May 4, 2011

Confession: I Google my Fiancé.

{Preface: This post is strictly about hockey. If you have no interest in hockey please click the X above...Though I encourage you to keep reading, this is a good one.}

Yep, that's right. I admit it. I fire up Google a couple of times a week and I search for TJ in a variety of different search phrases.

You think I'm crazy, don't you? Well, please let me explain before writing me off as a crazy hockey wife.

There is this oh so fabulous site called Talk-Sports.com. Haven't heard of it? Well, let me give you the quick run down: It is a gossip forum for most professional sports teams. Talk-Sports.com is not just any sports gossip forum, this one is a gem. It not only has most every sport on it, but it is separated by every league, every team, and every player. Then, every individual player has a special "Sucks" and "Girlfriend" forum that 'anonymous' people can leave nasty comments on. Seriously? Yes.

So, clearly if there is a special forum about me I am going to check it every so often...I mean, wouldn't you? I hardly checked it when we moved to Germany because luckily the site doesn't cover most European teams {yet} - but the routine of searching for him didn't stop. 

"Why?", you ask. Well, with good reason - and I swear I'm not {totally} off my rocker - I continue to search for him because the internet is how we find out most of our personal hockey information. Yep, the internet/media has been our source of information even before teams and TJ's agents.

Point in case?...Keep reading...

TJ's last year in Worcester he played a stellar playoff game. Management from San Jose told both him and his agent that he had just earned himself a contract for the following year. 

We were ecstatic. 

We upgraded to a fancier apartment with a one year lease, I applied for teaching positions in the Worcester school system, and TJ paid an outrageous amount of money for every day off ice training and was skating in a pro summer league twice a week in Boston. We couldn't have been happier.

That is until I received a frantic phone call from TJ on July 1st {when free agency begins} telling me to get on NHL.com. He had just received a text message from a friend that said, "What are your plans for next year dude? I just saw you weren't requalified." 

Yep, we found out his career with the Sharks organization was over on NHL.com.

I won't get into the whirlwind that followed because I'm sure you can just imagine - but needless to say, we ended up in the ECHL the following season, and in Germany this past season....

...Which brings me to the following rant...

I am so incredibly tired of finding within my Google searches of the Fiancé, the same Union College Hockey Blogger who not only alludes that TJ is a disappointment, but assumes that he surely must be regretting his decision to leave college two years early to turn Pro:

"Well, it looks like Fox's pro career has gone a bit south. Do you think he's questioning his decision to leave school early?" via

"Looking back on Fox's decision to leave school early, it looks like it hasn't worked out. Maybe guys like Keith Kinkaid should talk to guys like Fox to help figure out if it's worth leaving school early." via

"Or, you can be like former Union star T.J. Fox, who left school after the 2006-2007 season to sign with the San Jose Sharks only to knock around the minors for a few years and never make it to the NHL." via

Has this Blogger ever considered the fact that just because TJ hasn't made it to the NHL, does not mean that he should regret his decision to leave school? Has he ever considered the fact that there are only X number of people playing in the NHL and another Y number in the AHL at any given point? That is only X+Y people playing in the top two tiers of hockey, out of the thousands of hockey players coming out of US, Canadian and International systems. Being amongst that top percentage is no small achievement, if I do say so myself.

Also, let me point out the fact that not every career requires a college degree, and that not every college degree guarantees a job. TJ can finish his schooling at any time, and from anywhere. Had he received his Economics degree along with the horde of 2009 graduates, he'd most likely have had to scrap for an entry level position along with an entry level salary. Call me crazy, but I'd take the career path that TJ chose, too.

He started skating when he was two years old - his parents took him here, there, and everywhere for training, tournaments, and the like. He was offered a chance to fulfill a dream after years of hard work, dedication, and excelling at both Junior and college level hockey. His contract offer was an opportunity that thousands of little boys with the same big dream will never receive.

Regardless of what minor league team he is playing with - what is there to regret in his decision? He wakes up every morning and loves going to work. How many people can honestly say that?


TJ does not regret his decision to leave college early to play professional hockey. If he had been your teammate on the CLUB hockey team, then yes, he would.

Before further ruining your credibility as a sports writer, may I suggest in the future that you consult with the sources you are writing about for accurate information before publishing your assumptions for public display. Because, as you've proven in TJs situation - you clearly haven't got a clue.

and, might I add....

TJ left Union four years ago, it's time to find some new writing material.


This blog post was approved by TJ.
He does not dwell on his decision, and neither should you.
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22 comments

  1. If there was a 'like' button, I would be slamming on it right now :) You did a great job with this! And weird, I searched Alex on the website and doesn't look like they have ever heard of him :) Thank God, lol.

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  2. Love that TJ approved this post because I was a little scared of any backlash you might get from it. I think he made the right decision! School will always be there but it is not everyday that you get to live your dream.

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  3. For starters, I should say that I always googled my husband when we were dating. He played basketball, so there was a new article everytime we turned around. So, I do not think you're crazy for googling.

    I am actually quite glad that I never came across a "girlfriend" or "sucks" site. I can't believe people write like that--as if he doesn't have feelings and it's appropriate to say things like that.

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  4. Amen! I wouldn't regret leaving college early to pursue something that I truly love. For some Guy making ridiculous remarks on him is foolish. The things people say just blows my mind. And you're not crazy, if I was in your shoes I would be checking for stuff as well.

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  5. I know how frustrating things like this can be. My husband never had any talk-sports action but I was still thankful when we signed in Europe two years ago, and I realized that talk-sports doesn’t cover European teams. Sigh of relief, honestly.

    It’s easy to take jabs at people from behind a computer screen … I can’t imagine he’d say those things to TJ’s face. There are numerous other ways that Dan could have made his point. He even has a valid point in that it could be beneficial, for some players, if there was a ‘mentor’ type person to talk with them as they make these kinds of decisions (because Lord knows your agent is going to push you take a deal). But I found myself questioning his credibility as a sports writer because it really does seem that he has a personal ‘thing’ with TJ and that’s a turnoff, for me, when what I’m looking for is information … not gossip. Why bring it up time after time? And with such a derogatory connotation? Make your point and move on.

    In my opinion, if your writing is in any way affiliated with a university, you should only be supportive of the university’s athletes, past and present. If you want to put someone down, do it somewhere else. And have your facts straight.

    Sure, TJ could regret not having finished his degree at Union … or he could be just as happy to finish it online (Union is a GREAT school for hockey and academics. It’d be a great university to hold a degree from. But leaving early doesn’t mean he won’t finish his degree – or finish it at Union for that matter. My husband left his university a semester early and just finished his degree online through that SAME university. People might be surprised by the lengths those universities will go to, to ensure their athletes graduate – so to assume that he won’t finish period, or at Union even, is ridiculous). Maybe TJ would have had bigger, better opportunities had he stayed at school for another year or two … or maybe he would have been injured and forced to walk away from hockey before fulfilling his dream of playing professionally. He had two solid years in the AHL and has had the experience of living and playing hockey abroad, with his fiancée … and that is something to be proud of, those are memories to hold on to.

    But who cares? It was TJ’s choice. A choice he made YEARS ago.

    I’m glad you addressed this because I know it was bothering you. I hope that you feel better by getting it off your chest; and I hope that Dan thinks twice before insulting another Union athlete.

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  6. Good for you for writing this! I really don't understand the negativity found in the comments on most sports pages (or law school related blogs for that matter since that's what J reads). I'm all for free speech but people who hid behind their computers and use that as a way to hurt others should be ashamed!

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  7. that is just completely ridiculous. Let it go man. Seriously? I'm glad you support and encourage TJ to follow his dreams, now matter what. As long as he's happy, he definitely made the right decision. You can always go back to school.

    I'm glad you two are happy though!

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  8. I LOVE this post. As someone with a master's degree (which is required for entry level positions in my field - ugh) I often have people assume I am "one of those snobs" who thinks "uneducated" people are somehow inferior to myself. First, No. Second, by "uneducated", I think they are referring simply to formalized education, and I think the world has so much more to offer all of us than just what we can find in our textbooks. Third, I would imagine that the reason most people go to college is so ultimately, they are prepared for the job they want to do. TJ's been preparing for his job since the second he put on a pair of skates. Fourth, I heart Google.

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  9. P.S. Heather - I was totally creeping on your Blogger profile page - you're a Phi Mu?! I'm an Alpha Gam, but I advise fraternities and sororities - our Phi Mu chapter recently won Sorority of the Year. Small world :)

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  10. Oh you go girl!!! I love this post so much...it's personal and passionate!! I can only imagine TJ is extremely happy to have someone who cares as much as you do.

    The internet is just crazy and the things you can find out are mad! This guy clearly regrets choices in his life if he focuses on one individual. Sounds like a case of jealousy..hmmm!

    For the record I am pretty sure TJ is a fantastic player and feels lucky to have made it into the ECHL and Europe is a pretty difficlut place to make it too. Seems there are many people who don't agree with sadi idiot writer (I have curbed my language just to keep your sit clean- British girls can be brutal when they want haha).

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  11. I google my fiance too... The picture I shared on my guest post for you was from a googled site. :) So... I know that wasn't the point, but you're not the only one!!!
    WOW!! I had no idea sites like that even existed! I'm glad there's NOT a site like that for team roping! (That I know of...) We hear enough gossip through the real live grapevine without needing to read it online! Good for you for defending your guy and his choices!!! That's already a HUGE step towards becoming a great wife! :) And even better that you care enough to keep up with it. Most wives don't get that much into their hubbies hobbies, so it's way cool that you do! :) (I do too FYI... I picked the winning team roping team for the NFR... beat out his buddies... heehee!) Anyway, well done Kym!

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  12. You tell 'em girl! I searched my husband and he wasn't on there. But then again, he plays in France. Phew! And I am sure that my husband would have made the same choice. But who cares, anyway, it's his life!!

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  13. Confession.....I google my boyfriend too! I don't think it's as crazy as it sounds. Thankfully I've (mostly) avoided being discussed on the talk-sports site.

    As far as that guy goes, that's just obnoxiously excessive. People don't understand that you don't just go to school for 4 years and have hockey waiting for you afterwards. It just doesn't work out that way for everyone. You need to go pro when the best opportunity presents itself. What happens if you decide to stay in school without signing and you get injured or have a bad year? You've just devalued yourself and maybe that one decision killed your career.

    I also hardly think playing in the AHL is a disappointment. There's nothing wrong with being an AHLer. Like you said, how many people can say they were good enough to play there? And why does playing in Europe mean you weren't successful? You get to live in a different country, travel Europe, see the world, do what you love for work, and experience things so many never will. My boyfriend and I have always said that someday we'd love to go to Europe because we want to experience all of those things. All we hear from guys who have gone is how much fun they've had. Isn't happiness a true measure of success?

    It's not up to anyone to judge another person's decision making nor make assumptions about their life without speaking to them. That guy should get over it already.

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  14. You have made me be a little curious...might have to go check out the site. When I met my husband, google wasn't around! Not sure if they have anything about coach's. When I was dating my husband (when he played)...the internet was fairly new (for everyday people) and it still was dial-up....glad I never really searched for anything. I occasionally look at message boards now....and always laugh when "they" think they have the scoop....meanwhile they have no idea.

    Glad TJ OK'd your post...my husband would probably have flipped!

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  15. I love this post! There's always going to be some negative arm-chair critic out there with nothing but crap pouring from his uninformed mouth. He's clearly latched on to something and can't let go because of his own issues or lack of talent. Sometimes people just fail to understand the need to follow a dream so that you are never left with the "what-if" question. Given the state of our economy, your guy made the right choice. There's always time to go back to school. Look at me! I'm about to start round two of grad school and I'm three kids in and hurtling towards old lady :)

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  16. I dunno if I would google my husband/fiance/boyfriend whatever - (when I'm skinny and hot and can attract anyone I want!) I think it might make me want to punch babies... and punching babies isn't nice...

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  17. As a Sharks fan, I'm sorry to hear that the team handled things that way - I've always thought that was sucky side of sports. Like you say, many people don't have the luxury to go to work & love it, so I'm glad that's worked out for TJ. Thanks for your little insights into the "behinds the scenes" stuff - I always enjoy your blog posts (hockey related or not)!

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  18. I google but mostly for the scrap book I created for him and now for our little one as a keepsake. However, I was never aware of that particular sight. I may have to check it out. I also have to commend you on the way you have handled the negativity, well done.

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  19. Okay... I'm a litte late to the party on posting a comment, but I just wanted to point another thing out. You guys met when he was in Worcester, correct? If he had not left early, you guys may have never met. Surely another major reason he does not regret his decision! :)

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  20. I'm even later to the commenting party, but here's my 2 cents (and then some!):

    1) you get down with your bad self! Like your post from today says: "How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours." That writer will get his, if he hasn't already.

    2) as someone who's worked "behind the scenes" in the world of professional sports, it's amazing what y'all who ARE "the scene" put up with. I curtsy to the strength you have in order to deal with all you have to.

    I'd like to say "you wouldn't believe what reporters have asked me about the athletes I worked with..." - but sadly, you would. And it wasn't just stuff about injuries, it was personal stuff, too! The first part I get, I was the athletic trainer, the one who knew exactly who, what, how severe, out for how long, etc., etc. Those came as no surprise... But, to be asked "Is so & so really doing whatever with whoever?" Really? You think I knew that? (ok, sometimes I did.) More importantly, you think I'd tell you? Nuh-uh, no way. 1) My mama raised me right & 2) I signed a confidentiality agreement!

    The worst was WHERE I'd get asked questions... the gym (ok, it was no secret where I worked out), my church? Really? But the worst, and my "favorite" - my OB-GYN's office. And you DO NOT want to know what they asked!!! I'd never wanted to use my knowledge about the "mechanism of injury" so badly in my life!

    Back story: I lived in the same apt. complex as some of the athletes. And, yes, sometimes we hung out - I cooked, they ate, I'm sure you know how this goes. I also had the apt. right in front of the pool, I'm sure you see how that goes, too. Sometimes, we rode to work together (can you believe that - carpooling?!?), and yes, sometimes we went out for dinners. Especially on the road. As a single woman in a strange town, who better to hang out with than overprotective, burly, athletic men?

    For the record: NO. I NEVER dated/slept with or otherwise morally compromised myself or the athletes I worked with.

    In all of this... did I mention that not only did I NOT finish college, but, I never graduated from high school either?!? Heavens to Betsy! Yes, it's true. I enlisted in the US Air Force when I was 17; got my GED as soon as I turned 18, and off I went, into the wild blue yonder...

    College was never in my plans. But, I blew out my knee in advanced training, doing something I'd dreamed of since I was 3, & plans changed. I was given a portion of my GI Bill; but I HAD to use it for my education, or forfeit it. Ok, so I went to junior college. JC led to athletic training. This led to a university. Upon arrival @ said university, it was discovered that I was "overqualified" to be an intern - I had more hands-on & contact sports experience than the graduate students, and the newly appointed head trainer! Ok. So, I was sent to a sister school, where I helped set up their athletic training department, all while going to classes and working 2 jobs. This led to meeting with head honchos, which led to "we need a trainer... we'll pay you $X." Okey dokey artichokey! I took & passed the state licensing exam to be massage therapist, I contractually agreed to be under the tutelage of the team Dr., and away I went again.

    I was getting PAID to do what I would've (and had) done for FREE, had it not been for that pesky eating/warm place to sleep thing! So yea... I lived in the same complex as professional athletes: in a 270 sq. ft. studio apartment, that I shared with an 80lb. German shepherd. (yes, in front of the pool; but also next to the laundry room & in front of the parking lot). Didn't care. Why? I was living the (new) dream.

    10 years of marriage, 2 kids and a new puppy later, at the age of _X_, I'll start to finish that degree this fall (online). One day, so will TJ. So, suck on that, Mr. Mystery Sports Writer! :-P

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  21. love love love this! We are all guilty of doing this. I'm in Germany too with my bigger half. Great read. Great blog.

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