"Nous vivions en trois lieux: l'école, l'église et la patinoire; mais la vraie vie était sur la patinoire." - Roch Carrier
It's October, and the smothering months of Summer are finally over.
There's something about Fall that puts me at ease. A certain humbleness that the other seasons lack. Winter flaunts Christmas, Summer boasts the beach and pools, and Spring won't shut up about rejuvenation and new beginnings.
Fall carries itself with a quiet grace and class, like it knows that it's better, but would rather show it than scream it from the rafters.
Fall is the Jean Beliveau of seasons. That's why it fits hockey so well.
While other sports run around yelling about their unbridled superiority, like a false prophet desperate for followers, hockey lets the game speak for itself, a combination of the best aspects of every sport, brought together in one.
And the thing is, I don't care that others don't realize it. If they don't understand that the sound of frozen rubber hitting a metal pipe can be either the most beautiful or the most depressing thing you've ever heard, their loss.
I don't mind that when they think of the Forum, they don't think of ghosts.
Or when people hear Le Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge, all they see are colours.
Or when somebody says "The Rocket," they can't see his eyes.
We know that the speed of Yvan Cournoyer is still here in Mike Cammalleri, that the effortless grace of Doug Harvey is on the ice every night Andrei Markov is, and that the determination of Henri Richard has returned in Brian Gionta.
And so here we are, the sport we love is back.
Celebrate however you know how.
I don't have any grand traditions. I don't go tailgating with buddies, or spend a fortune at a bar.
I'm going to put on a jacket, clean out my gutters, then sit down with a dark beer, and enjoy the first game of the season.
My own humble tribute to my own humble sport.