My name is Jeff Ballard – and I was a stalwart 2nd line center on every North Toronto House league team I ever played on. I was always told I had soft hands and a nose for the net. But as a kid, I was bigger. Getting around on the ice wasn’t always graceful. This weight, combined with a killer appetite for Fettucini Alfredo are the basis for my story.
NT House league ran their games every Sunday morning starting at 5:45 a.m. – perfect time for a budding teenager to be lacing them up. One fine Sunday morning, my team that year – The Bedford Bisons – were playing our rivals, The Bunk House. The night before was a standard Saturday night for a young Jeff Ballard – catching the Leafs game at 7 and mucking a steak and fettuccini alfredo from Ferraro 502. Talk about a pre-game meal. The night would always end with catching the first few periods of the west-coast game before hitting the hay to be able to wake up at the break of dawn.
Fast forward to the game. We’re two shifts in. I’m givin’er out there on the ice, carving up some beauty crossovers and getting my first few touches of the game. I decide to head off. Classic stick in air just like an exhausted Leafer in double OT, I’m signalling to the Coach to get the door open. I glide to the bench, and realize something’s not right in Texas. I go to the back of the forward que, ready to go back on in two shifts (we were rocking 3 solid forward lines that year, limited ice-time).
Fast forward again. I’m at the front of the que, about to get back on the ice. Something is REALLY not right in Texas. The stomach is grumbling. As the Coach opens the door for me to go on – it happens. The piece of plexiglass that separates the two benches is suddenly being sprayed with Alfredo. I can’t stop puking everywhere. Coach jumps out of the way and I proceed to continue to toss my cookies through my cage. Realizing that we’re down a man on the ice, I gather up some dignity and hop on the ice for my regular shift. After my shift, I return to a standing ovation at the bench from the boys. Moral of the story: don’t eat Fettuccini Alfredo the night before a game – or at least make it a side dish.
For sending in this hilarious hockey story, Jeff Ballard has won himself this Anze Kopitar LA Kings jersey!
Attaboy Ballard – thanks for the pre-game meal advice.
Next week’s prize? This beauty Rick Nash jersey…