Gripping Family Viewing

Written by: Lianne Castelino

Published: Jun 24, 2011

by Lianne Castelino

I cannot wait to settle in front of the TV for about 3 hours or more tonight for the one television event every year that mesmerizes me from start to finish.

Now, given that I increasingly do not watch much tv, have no idea about popular tv shows like Glee, Two and a Half Men, etc., and even watch much less tv news (cause it is invariably depressing and skewed), a tv show that is gripping for the whole family is truly something rare.  I should add that ever since The West Wing stopped running and prior to that the short-lived but brilliantly written and acted show “Sports Night” went off the air, my husband and I have staged our silent protest against tv and just the utter lack of engaging, inspiring programming, but I digress.

This program is the complete package.  Full of drama, emotion, anticipation, excitement, wonder, joy — the list is long.

We make sure NEVER to miss it.   And in the past few years have taken to watching it as a family.  Yes, there are not too many times our kids are allowed to watch consecutive hours of anything, but we wholeheartedly support and encourage their viewing of this must-see, television event!

It will surprise you and you do not have to be an expert in this field to appreciate the quality of the program.

The NHL Draft is the show in question and I cannot get enough of it.  Why? 

A group of professional NHL team executives and personnel — the hockey brain trust — sit in the centre of an arena, ringed by hopeful young, athletes with dreams, aspiration, hopes and desires of being professionals, flanked by their families who have invested their time, energy, tireless effort, money to nurture, feed and support that dream.

It gives me chills, frankly.

Everytime a name is called by a team on the stage, the camera zooms into that kid and his family — the joy, pride, jubilation, as a parent, as a child.  It is a tribute to the process, peserverance, sacrifice, dedication, goal-setting and achievement.

You don't have to be a hockey parent to appreciate this.  In fact, insert any other activity in place of hockey.  It truly is a celebration of the journey.  And goodness knows there are no guarantees how the road on that journey, whether a player is drafted or not, will wind, the twists and turns it will take and where the final destination will be.

What's important and most facinating is their journey to this day — the player, the family, everyone associated with that boy/man making it to Draft Day.  All those early morning practices, the Arctic-like rinks, the 'coffee runs' to stay warm, the endless loads of laundry, the stinky, downright lethal-smelling equipment, touching that equipment to wash it, the mind-numbing scheduling, the backyard rink, putting up the boards, shinny under the stars, that zillionith bag of popcorn to keep the other kids happy, the tying goal, the winning goal, the dumb penalty, the goal he should have back, the new relationships, commiserating with other hockey parents, players, families — it is a formidable and fascinating list. NHL draft day

The journey is precious and should be cherished.  Whether a player is drafted or not, making it to this day is cause of celebration and stealing the spotlight.

I remember one year, my husband surprised me with a night in a fancy hotel in Montreal, a lovely surprise.  But it was NHL Draft Day.  So we set our alarms, re-scheduled all our activities before and following that 3-hour window.  Yes, we are whacked!!  But boy was it thrilling.  (For hockey fans, it was the year Carey Price was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens — which floored everyone in the house and the hotel!!).

Wouldn't miss it for anything!  Except of course, one of our kids' hockey games!


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