Thursday, November 27, 2008

An Open Letter to Bobby Orr

Dear Mr. Orr,

You might recognise me(HA!) as the woman who neither cheered nor applauded as your number was raised to the rafters last night at General Motors Centre in Oshawa. Please don't take it personally. I was merely doing my job. People have to give up a couple things when they get media passes; contrary to popular belief, a mind is not one of them. The rules are:

1)Media cannot cheer or boo.

Do you have any idea how tough it is to see the number of arguably hockey's greatest player retired and not cheer? People who don't know you're media, who don't know press box etiquette glare as though you're clubbing amputee seal pups.

2)Media cannot ask for autographs.

It is so frustrating to be around athletes yet unable to ask for autographs. Having Ilya Kovalchuk's ice pack drop on my boots, while memorable, isn't quite the same. Twice I have met Robert Gordon Orr and not once could he sign anything for me because of my press pass. I've let people in front of me at events to avoid the temptation of asking Wendel Clark to sharpie his John Hancock on a jersey.

Being Slovak I'm devoid of the "hide emotions" gene. Slavs are not renowned for their emotional restraint. At the rink displays of emotion are kept in check(Czech?)away from the public eye. My heart sees and feels it all even though others might think I'm some soul-lacking automaton.

Someday, Mr. Orr, we will meet when I don't have a pass. You'll recognise me as the person hugging you, finally getting that autograph after 38 years.

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