Here is a really strange story: Personal Foul. Strange because those in the story are trying to understand the phenomenon and they seem to be overlooking one major aspect of the condition. Can you figure out what it is?
While reading the story I was reminded of an old goal I used to strive to attain all throughout youth and high school sports. Funny too because as a matter of fact I just told my wife about it the other day while we were working out. Before getting to the goal, I need to provide some background context so you'll understand.
I played youth and high school hockey. Overtime all the equipment develops a certain smell that can not be washed out, it just must be lived with as part of the whole hockey experience. It is a state of mind. Eventually one begins to love the smell, even miss it.
A cherished piece of a hockey players armor is the t-shirt worn underneath the shoulder pads. The shirt becomes of very good friend, to help protect against rashes, and it sometimes even provides that superstitious edge everybody needs in sports (my favorite shirt was a KISS concert shirt.) A devoted hockey player plays at least five days a week and sweats like a pig. But because of all the playing time, there was no time to wash the undershirt. Early on in my career I picked up on the cultic practice of never washing the shirt. I realized that I was part of a group who competed with each other to see who could go the longest with out washing the shirt. I do not recall exactly but it seems to me that I went at least three seasons without washing my undershirt. I could have gone longer if the darn thing wouldn't have disintegrated to a few strings. Three seasons is pretty good but I do recall, and this is a fact, two buddies I played with that never, ever washed their undershirts from peewees all through high school. I still wonder how they preserved the material.
It is a pretty cool memory. I hear through the grapvine too that the practice still exists. Good deal - a hidden legacy of hockey continues on.