posted on May 28, 2014 17:44
I always knew that no matter how much fun I was having playing wiffles, or no matter how many new friends I would make, or no matter how many interesting characters I might come across, that someday the time would come when I’d have to give this great game up.
After 28 years, going back to the original HRL league’s inception in Massachusetts in 1986, and after overseeing the birth of this glorious league in 2004, that time has finally come.
I always hear pro athletes say that they hope they know when it’s their time to step away and that hopefully they won’t hang on too long in denial and find out the hard way that it is their time. I always used to laugh at that notion, completely oblivious to the fact that someday I too might near the end of my playing days and find myself in that same predicament.
Needless to say, I don’t scoff at that approach anymore, and can say that I know it’s just my time to step back and stop being a player. Not even a doubt in my mind.
I’ll finish out this season as best I can and retire a Blue Jay. Maybe I can even start a new internet trend with the “farewell tour” I will be embarking on… #jetering?
Why is this my last season, you ask? It’s probably 80% physical and 20% external factors. Truth is, my body is just plain beat up, one of my knees specifically. I’ve got some pretty horrific cartilage damage, that while various injections have somewhat relieved the pain and swelling and made normal everyday life a bit more bearable, the fact remains that even light jogging can be excruciating and there’s no hiding from the fact that I will likely need a knee replacement in the not-too-distant future. The less glaring factor is that the league has evolved so much in 11 years, not necessarily for the worst, but my passion for it just isn’t what it used to be, plain and simple. I also get the sense I am not the only one… it just feels like the league isn’t as much a priority for people as it once was. It’s ok… I am in the same boat. My daughters are growing up before my eyes, and my family deserves to have more of my attention than I have given it. I have other passions I want to follow.
That all said, my involvement with the league won’t change aside from no longer being an active player. I will continue in my role as commish for as long as it makes sense for me to do so, or until the league finally folds… whichever happens first I guess. Wifflin’ for Wishes, NWLA Tournaments, no problem. I’ll still be the guy.
It’s been a pretty awesome thing for me to start something that blossomed into what it has become... it snowballed into something I could never have imagined even in my wildest dreams. I know things will continue to evolve. Older players will step away, younger ones will step in and keep things going. I get a sense the league will shrink back some in future years, and if it does, that is ok… even the biggest, brightest flowers eventually, shrink, and wither… and well, you know the rest.
Until that day comes, though, I look forward to just showing up rinkside on any given game night, and just chillin’ in a lawn chair, maybe do some filming, and not have to worry about how much vicodin I’ll need to get through the night and the next day.
All part of life, I guess…