I remember the first time I ever put on a goalie mask.
I was seven, playing in a house league at the old Glenview Park District ice arena back home in Illinois. And at that point, on that team, being the goalie was like losing a bet or something. We used to have to pass the goalie bag to a different player before each game. No one wanted the job. And the beat-up bag with recycled equipment didn’t exactly help sell it.
But for me? As a little kid looking for new ways to have fun? Are you kidding?
To me, it was like that bag was filled with gold. What was inside couldn’t have been any more special — the old-school leather pads, one of those ancient chest protectors where it was just the chest and you had to slide on the arms, the whole thing. It may as well have been Patrick Roy’s or Eddie Belfour’s gear. In my eyes, it was beautiful.