On the path of the brotherhood of fathers, you always have eyes peeled for people you can believe in. People who enliven the values you try to live and try to hand down to each generation. Models of the most sacred inner pacts and spaces. Walking the talk. With the wideness of the web, trivia and abstracted encounters can be mistaken for substance. And the quantity and ease of accessibility makes it more and more difficult to filter.
For me, sports has always been an open tab for it served as a parent and a mentor when I needed it most. All that I learned about life on a very deep level came from taking the risk of earning my place in the moments and through the years on the field of play. You are the only one who knows if you are truly doing your best, growing, committed, and giving your all. You are the only one who truly knows if you are honoring the space and those who came before and will come after.
In our home, “The Hat” became a symbol of the effort, the intrinsic need to become. In 2006 the Carolina Hurricanes stood atop the Hockey world. Champions hoisting the coveted Stanley Cup. My youngest wore his Stanley Cup hat as a memento of that accomplishment until the only thing left was the symbol. He vowed to wear it until we got back to that high ground. Over time his hopes became as frayed as the hat.
And then one day he stopped wearing it.
On May 7th, 2021 amidst a season unlike any other, the Carolina Hurricanes stand atop the NHL. Sure it’s the regular season (although there is little regular about it) and the playoffs haven’t begun. But for three seasons under the leadership of Rod Brind’amour, the Canes are relevant again. More importantly, they symbolize everything that is good about sports: Team, effort, selflessness, intention, faith in self and others, belief in a common vision, respect for self and team and the community, and the knowingness that there is more inside to give even when you feel you have given all.
Hats off to the Canes. Hats off to Coach Rod for restoring faith and the willingness to be excellent, putting it all out there no matter what. Once again, we believe.