Home Ice, Open Ice

5 Jan

There are a lot of things that I really love about New England.

Fall foliage, apple picking, and cider donuts.

Springtime strolls through the Public Gardens and late summer games at Fenway Park.

But perhaps my favorite thing about New England is backyard hockey rinks.

My future backyard

My favorite college professor (and former hockey writer for Sports Illustrated), the late Jack Falla, wrote a wonderful book titled “Home Ice” about his own beloved backyard rink, the Bacon Street Omni.

In his book, he writes about how his rink and the sport of hockey not only brought his neighborhood together but also how it influenced his relationship with his wife and strengthen the bonds with his children.


The Bacon Street Omni

If you love and appreciate the sport of hockey, you should read this book.

In watching the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, it was hard to imagine any player out on the ice not thoroughly enjoying himself – its how they grew up, after all.   On the backyard rinks and frozen ponds of New England, the Midwest, and Canada. 
Stinging wind in their faces. 
Rifling wrist shots into the snowbanks that lined the rink. 
Practicing their triple deke while their little brother plays goalie. 
Saying “5 more minutes, Mom” even though the winter sun is fading and dinner is waiting on the table.

My kid shows Little Pants how it is done.

I don’t have any children, but when I do, I want them to grow up like this.


5 Responses to “Home Ice, Open Ice”

  1. Cassy January 5, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    Cassy loves! One of those kids will be mine. And the second they can stumble they’re going on bob skates!

    (The real reason I’m emigrating is to pop out some boys and get them drafted to the NHL :D)

    • Chuck January 5, 2011 at 6:33 am #

      Agreed! Little kids on hockey skates make me all warm and fuzzy!

  2. El Ez January 5, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    Too cool! We have an outdoor rink here in BFE Idaho, and just started a youth hockey league this winter, it’s super cool to see little rugrats sliding around the ice. I’m gonna build a rink next fall for my rugrats..

    • Chuck January 5, 2011 at 10:34 am #

      That is awesome, Ezra. The boys are going to LOVE IT. You have to send us photos and update us on the project!


  1. Remembering Jack Falla. Writer. Teacher. Backyard Rink Builder. « What's Up, Ya Sieve? - September 14, 2011

    […] was an inspiration to many sports and hockey journalists (including me!), so it is today that we remember his life, his talent, and his […]

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