Friday, May 13, 2011

Derek Boogaard Passes Away at 28

Usually when I sit down to write a blog post, I wait until I think of something funny to say...or well, I flat out procrastinate. This is not the case with this post - I just hate writing about these kinds of things.

Derek Boogaard - Rangers enforcer - dead at 28.

Wow. Not expecting that at all today. I know I had my fun last year with him - not necessarily at his expense, but more at the notion that an enforcer could pull down that much money.

What I neglected to mention or even think about is that when a team signs a player, it's not necessarily JUST for them to play the games and try and win the Stanley Cup. There's the character issue - and Boogaard had it. A heart as big as his body. His love of the game and his Booguardians and other charities.

A guy you'd want on your team, but playing against him, a nightmare.

So many took to the interwebs to offer condolences and memories of a giant teddy bear of a man - and this doesn't surprise me at all. Hockey is something that is more than a sport - we all know it. Its players and its fans are a giant family. We have our spats and our "relatives we don't like" (even if we don't really know them) because of stuff they do, but when something like this happens, all of that stuff is irrelevant.

He was one of us - he was ours.

We come together, we console each other, the fans of his team, etc.

Real life is bigger than what happens on the ice.

Man, it's mindblowing to think this guy was only 28. That's far too young to be eulogized - I myself am 25. It's a little heavy and it makes it so much more tragic. He was in the prime of his career.

For me, there aren't many better things in hockey than an enforcer with a heart of gold, and this man was it. Even better when they score a goal. For all the dirty work they do, to get rewarded like that is great. And I think that's how I'll finish this post - Derek Boogaard's last goal (snipe!):

R.I.P. big guy.

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