Someone asked me the other day what “Steelers Hockey” was. It made me think.
Is it the style of play that the Steelers have – swashbuckling attack after attack? Is it the grit and toughness that numerous Steelers side have had and continue to have this season with the likes of Zack Fitzgerald and Guillaume Desbiens?
Maybe Steelers Hockey is the club’s winning tradition.
The most successful sporting side in the City of Sheffield over the last two decades.
After careful consideration I came to the conclusion that Steelers Hockey wasn’t any of the above.
Steelers Hockey is the ability to put a smile on people’s faces. Take people out of their usual ordinary lives and bring them some excitement. It could be for a young kid to meet their hero, to look up at the face of one of the warriors they have been cheering on the ice.
That ability to make people smile, to bring a cheer is something that all sporting clubs have. We love our sport and we love our heroes. It’s something the Steelers have embraced.
We are lucky that over the years we have had some great characters who have bought into leading the charge and making the kids feel a great part of our great club and there is no better feeling that seeing that beaming smile develop on little Johnny’s face as he meets his hero.
We saw some 18 months ago when we were so heavily involved with young Amy Usher what a hockey club can do for person and also, and this is important, what they can then do for us in return. That giving back.
On Sunday we have invited an eight year old Belfast fan to the game against Giants. His name is Blake McGaughey. He is bonkers on his home town club in Belfast and has never been to an away game.
The lad has a rare genetic disorder. It started off with pneumonia, caused by aspirating food and liquids into his lungs.
The poor mite has a leaking heart valve and hip issues. It is thought that his complex condition is unique and that he is the only young lad suffering with it anywhere in the world.
Yet even after taking all of the above into account I haven’t seen a photo of him not smiling.
So on Sunday the Steelers will do what they do best. They will make this one lad feel like he is king of the world. Blake might not be a Steelers fan and nor should he. He is a Giants fan and they are his boys. But one smile could be worth 100 goals and there for the grace of God could go anyone of us.
Want to know what Steelers Hockey is? Well that’s it right there.
Back to league play this weekend for Steelers. On Friday in Braehead and then on Sunday at home to Belfast. Last week our victory in Manchester all but guaranteed us a place in the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup. Now for a string of league games to catch up those Panthers of Nottingham.
No Levi Nelson for a few weeks. He broke a bone in his wrist last weekend blocking a shot. They are a different breed these blokes. I wouldn’t sacrifice the body as Levi would in blocking a shot at 100mpg – Levi did and he paid the price. He will be missed, others will need to come to the party and bring his level of energy and enthusiasm.
In conclusion, two great games ahead for Steelers but one very special guest off the ice on Sunday. When you see him, meet him give him a “Steelers Hockey” welcome. It’s what makes us different, makes us special.