Saturday, 4 January 2014

TBC: Crazy Dedicated Hockey Dad If...

I have been around enough arenas and seen enough hockey parents to know that a select few go beyond what is reasonable when it comes to their hockey fanaticism. In saying this, I am not a parent to a hockey-playing child, but I would certainly hope that I never become like some of those people. One writer takes this overly-enthusiastic hockey father and pokes some fun at him. Teebz's Book Club is proud to review You Might Be A Crazy Dedicated Hockey Dad If..., written by Jason Howell, illustrated by Braden Howell, and published by Magenta Entertainment Ltd. While there isn't a lot of seriousness that goes into this book, reading this book brought back memories of some of those parents at which we roll our eyes.

Jason Howell (standing on the right) is a former goaltender with the Alliston Hornets and a former resident of CFB Borden. He coaches the Orangeville novice Flyers, and has published a number of books that have been illustrated by his hockey players such as I Love My Hockey Mom and Thanks to My Hockey Dad. The former Senior Director of Sales at HB Fenn and Company took a position with Magenta Entertainment Ltd in 2011, and has since put his hockey team on the map with his hockey books. He lives in Orangeville with his family.

I have to say that You Might Be A Crazy Dedicated Hockey Dad If... is a pretty interesting book simply because the stuff that Mr. Howell identifies as being part of the crazy/dedicated hockey dad is spot-on in terms of how some fathers act at their kids' games. The illustrations drawn by Mr. Howell's son another level to the insanity shown by some fathers in their quests to live through their children's hockey experiences. I laughed many times as I read this book as it reminded me too often of parents I knew while I was playing.

The book itself is broken up into three fairly obvious sections: first, second, and third periods. There's also a pre-game and post-game analysis, and intermissions between each period. There are no scores, though, and no analysis of a game between periods. Instead, we get topics like "A Field Guide to Hockey Dad Types" and "Fundraising Fiascos". Again, the joke is on the hockey dads who takes things far beyond the line of acceptable behaviour.

Mr. Howell's writing style isn't prose as we normally read in books. It actually reads more like Jeff Foxworthy's stand-up routine in which he frames the punchline with "You Might Be a Crazy Dedicated Hockey Dad If..." before delivering the punchline. There are a pile of these throughout the "three periods" of the book, giving the reader an ample supply of lines one could use if encountered with such a hockey dad. A few examples include,
You and your player are both off with suspensions at the same time.

You drink your coffee the same way each game: double-fisted.

You've told the coach he can play your little skater wherever he sees fit... except on defence... or on the wing.
While these aren't the funniest of the lines in the book, there's a ton of them that could be used that I didn't go over. And Braden Howell's illustrations give some visual assistance to some of the jokes that Mr. Howell cracks in You Might Be A Crazy Dedicated Hockey Dad If....

Overall, the content within the covers of You Might Be A Crazy Dedicated Hockey Dad If... isn't life-changing or game-altering, but it might make a few hockey dads sit up and realize that they sometimes go too far. While the 127 pages are mostly sarcastic and humourous, there is a sliver a truth in every joke for those who can relate to these jokes. Because of that ability to relate to readers, You Might Be A Crazy Dedicated Hockey Dad If... deserves the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval!

You can find You Might Be A Crazy Dedicated Hockey Dad If... at your local bookstore for less than $15. While I'm not recommending that it be given to a crazy/dedicated hockey dad, perhaps an anonymous drop-off might be in order?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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