An Awful Lot Like Love

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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A ceremony to retire the jersey of a hockey legend sheds light on what an athlete can mean to a city

There was an event during this year’s NHL season that may have evaded the attention of the national sporting consciousness but, for me, represented and celebrated all that was good in sports. On March 8, Mike Modano had his jersey retired at American Airlines Center in Dallas in a celebration before the Dallas Stars–Minnesota Wild game that included numerous former teammates, dignitaries, other Dallas sporting legends and the Stanley Cup itself. (I love that the Stanley Cup, an inanimate object, gets its own introduction: “Ladies and gentlemen, the Stanley Cup!”)

This was a night to celebrate Modano’s accomplishments: all-time leader in goals and points by an American-born player, longtime USA Hockey team member and Stanley Cup champion. But it was also a celebration of an exemplary career by one of the most admired, yet accessible, athletes I’ve ever encountered—and one whose loyalty to the city in which he played has been reciprocated throughout his career. (Yes, he played his final season with his hometown Detroit Red Wings, but he gets a pass for that.)

Read the full article on SportsTravel



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