EnglishLingQ 2.0 Podcast #3: Mark Kaufmann Talks About His Hockey Career

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In episode 3 of the English LingQ Podcast Mark Kaufmann Talks About His Hockey Career.

Elizabeth: Hello everyone. And welcome to the LingQ English podcast, episode three with me, Jahrine. And today I’m joined by LingQ co-founder AKA the boss, Mark Kaufman. How are you Mark?

Mark: I’m good.

Thanks.

I like that.

The boss.

Elizabeth: Yeah, the boss.

So, I thought it would be interesting to chat with you about your hockey career.

It’s not something I know a lot about actually, and I’d be interested to find out.

So, um, yeah.

You, you had a hockey career before LingQ.

Um, can you tell us about it?

When did you start playing hockey?

Mark: Um, I mean, I, uh, played hockey most of my life, I guess.

I think I probably started skating… I don’t, I dunno when I was like four.

Um, and then, uh, I. I was actually, I grew up in Japan, at least till age six and then moved back to Vancouver to start grade one.

And I remember my brother and I being at school and other kids were playing hockey.

Uh, and we came home and said, we want to play hockey.

And from that time on, I pretty much have always played hockey.

So organized hockey at age six, although I was skating probably earlier than that.

Elizabeth: Right.

I guess it’s pretty Canadian.

thing to do generally… for kids.

Mark: Yeah, I would say so.

I mean, uh, yeah, every everybody played, you know, at least in, in elementary school and as time goes on, um, uh, you know, like it, like with anything people drop off and, um, people get into other things.

Um, but, uh, yeah, I, uh, always played here and then ended up going to play college hockey in the States and, uh, Yeah.

Went on from there, played in many different places over the course of 10 years.

So, and still play today with my friends.

Elizabeth: Oh you do still play today? Nice Excellent.

Mark: Well, not right now, cause we’re not allowed to, but, uh, up until recently anyway.

Elizabeth: How long have you, how long was the, I guess around maybe March, April, you weren’t allowed.

And did it go on for months?

The ban ban on hockey?

Mark: Yeah, March, April.

We, we, we we did start playing, um, Yeah, I can, I don’t remember exactly when we started, but we were able to start uh at least in September, and there were some interruption that, you know, the odd time, you know, for whatever reason, few weeks there wasn’t any, and then up until a week or so ago when it kind of got all indoor sort of sports activities kinda got, um,

Banned.

Yeah.

Which, yeah, I guess it’s yeah.

It’s obviously it’s understandable trying to get, uh, a virus at least to not keep increasing.

Yeah.

Elizabeth: Is it, uh, are you going stir-crazy without hockey now or is it a nice break?

Mark: It’s kind of nice to be able to play, to be honest, that the best thing about it…

it’s it’s almost more than anything else when you’re playing hockey, you really can’t think about anything else.

So you’re just sort of focused on what you’re doing.

Cause it’s, you’re out there and it’s just, it happens very fast.

And uh, so that’s kinda nice and it’s great exercise and you see all your friends and yeah, it’s kind of hard now.

You don’t really get to see people, although I’m still trying to play golf.

At least that’s something we can do even as the weather is ess good, but, uh, there’s still lots of, lots of golf, more than normal for, for people that like golf, um, because it’s something that’s possible to do now during COVID.

How about you?

Elizabeth: Do I play golf?

Mark: I know you’re not a big golfer, but, uh, just in terms of, uh, seeing people and, you know, the kinds of things that you would otherwise have been doing and now, you know, most things are kind of on hold in terms of seeing people.

Yeah.

Elizabeth: Yeah.

I mean, thank goodness for the internet and, um, Zoom, but, uh, yeah.

Not doing a lot, the grocery store once a week.

That’s lots of fun.

Yeah.

But it’s, it’s, you know, I guess you got to make the best of it.

I’ve been doing a lot of home renovation type things, so that’s good.

That’s fun.

Mark: You’re not the only one.

So, so have we, and, and I think that’s a global phenomenon.

Um, you know, our related company sells lumber.

And, uh, that’s been a very good thing to be in during this, uh, time because overall construction really hasn’t stopped at least in North America.

And the do it yourself market has just exploded.

So a lot of demand for forest products right now.

Elizabeth: I’m going to Ikea tomorrow morning.

And apparently it’s the average is like a one hour lineup outside the store.

Everyone is just, yeah.

Mark: Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me.

That should be fun for sure.

Maybe you could have done it on a Sunday.

Yeah.

Two hours.

Elizabeth: Yeah, that’s it.

It’s I think it’s busier on the… I guess it’s busier on the weekends, but we’ll see.

But, but back to hockey, um, I always wondered about the whole fighting aspect of hockey.

I admittedly, I don’t watch hockey, but is it it’s so it’s expected part of it, is it like pantomime?

You know, you get into a fight, but it’s not really a fight or do you fight when playing hockey?

Mark: Uh, yeah, I guess, um, when you’re involved in it, you understand it, but I guess as someone who doesn’t.

Infrequent observer.

You’re probably wondering, uh, it’s not really like a, you mean, is it like a WWF?

Elizabeth: Is it all for show, you know, is it like you players know that the audience kind of, likes to see a little fight throughout and…

Mark: For starters, those guys are hitting each other.

They’re not they’re they’re uh, it’s not fake.

It’s not fake guys, guys do get hurt, but, um, originally it was there sort of, you know, as a… guys get mad and get in a fight and, and, um, Uh, that’s why it’s always been allowed and… it’s a lot, like if you get a five minute penalty and then you’re allowed to play again, you only get, you get kicked out of the game if you get in three fights.

Elizabeth: Okay.

Mark: Pretty strict.

But, uh, kind of over time, what’s ended up happening is that, um, And it’s it’s changing now, but there used to be, every team kind of had a goon or a…

Elizabeth: Right

Mark: …thug that sits at the end of the bench and doesn’t play much.

And they’re theoretically, so that the other team doesn’t, you know, take liberties with your better players.

If they do, then you, he, that guy’s gonna jump on the ice and beat somebody up.

Um,

Elizabeth: okay

Mark: um, what ends up happening then is after a while to liven things up almost or to, to change the momentum because momentum is a huge factor in any sport.

Uh, one, one team will put their thug on the ice and he’ll go challenge the other team’s guy to have a fight which ends up really.

It’s just kind of a staged fight.

They are hitting each other.

But that’s what they’re there to do.

Right,

Elizabeth: but it’s Organized.

Mark: It’s kind of organized.

It’s not really in the game.

It’s not in the heat of the game.

It’s not because something happened on the ice and they were mad about it.

Um, so that, that kinda ended up happening.

It still happens a bit, but, uh, there’s kind of a bit of both now, so that now sometimes it’s a genuinely that they’re mad at each other and sometimes it’s kind of

uh, staged and, and those guys, if they’re not fighting, then they don’t really have a job.

So,

yeah.

And the fans like it.

And so it’s kinda, there’s any number of reasons why.

It is a bit strange.

That seems like it’s the only game where you’re actually allowed to fight each other still.

I don’t know if that, if it used to be part of more games in the past, but, uh, seems like, um, And that’s a bit of a Canadian thing.

They don’t really do it elsewhere when they play hockey.

Elizabeth: Yeah.

I didn’t know that.

So not in the States even?

Mark: Yeah. Uh, not when they’re not really not when they’re kids, I think w the NHL, because it has, has been dominated by Canadians, uh, for used to be all the players were Canadian now it’s, it’s much less, it’s more of a global game, but the culture is kind of set, uh, by Canadians.

And that’s kind of why it’s always had fighting, but they’re all other leagues don’t allow fighting.

Elizabeth: Okay.

Mark: All other countries. And, uh, yeah.

Elizabeth: So you didn’t, there was no fighting when you, because you played hockey in Japan, you played hockey in Switzerland, Austria, Switzerland.

Mark: Uh, I played in both, Switzerland and Austria and Italy and Japan.

Um, And, uh, yeah, in those leagues, if you fight it, there’s the odd fight, like in any, I think any sport has the odd fight, but if you fight in those leagues, you get kicked out.

Elizabeth: Wow.

Mark: Of the game at least. Yeah. Uh, whereas, uh, here in, in junior hockey here and in pro hockey here, you don’t get kicked out.

So that’s, that’s the biggest difference.

So there’s just more of it.

Um, yeah.

And it’s more.

It, it it’s just been more of the culture here was a more of a aggressive style of play, I guess, in Canada and the rest of the world, they just tended to be more skill kind of play.

And, but I would say, you know, with more and more, especially, uh, European and American for that matter players, the NHL, uh, it’s, it’s more and more of a skilled game.

I mean, it has to be.

Uh, so there’s less and less fighting.

Um, and it’s just very fast now and very skilled, uh, quite a bit different than when I played.

Although I was not, I,

Elizabeth: I was going to ask you, you weren’t the goon?

Mark: No, I was not the goon.

I wouldn’t have got very far at my size playing that way.

So, no, I was, uh, I was actually a skilled player, score type of guy.

Yeah.

Not, not a fighter.

No, not me.

Elizabeth: Okay. Okay.

Is it like a derogatory term?

Is the, or is the goon… the goon in a team knows he’s the goon and it’s like a… proud thing or is it like they’re made fun off because they’re not very skilled, but they’re crazy.

And they fight.

Mark: Yeah.

A little of everything.

Yeah.

Yeah.

They, uh, everybody knows what they’re there for.

They know everyone else knows and, but everybody respects what they do.

Like it’s not an easy thing to do.

They’re genuinely going out there and fighting the toughest guy in the other team.

Elizabeth: It’s a skill. It’s just another skill.

Mark: It’s just another skill. Yeah.

And then in theory, then they’re there to have your back, like, because it is a fast game and there’s a lot of, um, opportunity to, you know, try and intimidate and hurt other guys and hit them.

And so it is nice to have a guy that’s gonna push back.

And so, yeah, just the culture.

It’s, it’s nobody looks down on those guys.

I mean, you’d laugh at them because they’re unskilled, they laugh at you because you get beat up in a fight.

But, uh, no, it’s very much, they’re a part of the team and I’m not, there’s no real separation that way.

Elizabeth: Oh, that’s good. Okay.

And I’m just remembering, there is a movie actually called Goon.

I don’t know if you’ve seen it.

Mark: I think I’ve seen it. Yeah. Yeah.

Elizabeth: That’s very funny.

That’s good.

Mark: Yeah. There’s, you know, there’s there’s guys that will never fight.

There’s the guys that are only there to fight and then there’s guys in the middle and it’s sometimes fight and, and um, so it’s not like it’s, it’s, there’s one guy that fights and no one else does, but there’s one in back when I played there’d be…. four guys in every team that spend most of their time kind of running around and getting in fights.

And so, so it’s, um, now even a lot of teams don’t even have one guy.

Like they might have a guy that plays 50% of the time, but, um…

Elizabeth: So the culture is shifting then?

Mark: Yeah.

Oh, significantly, significantly.

There’s much more of a, it’s just a much faster game now, much more skilled.

Um, you, you can’t play a guy that can’t play.

Isn’t… can’t keep up and can’t make plays.

Um, so it’s significantly changed for sure.

And that the rules have changed.

So again, when I was playing, like you, you were just allowed to do a lot more things to, to guys, so yeah.

Uh…

Elizabeth: Like, like what? Like punching, kicking..

Mark: That for sure.

But if you, you know, I mean there’s to it to a degree, but hockey is funny.

Cause, cause there’s a rule book, but  the rules are very loosely.

Interpreted, uh, back back, I’ve always been kind of very much up to the ref to whether he’s going to want to call, call something or not.

So that stuff is obvious penalties that are penalties in the rule book just didn’t get called.

And, um, so you, you, you just because it’s, it’s a given goal game.

So if you give the puck and you try to get open but somebody comes along and basically holds you, impedes you then pretty much, it’s hard to generate, to generate offense.

So technically that’s interference or holding or hooking, but it just wasn’t called.

Whereas now they call it tightly.

So there’s just, there’s way more opportunity to… it just makes it much faster, whereas before there’s always somebody kind of in the way, so it’s hard to get speed up and it’s just quite a bit different. Yeah.

It’s better way better now that the hockey’s still so fast and skilled. Yeah.

Elizabeth: I should watch.

Maybe, maybe if you, uh, did you ever get any really bad injuries?

Were you ever… maybe you were to fight?

Mark: Uh, no, I, I didn’t get in fights, Jahrine.

Elizabeth: Okay. Fair enough.

Mark: The, uh, I didn’t, I was pretty lucky, nothing too serious that I, you know, The odd, uh, whatever bumps and bruises puck sticks in the face.

Uh, Charlie horses, the only nothing that would really keep me out of action for too long.

Uh, in junior, I got elbowed in the mouth that was unpleasant, um, few teeth scrambled, um, and, uh, And then, uh, in, in actually, in Japan, I got hit into the boards and then driven into the boards and my shoulder came up and I kind of dislocated slash tore some ligaments in there.

So I actually needed surgery on my shoulder, but otherwise nothing, you know, nothing too serious.

I was pretty lucky.

Elizabeth: Good.

So when that injury happened in Japan… did they have to kind of pop it back in there and then.

Mark: No, it didn’t come right out.

Uh, at least it went back in and of its own accord, but, um, it was, yeah, I, I tore my, whatever, something in there that they had to reattach.

So, um, it’s been reasonably okay since they fixed it.

So…

Elizabeth: Good.

Is there, um, a country that you have fonder memories from playing in?

So Japan, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Canada.

Mark: Um, you know, I, I don’t, um, really rank them.

I don’t think I have a place that I thought was the best and place that I thought was the worst.

They were all, uh, good for different reasons.

And, um, yeah, like, uh, Italy… you know, th th th the hockey was pretty good.

Um, Italy’s great.

Like being in Italy was great.

Um, Hmm.

Austria was fun because our town was, was a big hockey town, and we had some big games with the town up the road, and it was good hockey.

And so I have fond memories of Austria as well.

Uh, Switzerland.

We were, unfortunately we didn’t have, we were a strange team we had, no, we didn’t really get many fans.

Um, our owner just liked to have the team there and he had lots of money and he didn’t care.

Uh, but it’s kind of fun to play in front of, to have your own fans.

Like we look forward to going on the road to play in other teams’, uh, rinks so that we could… play in front of some fans.

Uh, but being in Switzerland, Zurich was a great place to live.

Uh, really enjoyed it there.

And Japan was great.

We had, uh, was in a great little town in Niko and, um, we had very dedicated fans there.

We didn’t have like, the arena was small, but it was full.

And, you know, 2000 people making noise for three hours.

Like it was pretty fun, really fun, and really enjoyed it there.

I enjoyed it everywhere I played.

And obviously playing here in Canada was in, in college in the States was fun because yeah, it’s…

Elizabeth: and it was Yale you…

Mark: The level was very good.

I was at Yale.

Yeah.

Yeah.

That was fun.

US college hockey and being at Yale was, was great.

And the atmosphere at, uh, US college sports is pretty unique and, um, and that was lots of fun for sure.

And the level was high and, um, your friends are watching and yeah, again, great atmosphere, band playing.

Uh, it’s it’s unique.

Yeah.

Yeah.

It’s really fun.

Elizabeth: Did you uh… when you were at Yale, did you join a fraternity?

Is that what they’re called?

Mark: I did join a fraternity.

There’s fraternities and there were, um, there’s um, I can’t think of them secret societies.

I didn’t join one of those.

Oh, well…

Elizabeth: You weren’t asked to?

Oh, bummer.

Mark: No, I know. Um…

Elizabeth: That’s what someone who is in a secret society would say, though.

Mark: That’s true.

So you’ll never know.

Um, from what I can tell the secret societies, it was just more or less they’d get together once in a while.

And once in a while, once a week or every couple of weeks.

Have a… like have a few drinks.

Like, I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t know it’s secret.

Um, but I wasn’t, I was in a fraternity.

Um, I was not a diehard fraternity  member, but it was something to do.

Um, we had parties once in awhile.

Uh,

Elizabeth: Sure. If it’s anything like the movies, I dunno…

Mark: yeah, I think, uh, I think, I can’t remember if, was it, was it George Bush or somebody was a fraternity member of that fraternity?

I can’t remember.

Anyway…

Elizabeth: senior or junior?

Mark: Uh, junior, I think… it’s a long time ago Jah, you know.

Elizabeth: It’s okay. Remember what you can.

Mark: I’m gonna do my best.

Elizabeth: Um, I wanted to ask about a fraternity, one more thing.

Oh yeah.

Sorry.

This is kind of veering off, but I don’t know if it was a, is there such a thing as like a sports fraternity?

This is an interesting topic for me.

And if so, um, is there…  is it that they call it hazing?

Where you, you get into the fraternity by doing some things.

And maybe you can’t say what they were if there were any hazing… challenges.

Mark: Um, yeah,

I don’t know about a sports fraternity.

Fraternities are open to everybody, but probably, I mean, there were definitely those fraternity fraternities that um, probably there had more athletes in them than non-athletes, but I don’t know that there was a real distinct, uh, separation there.

In terms of hazing,

I think all fraternities have some form of hazing, some form of initiation.

Like you’re not just, you don’t just show up and you’re in you go to go through some kind of a hazing, to be honest, our hazing.

It was hilarious, like, Oh yeah, it was essentially the, the, um, the existing, uh, fraternity brothers would make all the pledges do stupid things and embarrass themselves.

So yeah, I…it was, it was fun.

It was all like, that was the highlight of my time in the fraternity I was being, um, Pledge and the stupid things we had to do.

Like it was, it was funny.

Some of those guys, I can’t remember… some of the guys that were pretty funny.

Some of the stuff that they made us do.

So nothing

Elizabeth: life threatening then?

Mark: No, no, no.

It’s just fun.

Because you hear about

Elizabeth: that on the news.

Mark: You

do stupid things.

And it’s more, I think, not so much, I don’t know if maybe fraternities are like that too, but it’s more sports teams and the hazing where you hear a really stupid things and, and hockey has been known for doing lots of stupid things and like sick things.

Like I, um, yeah… some teams do that.

Some guys you hear about stuff.

And I was lucky, I guess I was never on a team that had that.

I remember in junior hockey where a lot of this stuff happens like that.

It’s, it’s, they’re sort of teenage kids that, that kinda get caught up in it.

And, and the adults are a little bit more sane about it

all, you know, kids get kind of, but, but I can remember junior, our coach basically saying there’s going to be no.

No, um, significant hazing here.

We had a lot of rookies that year and he just said, no, we’re not doing this.

Just let the older guys know, but a lot of stupid stuff happens.

Um, for sure, in, in that environment, you know, you’re on a team…

you’re you’re, you’re… with any team, but I think with hockey, you see the guys every day, you’re with the guys every day, you’re traveling lots.

You’re in hotels.

You’re…  so you’re you’re, you got 20 or 22 teenage kids together all the time.

They’re going to start to do stupid things, teenage boys, they  just are.

So you know, you’re done not much to do other than play hockey and be in the hotel and on the bus.

And, you know, you could only uh, fight each other, wrestle so much,

um, that environment is going to lead to some stupid stuff.

So I think, yeah, I, uh, at least everybody’s much more aware now in making sure that guys, uh, energies that are directed in a more appropriate, uh, directions.

Elizabeth: Safe directions.

Yeah.

Especially with… everyone has a camera in their pocket these days.

So I feel for, you know, these kids, these kids who, are filmed doing things that may jeopardize…

Mark: yeah.

I actually, yeah, I know.

I think you still hear about stupid stuff that happens, but I suspect that there’s a lot less of it now for that reason that everybody is a lot more aware of what everybody else is doing.

I mean, you’d laugh at them because they’re unskilled, they laugh at you because you get beat up in a fight.

But, uh, no, it’s very much, they’re a part of the team and I’m not, there’s no real separation that way.

Elizabeth: Oh, that’s good. Okay.

And I’m just remembering, there is a movie actually called Goon.

I don’t know if you’ve seen it.

Mark: I think I’ve seen it. Yeah. Yeah.

Elizabeth: That’s very funny. That’s good.

Mark: Yeah.

There’s, you know, there’s there’s guys that will never fight.

There’s the guys that are only there to fight and then there’s guys in the middle and it’s sometimes fight and, and um, so it’s not like it’s, it’s, there’s one guy that fights and no one else does, but there’s one in back when I played there’d be…. four guys in every team that spend most of their time kind of running around and getting in fights.

And so, so it’s, um, now even a lot of teams don’t even have one guy.

Like they might have a guy that plays 50% of the time, but, um…

Elizabeth: So the culture is shifting then?

Mark: Yeah.

Oh, significantly, significantly.

There’s much more of a, it’s just a much faster game now, much more skilled.

Um, you, you can’t play a guy that can’t play.

Isn’t… can’t keep up and can’t make plays.

Um, so it’s significantly changed for sure.

And that the rules have changed.

So again, when I was playing, like you, you were just allowed to do a lot more things to, to guys, so yeah.

Uh…

Elizabeth: Like, like what?

Like punching, kicking..

Mark: That for sure.

But if you, you know, I mean there’s to it to a degree, but hockey is funny.

Cause, cause there’s a rule book, but  the rules are very loosely.

Interpreted, uh, back back, I’ve always been kind of very much up to the ref to whether he’s going to want to call, call something or not.

So that stuff is obvious penalties that are penalties in the rule book just didn’t get called.

And, um, so you, you, you just because it’s, it’s a given goal game.

So if you give the puck and you try to get open but somebody comes along and basically holds you, impedes you then pretty much, it’s hard to generate, to generate offense.

So technically that’s interference or holding or hooking, but it just wasn’t called.

Whereas now they call it tightly.

So there’s just, there’s way more opportunity to… it just makes it much faster, whereas before there’s always somebody kind of in the way, so it’s hard to get speed up and it’s just quite a bit different.

Yeah.

It’s better way better now that the hockey’s still so fast and skilled.

Yeah.

Elizabeth: I should watch.

Maybe, maybe if you, uh, did you ever get any really bad injuries?

Were you ever… maybe you were to fight?

Mark: Uh, no, I, I didn’t get in fights, Jahrine.

Elizabeth: Okay.

Fair

enough.

Mark: The, uh, I didn’t, I was pretty lucky, nothing too serious that I, you know, The odd, uh, whatever bumps and bruises puck sticks in the face.

Uh, Charlie horses, the only nothing that would really keep me out of action for too long.

Uh, in junior, I got elbowed in the mouth that was unpleasant, um, few teeth scrambled, um, and, uh, And then, uh, in, in actually, in Japan, I got hit into the boards and then driven into the boards and my shoulder came up and I kind of dislocated slash tore some ligaments in there.

So I actually needed surgery on my shoulder, but otherwise nothing, you know, nothing too serious.

I was pretty lucky.

Elizabeth: Good. So when that injury happened in Japan… did they have to kind of pop it back in there and then.

Mark: No, it didn’t come right out.

Uh, at least it went back in and of its own accord, but, um, it was, yeah, I, I tore my, whatever, something in there that they had to reattach.

So, um, it’s been reasonably okay since they fixed it.

So…

Elizabeth: Good. Is there, um, a country that you have fonder memories from playing in?

So Japan, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Canada.

Mark: Um, you know, I, I don’t, um, really rank them.

I don’t think I have a place that I thought was the best and place that I thought was the worst.

They were all, uh, good for different reasons.

And, um, yeah, like, uh, Italy… you know, th th th the hockey was pretty good.

Um, Italy’s great.

Like being in Italy was great.

Um, Hmm.

Austria was fun because our town was, was a big hockey town, and we had some big games with the town up the road, and it was good hockey.

And so I have fond memories of Austria as well.

Uh, Switzerland.

We were, unfortunately we didn’t have, we were a strange team we had, no, we didn’t really get many fans.

Um, our owner just liked to have the team there and he had lots of money and he didn’t care.

Uh, but it’s kind of fun to play in front of, to have your own fans.

Like we look forward to going on the road to play in other teams’, uh, rinks so that we could… play in front of some fans.

Uh, but being in Switzerland, Zurich was a great place to live.

Uh, really enjoyed it there.

And Japan was great.

We had, uh, was in a great little town in Niko and, um, we had very dedicated fans there.

We didn’t have like, the arena was small, but it was full.

And, you know, 2000 people making noise for three hours.

Like it was pretty fun, really fun, and really enjoyed it there.

I enjoyed it everywhere I played.

And obviously playing here in Canada was in, in college in the States was fun because yeah, it’s…

Elizabeth: and it was Yale you…

Mark: The level was very good. I was at Yale. Yeah. Yeah.

That was fun.

US college hockey and being at Yale was, was great.

And the atmosphere at, uh, US college sports is pretty unique and, um, and that was lots of fun for sure.

And the level was high and, um, your friends are watching and yeah, again, great atmosphere, band playing.

Uh, it’s it’s unique. Yeah. Yeah. It’s really fun.

Elizabeth: Did you uh… when you were at Yale, did you join a fraternity?

Is that what they’re called?

Mark: I did join a fraternity.

There’s fraternities and there were, um, there’s um, I can’t think of them secret societies.

I didn’t join one of those.

Oh, well…

Elizabeth: You weren’t asked to?

Oh, bummer.

Mark: No, I know.

Um…

Elizabeth: That’s what someone who is in a secret society would say, though.

Mark: That’s true.

So you’ll never know.

Um, from what I can tell the secret societies, it was just more or less they’d get together once in a while.

And once in a while, once a week or every couple of weeks.

Have a… like have a few drinks.

Like, I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t know it’s secret.

Um, but I wasn’t, I was in a fraternity.

Um, I was not a diehard fraternity  member, but it was something to do.

Um, we had parties once in awhile.

Uh,

Elizabeth: Sure. If it’s anything like the movies, I dunno…

Mark: yeah, I think, uh, I think, I can’t remember if, was it, was it George Bush or somebody was a fraternity member of that fraternity?

I can’t remember.

Anyway…

Elizabeth: senior or junior?

Mark: Uh, junior, I think… it’s a long time ago Jah, you know.

Elizabeth: It’s okay. Remember what you can.

Mark: I’m gonna do my best.

Elizabeth: Um, I wanted to ask about a fraternity, one more thing.

Oh yeah.

Sorry.

This is kind of veering off, but I don’t know if it was a, is there such a thing as like a sports fraternity?

This is an interesting topic for me.

And if so, um, is there…  is it that they call it hazing?

Where you, you get into the fraternity by doing some things.

And maybe you can’t say what they were if there were any hazing… challenges.

Mark: Um, yeah, I don’t know about a sports fraternity.

Fraternities are open to everybody, but probably, I mean, there were definitely those fraternity fraternities that um, probably there had more athletes in them than non-athletes, but I don’t know that there was a real distinct, uh, separation there.

In terms of hazing,

I think all fraternities have some form of hazing, some form of initiation.

Like you’re not just, you don’t just show up and you’re in you go to go through some kind of a hazing, to be honest, our hazing.

It was hilarious, like, Oh yeah, it was essentially the, the, um, the existing, uh, fraternity brothers would make all the pledges do stupid things and embarrass themselves.

So yeah, I…it was, it was fun.

It was all like, that was the highlight of my time in the fraternity I was being, um, Pledge and the stupid things we had to do.

Like it was, it was funny.

Some of those guys, I can’t remember… some of the guys that were pretty funny.

Some of the stuff that they made us do.

So nothing

Elizabeth: life threatening then?

Mark: No, no, no.

It’s just fun.

Because you hear about

Elizabeth: that on the news.

Mark: You do stupid things.

And it’s more, I think, not so much, I don’t know if maybe fraternities are like that too, but it’s more sports teams and the hazing where you hear a really stupid things and, and hockey has been known for doing lots of stupid things and like sick things.

Like I, um, yeah… some teams do that.

Some guys you hear about stuff.

And I was lucky, I guess I was never on a team that had that.

I remember in junior hockey where a lot of this stuff happens like that.

It’s, it’s, they’re sort of teenage kids that, that kinda get caught up in it.

And, and the adults are a little bit more sane about it

all, you know, kids get kind of, but, but I can remember junior, our coach basically saying there’s going to be no.

No, um, significant hazing here.

We had a lot of rookies that year and he just said, no, we’re not doing this.

Just let the older guys know, but a lot of stupid stuff happens.

Um, for sure, in, in that environment, you know, you’re on a team…

you’re you’re, you’re… with any team, but I think with hockey, you see the guys every day, you’re with the guys every day, you’re traveling lots.

You’re in hotels.

You’re…  so you’re you’re, you got 20 or 22 teenage kids together all the time.

They’re going to start to do stupid things, teenage boys, they  just are.

So you know, you’re done not much to do other than play hockey and be in the hotel and on the bus.

And, you know, you could only uh, fight each other, wrestle so much,

um, that environment is going to lead to some stupid stuff.

So I think, yeah, I, uh, at least everybody’s much more aware now in making sure that guys, uh, energies that are directed in a more appropriate, uh, directions.

Elizabeth: Safe directions. Yeah.

Especially with… everyone has a camera in their pocket these days.

So I feel for, you know, these kids, these kids who, are filmed doing things that may jeopardize…

Mark: yeah.

I actually, yeah, I know.

I think you still hear about stupid stuff that happens, but I suspect that there’s a lot less of it now for that reason that everybody is a lot more aware of what everybody else is doing.

And back in the day, like growing up.

I don’t think people… parents didn’t know what we were doing most, you know, you’re just off doing stuff with your friends, uh, you know, your coaches and seeing what you’re doing on social media.

Yeah.

You’re just off doing stuff.

So I suspect that in general, uh, behavior is better now on all in all environments, um, for, with kids.

Anyway, I think, I don’t know that, but I just get that sense.

Just because of that reason that before don’t be really knew what kids were doing, mostly

Elizabeth: I’m just… I was out

Mark: Just out. Just, yeah. Yeah.

Elizabeth: So, um, to finish, um, do you have any advice, maybe someone watching is thinking about a sports career and of course your son, Kyle is playing hockey.

Do you have any advice for anyone who…is thinking about not just hockey but any sport.

Cause I imagine you have to be so disciplined and focused.

Mark: Yeah.

I mean, uh, in terms of advice, I mean, if, if you, if you like sports and, and, um, I just think it’s a great outlet, I guess, like anything, if, if it’s, if you find something that you like doing and you enjoy doing it and you want to dedicate time to it, um, you don’t have to become professional.

You don’t have to achieve anything in particular.

It’s just, it’s just, I think it’s, uh, it’s good to have something that you’re interested in and motivated in and like to spend time at and try to get better at.

And, uh, no matter how far you get in that activity, um, it’s just a good discipline and a good thing to do and kind of sets you up for doing other things in life.

And, um, as we know with language learning, it’s the same, the more in intrinsically motivated you are to, to, to study a language the better you’re going to do.

And so the trick is to find those activities that you want to do, that you are interested in and spend the time and they should obviously, yeah.

A lot of satisfaction to be gained from, from improving in something and getting better and seeing results.

And that makes you want to do it more.

And so that, um, I guess if, if, if anything would be my advice in terms of yeah.

Playing sports.

I don’t think the goal is to necessarily play professionally or be in the Olympics or whatever.

I mean, just should be a, can be and should be.

You want to strive to be as good as you can.

But I think a lot of the benefits are derived from just having gone through that process and enjoyed the activity and the people you meet along the way.

But I think, you know, most activities you meet people you’re interacting.

Elizabeth: Yeah, I was going to say, I bet you have some really great friends.

I was envy people who played team sports because you bo… I guess you bond really well with these people.

So…

Mark: oh yeah, no question.

No question.

It’s the, the, the, you know what I was speaking about how you spend so much time together with.

With, uh, guys on when you’re on a team and you, you have a lot of free time and you spend a lot of time together.

So you, you, you just end up , there’s a lot of laughs.

There’s a lot of good times.

I mean, you spend basically you spend your whole day trying to make other guys laugh, um, they’re doing the same.

Uh, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s a pretty enjoyable time for sure.

And lots of, yeah, you have that bond for life.

If I run into anybody that I’ve ever played with, it’s just, you’re just a great feeling.

Like I may not have seen them for 20 years, you know?

Yeah.

For sure.

Elizabeth: Well, thank you so much.

That was really interesting.

Thank you for answering my questions about all the violence and just the game in general, because I don’t know anything.

Maybe I’ll maybe I’ll watch, I’ll watch some hockey sometime.

Mark: Yeah.

It’s not that… it’s much better.

It’s good.

It’s I mean, I, I obviously still watch it a lot and um, you know, it’s, it’s, um, It’s a very skilled game.

It’s, it’s a, you know, a lot of times people get distracted a bit by the violence aspect of it, but, uh, there’s less and less at least fighting.

And, uh, yeah, there’s body contact to try and separate guys off from the puck.

But, uh, the, the ability that the, uh, the skating and puck handling and the stuff that the guys do is it’s amazing.

It’s a very skilled game.

Elizabeth: I’ll check it out.

Mark: So I’m glad I was able to explain a bit about it for you and, and, uh, hopefully you’llcheck it out when they are allowed to play again.

Elizabeth: Whenever that is then.

Yeah, I will.

For sure.

Yeah.

Thank you so much, Mark.

Mark: Thank you.

Thank you, Jah.

Elizabeth: Thanks.

Bye-bye.

Ok, b-bye.

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