leaf fan

Why I LOVE this photo #2

Anita WatkinsUncategorized

I was waiting for the people in front of me to finish when I noticed the man flex his bicep for a photo. I am not sure what surprised me more: that it was there OR that I KNEW what it was!

I was with my 13 year old son and a couple of his buddies for the Toronto Maple Leaf Fan Fest, winning mom of the week award. The day was coming to an end (a total of 4 hours on the road, with 8 hours of line ups intertwined with awesomeness in the middle) so on our way out, we decided to grab some photos with the boys by the new statues that were unveiled on Legends Row.

That is when I saw this man.

I need to back up a moment……

You need to know a little about my background. I grew up in a house where the only sports that were EVER watched were the Olympics and the 1972 Hockey Series. I prayed during those games that Canada would win the war. Wayne Gretzy lived beside my best friend in Grade 6. I think I was her best friend because I was the only kid that didn’t care. Sorry Wayne. I care now.

Fast forward to university. Met my future husband who is a HUGE freaking sports fan. All sports. Any sport. Even won an ice cream cone with some trivia about the fastest three assists in the NHL. He didn’t even hesitate. That was before you could cheat by looking things up on the internet.

I had no choice but to learn. Three children later, I wouldn’t call myself a sports fanatic but I can hold my own in social situations when necessary.

Which is why I was completely shocked when he flexed his muscle for the photo. I looked. I knew. I really didn’t have to ask but I did.

“Is that Wendel’s autograph on your arm?” Yup. For those of you who are of certain age, or know a Leaf fan of a certain age, the only Wendel of importance is Wendel Clark.

So he came over, surprised that this middle aged woman recognized his tatoo. He eagerly showed me a photo of the jersey that Mr. Clark had autographed for him and explained that the tatoo is a replica of that exact autograph. I think it is the same size.

So I asked if I could take his photo. I HAD to! He graciously agreed.

So why do I love this photo?

It reminds me of a wonderful day spent with three great 13 year old boys.

And of a husband who taught me even more than I realized.

And it reminds me of how a Leaf fan is ever hopeful.