While the world reacts to the President’s State of the Union address this morning and goes about their daily business, I am thinking about hockey, for today is the 50th anniversary of the birth of The Great One. While you sip your coffee and discuss the economy of Europe, I am thinking about his 894 goals, 1,963 assists, and 2,857 points. (Regular season, of course.) Egypt may be falling apart right now, but I can remember cutting out every newspaper article on him from 1987-93, at least. You might be thinking about Congresswoman Gifford’s improved condition, but I am remembering the shocked feeling I had on that late summer day in 1988 when they announced that he had been traded to Los Angeles. I have been able to find Brantford, Ontario on a map since I was 12. I read his 1990 autobiography at least 25 times. I still wear the black LA Kings t-shirt that I got for Christmas in 1989, much to my wife’s dismay. I know that he scored 378 goals in a single season when he was ten. And that he scored 51 goals & tied for the NHL scoring title in his rookie season. And that he scored over 200 points in an NHL season 4 times – something that no one else has done even once. AND that his 92 goals in a season is a record that will never be broken – as will his mark of 50 career hat tricks. But I digress.
Happy 50th birthday, Wayne Gretzky.