Freudian Slips: The Line on Lindros

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

November 11, 2007

The Line on Lindros

Joe Tornatore with Eric Lindros.

I heralded Eric Lindros’ multi-player trade to the home team Philadelphia Flyers. I followed his hockey career of infinite potential from his inaugural rookie year to expectations of him drinking from Stanley Cups stationed in Philadelphia. I honored him by painting his likeness on my bubble hockey game as the starting center on my all-time greatest Flyers team. I collected Eric Lindros hockey cards and hung his sports memorabilia in my house. I sent him birthday cards and well-wishes. I will always remember the day that I got my picture with him although the meaning has certainly changed. Once upon a time, I proudly wore his #88 hockey jersey on my back.
Although his productivity was definitively marred by debilitating concussions, Eric Lindros never lived up to his extraordinary ability on any one of the four teams he played. He was paid handsomely as a very good player who never reached superstar status. Respectfully, he scored 372 goals in the National Hockey league and was named the league Most Valuable Player in 1995. Despite my rooting interests, Eric Lindros made it to the Stanley Cup playoff round only once and his team never won a single game.
Over the years, I began to question his grit even as team captain. I thought that Eric Lindros should have been more of a rally-waving leader of championship teams. There were off-ice rumors that effected my changing opinion of him. I started to hate myself for thinking this way. In the end, I loathed Eric Lindros. It still hurts me to privately admit it let alone here in a public forum.
For no particular reason the other day other than sheer irony, I wore Lindros’ tattered paint-splattered NHL jersey almost like a smock through a Home Depot store.
A passerby whispered, “May God have rest on Eric Lindros.”
Confused, I turned to this hockey fan not knowing the reason for the finality.
The man added, “Eric Lindros just announced his retirement from hockey.”
A hundred Eric Lindros memories slap shot through my brain none of which included ticker tape parades. My mind settled on an awkward off-ice moment. Not satisfied with one autograph he gave to me after a hockey practice, I returned to the snaking long autograph line wearing different clothes. The problem withstanding, Eric Lindros had memorized my face.
His reply, “The first autograph wasn’t enough so you jumped into a disguise?”
Flush red painted my face and I replied out of embarrassment. “It is that much of an honor, sir.”
“Beat it.” Lindros dismissed.
Please allow for a moment of revisionist history. Eric Lindros and I were both in disguise but he was the only one smart enough to realize it then. Shame on me.

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think his career was over when they made the first Eric Lindros bobbing head.

I am sure that the bobbing head was not meant to be the fortune telling figurine.

How ironic!

11:44 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Anonymous,
How appropro and sad.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

What at a couple of hunky guys! I loved Lindros.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

jessica,
I am telling Pat Burrell. lol

10:48 PM  
Anonymous billyrose47 said...

What a sad waste of talent. I felt for a long time that he had been misused. He was big enough to fight and he was also a scoring threat on the ice. How to solve this conundrum? Don't let him fight and just take the cheap shots that started the succession of concussions or let him fight and lose a possible fifty goal scorer for much of each game? You usually have a a "protector" on the team for that. A Dave Schultz or a Bob Kelly or a Moose Dupont. Clarkie didn't have that problem, LeClair didn't have that problem. So was it misuse of his talents or misjudgement of his heart. Either way, we got our original pick (Forsberg) many years too late and the cup that we drink from isn't Lord Stanley's - it's still a beer mug.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

billyrose,
What will never be.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Pax Romano said...

That's funny I never thought of you as the stalker type.

Hockey died when Kate Smith took all her Flyers Mojo with her to the great beyond.

7:35 PM  
Anonymous marcus said...

Sending the B-Day cards was just way too much. Hockey became disappointing to me during his tenure. I may never make it back.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

pax,
I'm too yung to remember Kate Smith. not!

Marcus,
Maybe I am just more thoughtful than you. lol You have trouble remembering people's birthdays anyway.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and to think i named my precious first born after him...i should have named my beautiful erica, roddy...now theres a flyer who truly bled orange and black...good riddens eric lindros....

11:02 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

anonymous,
Humm...my advice is to have more children and choose more wisely with names.

5:11 PM  

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