Does you back hurt? How about your knees? Maybe you have a bum ankle and an arthritic elbow…cry me a river. I don’t hear Mark Recchi sounding like a sissy, and he’s played a sport on a sheet of ice while battling over-sized opponents with long sticks for the last 23 years. And, while doing that, he’s managed to score over 1500 points. How many points do you have? We all now need to stop our whining.
Players like Mark are inspiring, whether you’re making a funny t shirt or not. You don’t get a moniker like “The Recchin’ Ball” without some hard work, skill, and perseverance. Many fans in Pittsburgh, Philly, and Boston refer to him with such reverence and respect due to the before mentioned qualities, as well as his small stature and hard nose style of forechecking while in the offensive zone. This respect extends around the league. His attitude, talent, and work ethic has made him a fan favorite in Pittsburgh, Montreal, Philly, Carolina, Pittsburgh again, Atlanta, Tampa, and now, Boston. Mark was picked 67th overall in ’88 by my hometown Pens, and was instrumental in helping Pittsburgh win their first cup in ‘91, as well as his own. God only knows where that franchise would be without players like he, Trottier, Francis, Coffey, and Mario…just to name a few. Now, in Boston, Mark helps shape the talents and lives of young Bruins, just like many of the Pens did for him at age 23.
I’ll never figure out how pro hockey players do it. I have followed all 4 major sports for most of my life, and I never come across players in the other 3 leagues who just keep coming back for years, and in some cases, decades, and giving more and more back to the sport. Players in the other sports succumb to their own egos, attitudes, lives leading them in different directions, their bodies break down, or the sport just passes them by. But hockey is somehow different. This gracefully brutal sport of hockey strongly rivals football in physicality. However, there are no time outs and excessive commercial breaks like today’s NFL, so one could argue that it is indeed more physical. The NFL does not allow fist-fighting, the players don’t carry possible weapons in their hands, and turf gives a little more than ice when you fall onto it. Each year, the enigma of the multi-decade tenured hockey player just makes me more enamored to the sport than I was previously. It really shows the true passion these players’ posses for the sport they love and grew up playing. We can all learn a few things about growing old with grace, and grit, from people like Billy Guerin, and Mark Recchi.
One last thing...Mark Recchi and Tyler Seguin both own this tee. Actually, Recchi has two.
* This design is printed heather Blue/Grey color premium Tultex 65/45 Poly/Cotton blend tees. Light, soft, breathable, and just plain comfortable.