I know I’ve been remiss in reporting the Cold Muthas U79 Hockey League stats, and I’ve left many of you on the edge of your seats. Rest assured, the Muthas have been kicking ass and taking names — and then forgetting where we put the names.
Unlike many amateur adult teams, the Muthas subjected ourselves to a strict coaching regime. On most Friday mornings, we were ordered around by 6th grader and Head Coach Keyra and 7th grade Assistant Coach Katherine. Odd Number, an 8th grader, came out to coach a few mornings, but I think we tried his patience.
Having tweens for coaches required a special sort of discipline for the Muthas. When we fell, for instance, which was often, it seemed inappropriate to call out the expletives that came to mind. Substituting “Darn!” or “Wow!” as our helmets bounced off the ice with our skulls in them invoked a Jedi Mind Warrior kind of concentration.
A perfect example of this was when we scheduled an extra practice on Superbowl Sunday because the rink was available. Coach Keyra decided to use the additional ice time to step up our game. “I’ve noticed that when you fall down, it takes you a long time to get up,” she observed sweetly. She then commanded a series of drills that purposefully required diving on the ice and quickly “popping up.” I put “popping up” in quotes because I never did see any of us do anything that resembled popping up. A slow, painful slither to all fours and then eventually upright again with a lot of Darns and Wows sprinkled in, yes.
Thanks to the Notorious Babs, my Mutha, for that riveting video footage.
The following week we had a cameo guest coaching appearance by Kitty B, a former hot shot player from Podunk who now heads up the women’s hockey program in Boise. She was clearly impressed by how quickly we had dressed ourselves with the assorted and sundry gear we had assembled over the winter. Still, she expressed alarm by one element of our play.
“Ladies,” Kitty B started, “I have one piece of advice to offer you — keep your goddamned sticks on the ice!”
The Muthas looked around guiltily at each other. Not only was she right about our stick posture, but now someone had to inform Kitty B that she owed the swear jar (otherwise known as Coach Keyra and Assistant Coach Katherine’s college fund) 25 cents. I watched Kitty demonstrate her slapshot and paid the fine myself. Darn.
Considering we had learned to dress ourselves with little help, made a pump jam playlist, and constructed a Cold Mutha flag out of a bath towel and hockey tape, it would be completely understandable if we called it a successful season. But the Muthas are insatiable adventure junkies. Which is why when the Kelts came to our locker room looking for a good fight, the Muthas were game on.