I noticed Tim Stapleton's speed and skill early on in the season, and I liked that he seemed to be a very down to earth, likeable human being. But it wasn't until I attended the Jets game verses the St. Louis Blues on February 25th that he became one of my favourites, and one of my four year old daughter's favourite's too.
It was Madelyn's first Winnipeg Jets game. A moment of pride for any father. We got there as early as we could, and went down to ice level to get as close to the players as we could during their pre-game skate. She was a little bit awestruck as she caught a glimpse of her favourite player, Dustin Byfuglien. I was pointing out other players and numbers to her, when she loudly exclaimed, "LOOK, DADDY! There's (Evander) KANE!". That took me back a bit, as we'd never really pointed him out to her before... Turns out she really is paying attention when we're watching at home!
While she stood at the edge of the glass watching the players go round and round (including Pavelec, or to her, "That Guy With Pillows On His Feet"), a blue shadow zipped up to her on the other side of the glass. It didn't even phase her, as she was focused on the players at centre ice.
Her concentration was interrupted by the 'tap-tap-tap' of a stick on the glass. Slightly startled, she looked up to see #14 Tim Stapleton standing right in front of her. He put is hand up and waved at her.
She was stunned! She quickly composed herself, and waved back. A big smile played across his face, and she responded with a nervous, but excited giggle, and a huge smile herself!
And like that, he was gone, leaving Madelyn still waving at him.
I don't know if 4 year olds have the ability to blush, but that's the only way to describe her composure.
She had found a new favourite player for the game.
Or as she referred to him, "The One That Waved To Me".
The entire interaction took all of 10 seconds, far too quick to get a photo, but I did get this shot of her about 5 seconds after Stapleton skated away. She was glowing.
Currently playing: Run DMC - Rock Box
Currently colouring: An as yet unsolicited Marvel Masterwork!
Proudly in my sixth Cola free year!