Keeping Up With The Hockey Moms
What happens when you take a group of hockey parents put them in a warm room, on some bleachers or in a hotel bar with liquor and time to kill? Gossip! Intrigue! Drama! The kind that you normally see on TV but without the haute couture, paparazzi and plastic surgery. Where everyone has the same thing in common...hockey!
Let the games begin.
It all starts innocently enough, typically with an "oh did you hear?" and starts spiraling from there. Soon it's a mushroom cloud of speculation and rumors. After a while though you do develop methods of translation to keep everything in perspective. Let me demonstrate:
"So-and-so will be leaving at the end of the season" So-and-so isn't going anywhere. That parent probably just doesn't like the kid or the parents.
"Did you hear about so-and-so and their fight with the coach?" Not a fight, they were probably just talking out of earshot of everyone else.
"I hear the coach isn't coming back next season." Someone who doesn't like the coach is doing some wishful thinking.
"So-and-so isn't getting enough ice time and so his mom is moving him/her to ________" So-and-so's kid is probably not putting the effort in and therefore is not being played as much. Said kid will probably be back on the team next season.
"I hear we are getting so-and-so from such-and-such" More wishful thinking from parents who think the teams needs: a) better goaltending b) better defense c) more scoring d) all of the above
"EVERYONE is fed up with the coach" EVERYONE is usually two parents.
The rumor mill generally starts slowly but tends to run rampant by mid-season and parents put in overtime till the season ends. It's TMZ with coffee and hoodies.
And boy is it easy to get sucked in!
As with any gossip it can seem harmless and an ok way to kill those hours of practice every week. But it's not really a healthy way to spend your time and energy. Sometimes it would be fun to just talk about a book you read, movie you've seen or the cute shoes you are wearing. Certain parents will not be swayed from their shift at the rumor mill.
Say you want to clock out?
First identify the full-timers. If you don't know who they are just look for the huddle speaking in hushed tones. There's probably some juicy speculation going on so head the other way. Maybe it's just one or two moms or dads that like to mingle? Try to not to get cornered in the warm room, the bleachers or, even worse, the hotel bar. For obvious reasons alcohol just fuels the fire!
But if you do, try changing the subject (the shoe thing works every time) Pretend you have to make a phone call. Excuse yourself and go to the bathroom. Still can't break free? Say you have a communicable disease that is triggered by hockey rumors which results in projectile vomiting.
Try the shoe thing first though. Vomit does not make friends.
How do you handle the hockey rumors?