Why I Have Hope For The World
A funny thing happened this past Friday while I was working a production gig in front of the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville for the NHL All-Star Weekend.
As I was standing watch to the entrance of the set, ensuring that no passersby were going to walk through and either get hurt or otherwise impede production, out of the sea of disparate hockey jerseys, one snagged my attention. It was dark green, with gold trim and lettering. And it was unmistakable:
At first, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Clarkson? Here?! Was the sky falling?
“Hey, Clarkson!” I shouted.
The young man to whom the jersey belonged looked up and saw me. Obviously, he didn’t recognize me – we’d never met.
But then I pointed to my dark sweatshirt, upon which was emblazoned in bright red letters “ST. LAWRENCE.”
The young man laughed, “You’ve gotta be kidding me!”
You see, St. Lawrence (my alma mater, and where I spent 15 years of my life watching hockey) and Clarkson (from the next town over) have one of the most intense rivalries in all of Division 1 Hockey. We downright hate each other (athletically speaking). When our two teams face off, the rest of us really go at it.
It’s a rivalry that sometimes has a fascinating twist to it. For instance, a friend of mine and I, as we grew up, went to all the St. Lawrence hockey games and hated Clarkson. But then he went to college at Clarkson and grew to hate St. Lawrence. Bizarre.
In any event, the two sides don’t like each other. It’s been that way for as long as anyone can remember.
That’s why what happened next was kind of odd. The young man and I walked right up to each other and shook hands, as if greeting an old friend.
“Good to see you,” I said.
He laughed, “You, too!”
We chatted for a bit. Not for very long. He had places to be and I had work to do.
But for that brief minute or so, two warring factions – the St. Lawrence Saints (the good guys, obviously) and the Clarkson Golden Knights – came together and shook hands. Even stated they were glad to see each other.
If that can happen, perhaps there’s a lot of hope for the world after all.