by Jay Suburb
The Guy Called Mike may be excused if he's got things
on his mind other than road hockey.
The veteran roadster is expanding his family's roster,
with the move expected on the same weekend as the opening of Sunday
Morning Road Hockey's one-game training camp, this Sunday.
It'll be the first transaction for the expectant general
manager, but just the latest in a baby boom that's exploded at the courts
in the past year. Lobsterboy, Paul One, the Whirling Dervish and Hollywood
Paul all spawned junior roadsters late last season.
While the rest of the roadsters have been gearing up for
Sunday Morning's eleventh season, GCM's been shopping for a minivan
But that doesn't mean his life is over, say some of the
"It doesn't preclude you from doing stuff,"
says Paul One, whose season scarcely skipped a beat after his own family
expanded its roster last Spring. "If there's a will, there's a
way. I think all it takes is a little more planning."
But that can be tough to achieve, says the Whirling Dervish,
who played only a couple of games after the birth of his daughter midway
through last season.
"Time is such a premium," says the feisty forward,
who expects to make only sporadic appearances at the courts this season.
"You're in this with a partner, and you wanna make sure that you're
pulling your own weight and keeping up your end of the bargain."
With the junior roadster's debut still days away, GCM
is already discovering his time is no longer his own. Because before
there is the baby, there are all the household projects that have to
be completed before the baby.
"There's no time," says Lobsterboy. "The
projects just keep adding up."
"It can be hell keeping up with the nesting phase,"
says the Whirling Dervish. "Nothing can be counted on, everything
is up in the air. You wanna make sure you've got all those little jobs
that need to get done actually do get done, so you're free for six to
twelve weeks to stay up every night."
And while all that drywalling and plumbing may make for
household peace, it can wreak havoc on a roadster's conditioning. For
the past month, says GCM, his training regime has been little more rigorous
than pushing nails and squeezing caulking guns.
"It's a long road, and for the next couple of years,
the physical conditioning takes a back seat to some other stuff,"
says the Dervish. "It doesn't mean that he'll never be in great
shape again, it's just that right now is not a good time for it."
"All that stuff, it can maybe detract from what you're
able to bring to the game," says Paul One. "The important
thing isn't that you necessarily come to the game at 100 percent, but
that you just come to the game. If your endurance or ability falls off
a little bit, that's understandable."
And, say the roadsters who should know, the game can be
a bit of a refuge from the awesome demands of parenthood.
"If anything, it gives you a good release,"
says Paul One. "It gives you a chance to step away, because otherwise
you can get totally wrapped up in it, and you just sit around thinking
about it all the time."
"You've gotta have some time for yourself,"
says Lobsterboy. "You've gotta keep the joys that you have. There's
so much tenseness, you've gotta have some release time."
"It's a fun thing to do," says the Whirling
Dervish. "It's like going to a movie, it's sort of a change of
And when the fathering forward does return to the courts,
he'll find himself a changed player.
"It's such a joyous experience that once you have
the baby, you want to be able to bring the joy of road hockey to future
generations," says Lobsterboy.
"It makes you consider the longetivity of the game,"
says Paul One. "It makes you wanna pass it on. You actually start
to think it might be fun to one day have your own kids playing as little