I'm just living the dream with the boys on the team, free meals, free gear, all the girls want to get with us. I'm not trying to be cocky but it is just junior hockey and I'm going to live it up...
(This article first appeared last August 2012 and returns today by request)
From the first time the blades were fastened to the boots, hockey players have captured the attention of the ladies. Promiscuity has become just another part of the culture of the game and it is celebrated like a badge of accomplishment.
The lifestyle of the game off of the ice is far removed from the dedication to be competitive on it. The old line that boys will be boys has not changed, and if anything, casual sex has become even a bigger part of the junior hockey experience.
A few years back, the news of three top players facing criminal charges in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario were upsetting, but not surprising. Yes, these three players were from major junior's Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League, so it puts the particular story on the front page... that time. A year earlier, in the same area, a player from a lower level junior team was accused of filming his sexual escapades, including encounters with one or more underage girls. That story never received the international exposure that the OHL players got.
Ontario Hockey League players are always going to attract a lot of attention, but the same problems exist in Montana, Iowa, and even my home state of Alaska.
There was once a young hockey player that I watched tear up the Anchorage high school hockey scene and managed to play his way through the United States Hockey League to the University of Denver. Maurice Hall was quick, strong, and full of fire for the game.
All that changed one night while home during a break from school. Hall was one of two players that was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a party. Details of the case became public as the criminal trials progressed and it was apparent that it all came down to consent and her ability to give that consent or not. The players were eventually exonerated but the case destroyed both hockey careers.
Facebook, Twitter, and the ability to capture high quality video and images from just about any smartphone has changed the game when it comes to exposure and publicity. Players need to understand that what is said, or seen, can have a way of coming back around and biting them in the butts. The enemy (the "enemy" is this context is the many ex-girlfriends that become adversaries as a result of promiscuous behavior), whoever that may be, has access to more information than at any time in history. Players need to be aware of their surroundings and exposure to risk at all times.
I was there and know that the infamous hockey party is going to be impossible to put an end to. I'm not going to try and tell you guys not to do something that we all have done. I am going to suggest that everybody try to be smart, maintain control, and be aware.
These are the best days of your lives, and I expect you to enjoy them. The girls are everywhere so take your time and try to just choose the right one. Running around and bouncing from one to another can have a catastrophic effect on not only your reputation, but also a hockey career. A past girlfriend can often turn out to be a worst enemy.
"If I could take it all back, I'd never put myself into that position," Hall told me back in 1995 while he was with the Anchorage Aces. "I can only imagine where the game could have taken me." Boys, read this sentence again and again until it sinks in. You have the power to refrain from situations that could easily end the dream.
Chucky Slick Video -WARNING NC17
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