For as long as I can remember, my family has created a family-exclusive NHL Hockey Pool. Each fall, someone carefully crafts a draft which is intended to challenge and pull at the heartstrings of the participants. It is distributed around Thanksgiving for careful consideration and selection. The entry fee is pretty minimal (heck, most of us forget to pay) but there is a lot more at stake than winning a few measly dollars, there is pride, reputation, and a trophy on the line!
I used to make my selection based on which player’s name sounded the funniest. Then, when I got a bit older, I used to pick the player that was on my favorite team. At one time, I’m pretty sure my cousin chose players based on their potential for being suitors for herself. We all have our own strategies. Some work better than others but we all want to win.
And then there’s the trash talk. I think this is my favourite aspect of all. Alliances made, alliances broken, threats, jabs, kicks, chants, and that’s just from Grandma! Spouse vs. spouse, kids vs. adults, boys vs. girls; no one is immune, especially around the dinner table during Christmas.
This year has been a real shake up. Many of the expected ‘top-ranked’ participants have been underperforming, underdogs have made healthy strides and others have been subject to a battery of injuries. Many weeks remain, so we can’t be too sure to pin-point a victor quite yet, but it sure is fun.
And maybe I’ll keep a drumstick under the table this Christmas ‘just incase’.