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Written by Dale Tudge   

Hockey Dad Shocked At Son's Decision To Denounce National Sport

Canadian hockey, hockey team, hockey game, hockey star, skating, puck
<>Leon Mercer remembers a time when he and his son shared a love for hockey.
DEEPEST, DARKEST CANADA-- It's a day every father dreads. Little Bobby Mercer, a typical Canadian eleven-year-old kid, has told his father that what he wants for Christmas this year isn't a new hockey stick, or ice skates, or even a replica Team Canada jersey. Instead of wishing for an authentic table-top hockey set, a shiny new full-faced helmet, or even an autographed poster of Mario Lemieux, Bobby wants a new hard drive for his computer and a copy of Half-Life 2.

Bobby's admission hit his father like a frozen puck to the head, and left him spinning like a winger trying to stop with one dull skate blade.

"Where did I fail as a father?" sobbed Leon, a life-long hockey fan. "When Bobby was younger, I took him to several [Vancouver] Canucks games, we always stayed up late on Saturday nights to watch Hockey Night In Canada, and his bedroom walls were covered in Team Canada posters, pennants, and flags. But now, he goes to LAN parties, watches Tech TV, and has the Quake logo plastered all over his room."

Despite Leon's nurturing, encouragement, and support, Bobby would rather play Doom or Halo, than trade hockey cards, participate in fantasy hockey leagues, or even play street hockey in the driveway.

"I can't even get him to go down to the rink for a family skate unless I promise to stop off at Electronics Boutique on the way," said Leon. "I never dreamed that a Canadian kid would be indifferent to hockey. Damn you Microsoft!!!"

Despite Leon's own healthy obsession with the sport of hockey, the gene has not passed on to his son, who seems content to play simulated fighting games on his Playstation 2, or first-person shooters on his Pentium 4. Even so, he practically ignores the copy of Electronic Arts' NHL 2007 that Leon bought him for his eleventh birthday.

"And to top it off, Bobby told me he wants to go to computer camp this summer instead of hockey school," cried Leon, whose own father got up at five o'clock every morning to drive him to hockey practice. "I'm thinking that this is probably hereditary on his mother's side. After all, she is half American."

Leon is doing his best to cope with the revelation that his son might not ever play in the NHL, but he's still coming to terms with the idea that Bobby may never want to join a beer league when he's older, or even play shinny with his old man when the local pond freezes in the winter.