Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One Good Reason to Like Hockey Players

Mathew Dumba is an eighteen-year-old defenseman (defenceman, for you Canadians) playing for the Western Hockey League’s Red Deer Rebels. He was drafted in 2012 by the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, and earlier this season he was with the Wild—presumably in the strike-abbreviated training camp—long enough to get assigned a jersey number.1

The number was given the number 55, which you may not find particularly relevant or funny unless you look at it and think about it for a little while.

Photo by Minnesota Wild center Zenon Konopka.

Dumba wears number 24 for the Rebels, so it’s quite possible that looking like a dumba55 in his brief stint with the Wild was not his idea at all. It’s very likely, though, that even if Dumba wasn’t happy with his assigned number, he didn’t make a peep about it, but just showed up to practice every day and worked his tail off.

That’s a rare thing in sports today, and speaks to the modesty, sense of humor, and down-to-earth nature that we like to believe exists more often in hockey players than in any other athlete. Seriously, we dare you to name any other sport where the athletes are so willing to look like dumba55es.

Okay, fine—golfers too. But let’s be honest,
these guys look more like lunatics than dumba55es.

1. To be fair, we have no idea how long one has to be in an NHL training camp before getting a number. Maybe it’s the first thing that happens when they get off the bus. We ourselves play in the kind of hockey league where jersey assignments are generally determined by how fat the players are—the higher the number, the larger the jersey. Not a lot of takers for #2 through #10 anymore.

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