The Greater Ones
Pittsburgh's coaching staff: Bob Coyne, Bob Bradley, & Walter Gretzky
Posted: October 30, 2004 10:16PM; Updated: January 15, 2005 6:23PM
Whoa my love, my darling, I hunger for your ?. ~Unchained Melody
I want to adopt Walter Gretzky. If you know Mr. Gretzky then you know
his tunes. I promise you that once he sings to you, they will echo in
your head throughout your day, throughout a hockey event, and in your
heart for years to come. What an honor!
When the partnership of Boy Coyne, Bob Bradley, and Walter Gretzky took
interest in coaching the Pittsburgh Roller Hockey Club, I never stopped
much to think about it. I was just in awe and flattered that these
gentlemen took interest in our sport. After having communicated with
Mr. Coyne and Mr. Bradley and then meeting them and Mr. Gretzky at
our event in Feasterville, the reason they took the opportunity didn?t
even matter to me. All that mattered was that they were there! All that
mattered was that they were enjoying themselves and having fun and
giving all of us encouragement, not just the team they were
coaching. And eventually all that mattered was that Mr. Gretzky
sang his songs to me; to everyone. I will give Mr. Gretzky a hug every
time I see him!
I have looked forward to his upbeat attitude and undeniably encouraging
words at each ECRHA weekend that Pittsburgh attends. Life is a
blessing. Everyday should be lived as if it could be the last one. Just
ask Mr. Gretzky his thoughts on this. In 1991, Mr.
Gretzky suffered a brain aneurysm which destroyed a good deal of
his memory and almost took his life. With great support from his family
and a therapist (who eventually became a part of the Gretzky family),
Walter amazingly overcame the limitations that an aneurysm can leave a
person with. He still retains some challenges and will be more than
happy to show you the shunt that is built into the back of his neck
leading to his brain. You can read about the amazing recovery of Mr.
Gretzky most anywhere but there is no substitute for listening to him
tell you of it himself. His stories and experiences are breathtaking.
He speaks with such kindness and veracity that he leaves you in awe
that he really is such a ?Great One?.
I think I can listen to Mr. Gretzky talk for hours. I probably would
too if he didn?t have to coach the team that he and ?The Bobs? travel
from Canada to teach and mentor. (LOL). He is amazing, not because he
is the ?father of The Great One?, but simply because of his thirst for
life and the gifts he shares daily. He reminds you that life is a
miracle and you shouldn?t take it for granted. Every day matters and
everyday you must live. When he is around he makes me think of my
grandfather and his immigration. He makes me think of my father and the
war. He makes me wish I had spent more time with both of them before
they were gone and my grandmother who died of a stroke, much like he
had. He makes me think of all seniors and how we can take them for
granted even though they never take the same for granted. And then I
think of how fortunate I am to have been blessed by his presence and I
am a better person for it.
Regardless of why Mr. Coyne, Mr. Bradley and Mr. Gretzky have crossed
over to inline and why they have made such a great commitment to the
University of Pittsburgh?s Roller Hockey Club, I look forward to seeing
them every hockey weekend!
And Unchained Melody will always be in my heart.
Thanks guys! We are all very flattered by your committment and always excited to have you at our events.
Executive Director, Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association