HOCKEY WILL TEAR US APART
Friday, November 02, 2007
Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can't Lose
Why I Love The Ottawa Senators
Chris Phillips

There is one TV character that reminds me of Chris Phillips, a younger, more socially awkward Chris Phillips. Matt Saracen, quarterback for the Dillon Panthers, plays football in a backwater, football-centered Texan town, takes care of his aging, senile grandmother by himself, deals with a sweet, naive but bratty, girlfriend/ex-girlfriend. He's quietly possible the most mature character on the show.

And you won't find any recent, long, emotional stories about Chris Phillips. He doesn't block shots heroically to win the hearts of young girls everywhere; he hasn't scored any key goals lately; he hasn't founded a school for young girls in South Africa. He probably will never attract much attention outside of Ottawa, but he has one of the most intriguing stories of any player.

He had a compelling story to tell about how he gained an inner strength at home, where he had to grow up quickly and learn the meaning of responsibility. Phillips didn't have time to be a kid. His mom was partially paralyzed by a virus that affected her spinal cord. His dad was 90 percent blind. Yet Chris and his sister, Jennifer, acted like it was no big deal to give of themselves when their parents needed them.

..

After doing countless interviews, Phillips quietly left the Kiel Center, pushing his mother's wheelchair. His father, holding on to one of Chris' belt loops, followed.

You often can paint pictures of how an athlete gives and gives in competition, but you never can get more inside an individual than I did at that moment.

To a certain degree, not many people completely regret the terrible things that happened to them in childhood. All the little slights of adolescence disappear. Chris Phillips doesn't lead so much as he exudes a sort of emotional confidence. It's not the coldness of Wade Redden nor the quiet determination of Alfredsson, but he knows it's not the end of the world if we lose, it won't be the beginning of the world if we win, and there is no strength like the strength inside.

Jason Spezza
$49 millions over 7 years, when most people predicted $8, $9 million on the outside market.

He loves us, doesn't he?

I mean, it's hard to know if a player really even likes where he's playing, or if he's accepted it with a sort of grimness.

Besides cheesy TV segments, the only way to really show your loyalty and appreciation of the team and fans is through money.

The players really feel it too, don't they?

Still, we can't ignore the irony that a few years ago, Hossa's untenable $6 mil contract forced a trade, as we celebrate the wonderous occasion of this signing. 2 years later, Heatley has already re-signed, and Hossa has not ...

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Also, watch Friday Night Lights!

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Mike from Philly said...

terrific ... very nice job

also a big fan of Friday Night Lights

07 November, 2007 14:09  
Blogger Adam said...

Good call on the Saracen/Phillips parallel.

Adam

12 November, 2007 11:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AQG - where have you gone?
:(

19 November, 2007 16:33  
Anonymous Rick Marnon said...

Spezza did sign for a ton. He has been worth it though.

25 November, 2007 03:38  

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