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Mild-mannered mom picks up hockey habit page 2
The spirit of the Games

Date published: 3/3/2006

By EDIE GROSS

continued

Not long after that, she got called for checking at the neighborhood grocery store after slamming a coupon-clipping shopper against the freezer case over a carton of Ben & Jerry's.

We tried to distract her, casually bringing up football, tennis, even golf, but none offered the same high.

Eventually, the NHL agreed to provide its players the expanded orthodontic package they demanded.

As soon as the teams hit the ice again, my mother hit the streets, purchasing a high-grade half-season from some guy in a dark alley.

The Olympics were sort of our last, best hope.

We believed the Games, with all those glittery costumes and Wheaties references, could spark her interest in something wholesome, like luge or ice-dancing.

She humored us, feigning interest in figure skating's short programs. But the skaters wore no padding, and we could tell she was disappointed.

She didn't need Cohen and Meissner, Hughes and Weir.

She needed Kubina and Fedotenko, Lecavalier and a pronunciation key.

Perhaps if Sasha Cohen had taken a hockey stick to Johnny Weir's precious little face, my mother might have remained more engaged.

(Perhaps that's true for a lot of us.)

After cheering Sweden to a gold medal finish--it's a team full of redheads, and she likes that--it's clear she's not giving up the habit anytime soon.

But at least for the next four years, she'll be shrieking in English.

To reach EDIE GROSS:540/374-5428
Email: egross@freelancestar.com


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