It’s the smallest of anecdotes, but that night I raised my Irish stout to a recurring theme and the promise of my own stout truism. I am meant to be here, and I’ve been meant to be in every place and every situation that brought me here.
In a world not so far, but distant in candor,
lived the league that held hockey, where legends would pander.
From the greats of the Gretzkys and the lores of the Orrs,
the slapshots were plenty and the game much adored.
Once a year, fans were gifted by the N, H and L,
with a spectacle of greatness, and where this story dwells:
See, the league in itself was a climb and a feat –
To be considered a player, was to be considered elite
And so came the year of two thousand and eight
when John Scott played the game and got his very first taste.
The NHL sure was Wild, and with each travel, he knew,
this was the chance of a lifetime, what he’d been meant to do.
And with eleven points on ice and five hundred in the box,
he knew he'd be no Bourque, but he’d be the very best Scott.
And then came the year when everything changed:
The NHL returned with its gift, and left slightly maimed.
The people loved Scott, and with a medley of motives,
they voted him "Captain," and lit off the explosives.
“This gift!” the league cried, "It is meant for the greats!
A spectacle of speed! An orchestra of skates!"
But the league had forgotten that the fans had a voice,
and John Scott was a player by that very league’s choice.
"A spectacle of greatness?" the crowd had returned,
"He has charm and singularity, the vote was very well earned!"
The league disagreed, and they scoffed and retrieved,
and behind some closed doors, they asked Scott to leave.
And when Scott said he wouldn’t, and fans knew he shouldn’t,
he’d been banished to the North – the league once more imprudent.
With disdain and a laxness that left no one surprised,
the league shunned Scott and his family and the many fans’ cries.
And so the people took to war in articles and posts
and headlines and forums, from all cities and coasts.
Once the league understood of their customers’ reproach,
they decided to give in, but with one final broach:
“Would your children be proud?” they questioned John Scott.
They dug their own grave. They tightened the knot.
Would your children be proud? If you were an NHL great?
If you had an NHL title? If you’d been voted to play?
Would your children be proud? If you took part in this “gift?"
If you had the skill to compete apart from your size and your grit?
"Would your children be proud?" John Scott knew that they would.
And when he stepped to the ice, seventeen thousand fans stood.
They were all proud that day – The thousands of children,
the fans and admirers and believers within them.
Because to celebrate greatness, as is done with these "gifts,"
is to celebrate achievement in all strengths and all rifts.
"Would his children be proud?" Scott had scored two fine goals.
He brought life to the game; he defied his own role.
"Would his children be proud?" Would you in their shoes?
If you believed in yourself, and made the world believe, too?
Greatness lives in many forms – not just the Hulls and Lemieux’s,
and if you believe in yourself, you can amend the world’s views.
So would his children be proud? Put yourself in their spot:
We watched greatness redefined, in the legend of John Scott.