If you happen to be one of my regular readers, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been a bit inconsistent in my posts lately. I could easily blame it on the monster product introduction that my team is helping to coordinate next week (next week will be nutty too) but I must confess that the Stanley Cup Finals probably took their toll on my blogging just as much as work-related issues.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an insatiable Red Wings fan, and I consider hockey to be a gift from God. After doing the quick math, I estimated that I spent about 13 days of my year (104 games x 2 hours each = 208, divide by 16 waking hours in each day) watching Red Wings games, not counting going to spring training and local Grand Rapids Griffins games. That probably sounds like a lot, but I don’t take any vacations or hunting trips with the guys… I just spread out a couple of weeks worth of guy time each week over the 9-month televised hockey season. I thank the good Lord for every one of those months.
Anyhoo, my Wings won Lord Stanley’s Cup on Wednesday night. I’m still basking in the glow and was very happy to see this article from ESPN about why the Wings are such a special team. Take a minute to read it. In a nutshell, it stresses that the culture of the team (which, not surprisingly, starts at the top) is like a closely-knit family with a strong sense of loyalty.
This isn’t news to us Wings fans, as back in the beginning of the ’02 season (when they also won the cup), many of the top paid stars on the team took a voluntary pay cut to make room for one more guy (Brett Hull) whom they wanted on the team. I’d like to see that happen in the NBA or NFL. Also, each year the owners of the Red Wings pay to have all of the players’ dads (or in some cases, sons) travel with the team on a 3-game West Coast road trip. Very cool. Hockey is, and hopefully always will be, a sport where the personal ambitions of players take a backseat to the wellness of the team. As someone once put it, it’s a sport about what’s on the front of the jersey, not what’s on the back.
James wrote, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice(James 3:16).” The Wings success and the team’s ability to help rehabilitate the lives of Darren McCarty and the careers of guys like Dan Cleary point to the absence of selfish ambition. Imagine if all of our workplaces were so devoid of these toxins…
(but before you get all caught up in that heavy thought, check out this clip from Scrubs)