
In the montage, they capture PK speaking glowingly about his love for the city. He lived his dream. He did it with passion. He did it with flare. He did it in a way that was original. He wasn’t mean or offensive. He was merely joyous.
But that was the problem.
He was joyous and passionate and larger than live in a world that valued players that showed up with some sort of outrageously offensive understated Canadian false humility that’s enough to make you want to barf in the mouth of every Canadian everywhere ever.
Hockey culture wants elites with a quiet, more Eddy Haskel type arrogance. PK didn’t play that game very well. He was exuberant. He was joyous.
He did the triple low five.
That was one of his moves that attracted the attention and raised the ire of some of the rotting refuse of the world of hockey journalism and commentary. He was regularly raked over the coals by jowly racists about his conduct unbecoming of a hockey player.
Given what’s been going on with Hockey Canada, they’ve got bigger problems in their culture than handshakes.
The triple low five is likely why PK Subban was traded from the Montreal Canadiens.
Back to the ceremony?
Back to the ceremony.
PK has just wheeled his friend from the children’s hospital away. Two large men in skates lifted her and her wheelchair off the ice. PK, regally robed pivoted back for a victory lap. His hands held high. He called on the team to play with more passion. He challenged them to leave everything on the ice.
The fans chanted his name.
And just when PK was leaving the ice?
It was all planned.
They are so good at these things in Montreal.
The camera flashed as a man in black clothes wearing a black stetson hat emerged from the tunnel.
CAREY! CAREY! CAREY! CAREY!
The Bell Centre went batshit.
They actually had to hire a crew to come and reattach the roof the next day.
Got so loud there, they blew the roof clear off the top of the place.
Carey Price arrived to celebrate once more with his old friend.
One last triple low five as they walked off together one last time.
Poetry I tell ya. It was pure poetry.
And oh boy oh boy did I cry.
I cried and cried and cried with the joy of remembering a time of passion and exuberance and the pain of remembering times without.
I’m devoting 2023 to finding and registering the Remarkable Fools of the world. For Remarkable Fools, what was once an embarrassing or awkward, is now a thrilling leap to a life more fulfilling. How will we find the fools? A series of pop up live talk shows where the audience are also the guests. Highly interactive and playful, you’ll laugh till you cry or cry till you laugh.