Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Conversely, Hockey Players

I once met Troy Auzenne, a former lineman for the Bears and Colts. He went something like 6' 8" and 300. When he shook my hand, it disappeared inside his.

We had a deep, meaningful conversation about sports that went a little like this...

TA: You play hockey? You guys are crazy!
MK: What do you mean? You guys are giants and you smash into one another every single play.
TA: Yeah, but you guys don't wear facemasks!

Those days, I didn't. Now I wear the birdcage, and providence smiled upon me when I put it on, as a guy slammed his stick across my caged face, saving me roughly half of my teeth.

So, while the Colts pull starters for fear they might get hurt, pro hockey players get hurt fairly severely and won't miss a game. Check out Dallas Stars' Stephane Robidas, via ESPN:
Robidas, 32, suffered the injury when he was hit in the face by a puck during Sunday's practice.

"I saw a dent there, so I knew something was wrong," Robidas said. "My cheek bone caved in a little bit. They had to do an incision on the side of my head and pop the bone back out. It was causing a little bit of pain."

Robidas said the procedure took 10 to 15 minutes.

"They put me under, but the surgery was at 7 a.m. and I was home by 10," Robidas said. "I'm ready to go."

That means Robidas will be able to play his usual spot on the top pair with Nicklas Grossman.
'Causing a little bit of pain'. Now, THAT'S a professional athlete!

Update: Robidas not only played, he logged more on-ice time than anyone else on his team... by five minutes! That's unreal. Robidas led Dallas to a 5-4 win over one of the NHL's best teams, Chicago, with a broken cheekbone. Finished with an assist, a +2 rating, and blocked two shots. With 25:44 on ice, Robidas logged more time than 99% of NHL players will get per game, any game.

Full admiration from me.

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