The Curse

 February 22, 2011

Nolan played in a local hockey tournament this weekend.  The team did well and ended up in the Championship game on Monday afternoon.  It was really quite an accomplishment since they were playing against kids that normally skated a division higher up. I doubt anyone expected them to make it that far much less go into the finals as the top seeded team.

I’m even more certain that I am the ONLY one that really didn’t want them to get to the Championship game.


Because when you play in the Championship game, you might come in second.

I know you’re thinking I’m not cut out to be a hockey mom.  But hear me out.

For four years now Nolan has been cursed by second place.

At first even second place was cool for him.  He still got a trophy and after all, hardware was hardware. So he happily accepted his second place trophies and medals, still optimistic that first place was around the corner.  
But this year it was different. Second place had lost all luster. This year he wanted the big trophy.  The gold medal. First place.

Second would no longer do.

Fate had other plans.

He played in Pittsburgh last month and suffered yet another second place finish.  Even though they seemed the odds on favorite somehow just couldn’t pull it off.

Curse of the second place trophy strikes again.

After the game Nolan sat in the locker room crying in frustration and disappointment.  He stayed there for a long time. When he finally emerged he slumped out to the car without a word, his head hanging low and eyes still puffy and red.

He left his trophy in the locker room saying he didn’t want it.  Luckily Dad slipped back in and retrieved it.  It was a long quiet ride home.  I think the trophy is still in the car.

Adding insult to injury the big boys in their usual loving and sensitive way made comments like “Nolan you’re not second. You’re first loser”.  They thought they were being funny.

But sometimes big brothers just suck.

It seemed the curse would not be broken.

So going into the tournament this weekend all I could think was please, please, PLEASE don’t come in second.  Lose every game but dear God not second.

(Don't vilify me-I just thought it-never said it out loud)

True to form the team played well.  In fact they won EVERY game. Once again they went into the finals as the undefeated team to beat.

I’m a pretty laid back hockey mom (really it's true) but watching this game gave me chest pain.  By the third period they were down by two.  Then Nolan's team got a goal.  They only needed one more to tie,  two to win.

Nine minutes still on the clock.  It was possible.

First place, NOT second place within reach.

I screamed. I yelled. I cringed. For a moment I forgot how to breathe.

Get a grip right?

But can you blame me?

This wasn't a hockey game this was my son's fragile little heart that was about to get broken.

We needed a goal.

Pull the goalie!!!!!!!!

Well I won’t make you wonder.  No perfect ending here.  You guessed it.

Second place.


Nolan did win the tournament MVP medal which took a little of the sting out of his "first loser" finish.

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