Before Taking The Ice

Gladwell put a gloved hand to his mouth as the rock music rolled behind him. He breathed deep the scent of leather and plastic, and had an idea.

“Jimmy, how many Christmases have you missed to play hockey?”


“Sticks, how many girls have you not slept with because you’ve been afraid a VD would mess up your slap shot?”

“Between 9 and 16.”

“Alan, how many beers have you denied yourself training for this freaking sport?”

“More than I can count.”

“This is your chance to take it all back.”

The three men looked at each other, not comprehending.

“That isn’t just our music playing out there. It’s hockey getting ready to pay us back, not in presents or in beer or in girls, but in glory. Everything you want is out on that ice. You’ve already given your sacrifice to hockey, but she’ll pay you back in glory that will last you the rest of your punk-ass life.”

He pulled a razor blade from inside his pads, and carefully cut a thin line of skin on his forehead.

“Bleed for Hocky,” he said.

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