Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Eli 12.6 and the Exhaustioning

"Exhaustioning" isn't a word, but that's a mistake of the dictionary.

Since the beginning of the year, after Eli 12.6s rib healed, we've been on the road every weekend but one. Holy crap.

This schedule doesn't work--at all--but Eli's been ridiculously good. Since he was pulled in San Antonio in November, he's played nine games. One was against the best team in the league, his team was awful and totally overmatched, and he got shelled (and pulled again).

The other eight games? .940 save percentage, 1.6 goals against average.

Anything over .900 for a 12-year-old is good. .940 is ridiculous.

In the first round of the playoffs last week, he had 33 saves on 35 shots, and his team scored the winning goal with 3.9 seconds left. It was a brilliant game, and it was brilliant because he refused to give in. The game was 2-2 for a long time, his team was getting completely dominated, and instead of buckling, he just handled it.

There were five other goalies in the first round of the playoffs. Eli's save percentage was .942. No one else was over .895. That's how dominant he's been.

Plus, he's been growing mentally. More resilient. Stronger. He argues a little more, but it's part of him developing his own strength instead of drawing on mine.

It's been tough, the traveling, but he's worked hard. He's earned our support. And things will settle down--a bit, at least--when we stop traveling for a while.

So if you wonder why the posts are a little abrupt, at times, it's the combination of being gone so much and trying to both write and support Gridiron Solitaire with hockey practices almost every day we're not on the road.

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