Chris Chelios won the last of his three Norris Trophies as the NHLs best defenseman back in 1996. The award was presented to him in Toronto during the NHL Awards Show, and I was there to cover the event.
For years, I had hated Chelios. He was an incredible hockey player, but as captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, seemed like a real SOB.
My unabashed hatred for him caused a major riff with my mother and her side of the family. They were 100-percent Greek and loved Chelios.
In their minds, he did everything better than his hockey counterparts because he was a good Greek boy. They couldnt understand why I refused to embrace this Greek-American player as one of our own.
As with most families, whatever your nationality is, its the best. We all have an abundance of pride in our heritage.
I understand that, but the Greeks take it to another level -- or at least my moms family did.
They were quick to point out, the Greeks invented Western Civilization ... without the Greek culture, so...