Monday, March 17, 2008

A speedy reovery and our thoughts to the Pohl family as well as the Golden Gophers

Brian Peterson, Star Tribune
The above photo is just after the hit occurred and one that will haunt my hubby for the rest of his life:

In the past, I have talked about how Pat LOVES hockey and football and how when he indulges it gives me mooch o computer time as well as the ability for myself to over indulge on Lifetime.

However, as with most people, when a player is injured, it's not something that I turn away from. I always stop and make sure that the player is ok, can get up and skate away or walk off the field. And let's face it, I do have a secret. I can get wrapped up in the occasional Gopher hockey game or even a Viking's game. But it's a mood thing.

While I don't think I've EVER posted anything about sports other than about the kids and soccer, this post will be an exception.

Tom Pohl, a University of MN hockey player was injured last night. And yes, hockey is a dangerous game and a play at your own risk sort of game. All the same, my opinion of this hit that Pohl took, well, lets just say that each time I thought about it today I just fumed.

Last night, I was in the kitchen getting something to munch on and I heard a heart-wrenching, freeze in your steps, bone chilling gasp and an "OH NO" and an "Oh my God" and the worst was "Please move, please get up, he hasn't moved, his legs aren't moving..."

Hockey injuries are never minor, no matter how you look at it. Last night's game was going well, Pat was in the back hall telling our 16-year old daughter to come out because it was a really good game, a typical playoff scenario when it's Gopher season. I was prepared for the overtimes...but I wasn't watching.

Anyway, the worried voices coming from the living room...I dropped everything and rushed into the living room knowing that what I was going to see was a man laid out on the ice...for 13 minutes, our family stood riveted, looking for any sort of movement from Pohl, ANYTHING.

We waited and waited for the replay and it seemed to take was hell and that sinking feeling in the stomach. The looks of all the players as their team mate was being worked on, the crowd and their worried faces but mostly the deadly silence. It was probably the eeriest part.

Then it was time to see the replay. I guess I myself am of the opinion that if the injury is as serious as a 13-minute lag in the game, then chances are that hit was something that was above and beyond 'legal' in hockey terms. That has been my experience but then again, that isn't always the case.

Once I saw the hit, I was pissed off. Mostly because what my eyes were seeing was a hit that may have very well been ok but it was the follow through, the angle, and the pure intent that was there. In reading numerous com- mentors, I have questioned my opinion thinking that because it was a Gopher who was hurt, my heart hurt more.

But I have sat and watched this video over and over and the more I watch it, the more angry I get. While this Wiley character may not have meant to hurt Pohl to the extreme that he did, it seems to me that he did intend to hurt him to some extent. The follow through of the hit is what is most damning, the elbow and the way Wiley came 'up' with it, the helmet flying off of Pohl's head, the angle at which Wiley came in.

Last night, it was a broken nose and a concussion and not much more on the news, which in and of itself just didn't seem right for the amount of time that was spent on that ice. And apparently there was an awful amount of blood. I got a glance at his face and saw the blood around the nose but the camera quickly moved away.

You know how people just know that silence is a bad sign? That less said always leaves a bad feeling? Well, Pat and I were talking about it last night and this morning it was whoever heard what first, please call. Pat of course heard and called me. It was bad news...a skull fracture, blood in his brain and he needed to be medivac-ed to Rochester to have brain surgery. Talk about a sinking feeling. Pohl is said to be doing ok, that he is on the road to recovery but really, brain surgery isn't a minor surgery...that uncomfortable feeling just won't leave because one just knows that there is still a chance....God, I am praying that this kid will be ok.

Because I have been so out of sorts about this, I had to post on it. Sorry, I just couldn't help myself because it was just one of those things that nags at a person...getting it off my chest always makes it a little better.

Please though, keep Tom Pohl and his family in your thoughts and prayers. I would also like to note that Tom's brother John Pohl, is a player for the Toronto Mapleleafs as well as a former Gopher.

As always, click on the links throughout the post for more. The video is on the right of one of the stories.

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