Hockey players are people, too!
“I’m shopping for groceries, just like you!”
“You are? I thought you just lived at the school!”
Even though we’re all grown-ass adults hacking away at our 9-to-5 jobs and drinking kale smoothies (ugh, seriously this stuff is gross!), we sometimes forget that those of us on this earth living the dream of playing hockey for a living exist outside of the rink as well. Pro athletes have lives, likes and dislikes, clothes they enjoy wearing that don’t have an itchy fight strap, pets that need walking or scooping after, and, most importantly, food they love eating!
Eddie Lack, the affable starting backup goalie for the Carolina Hurricanes, is about as famous for his love of tacos as Deadpool is for his love of chimichangas. So much so, that he has a nickname for them: cornboats! He even has a commercial airing in Raleigh for a really good taco restaurant that has tacos named after him.
There is probably a slashfic written about Lack and his “cornboats” too, but I will not be digging around for that.
Anywho, in the few times you may be lucky enough to get an autograph by a player, I encourage you not to waste it with just saying, “Hey, how’s it going? Coolthxbye.” Learn a little something about that player (in a non-creepy way), and engage them briefly if you know they like Irish Wolf Hounds, or collecting old VW hubcaps, anything!
Then, get them to say something in the autograph to personalize it. That’s what I did when I met Eddie at a Hurricanes season ticket holders event and handed him a card to sign. He was new to the area so I asked if he’d found any good taco joints in the area and asked him to sign his card, “I love tacos!”
So don’t just get an autograph, get something personalized. You’ll likely coming away with a little more of a smile than the next guy in line and they’ll feel a little more appreciated and welcomed. My card is not “authentically signed” like one you pull from a pack unless I’m creepy and take a picture of Lack scribbling on it, but that’s not the point. I’m not getting an autograph in hopes that it adds value to it; I’m not looking to sell it anyway. It makes for a fun conversation piece and good memory.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m ready for lunch. And for some reason, I’m craving tacos…
Jim Howard is a Carolina Hurricanes fan and reformed baseball card collector who is trying to keep the hockey collection from becoming overwhelming. And while he wishes he could give Crosby the business with his mitt, he is in fact NOT the goalie for the Red Wings. ■
Photo Credits- Lack/Canucks: Harold Cecchetti; Taco: Renee Comet; Kale juice & Lack card: Jim Howard; Lack in t-shirt: Eddie Lack via Twitter.