hockey mask

Today I was struck by a terrible conviction that Jack Zimmermann is a hardcore hockey history nerd who can only occasionally be persuaded to care about anything else that happened in the past.

In elementary school they had to do a report on “My Hero” and Jack researched Jacques Plante and talked for an extremely excited ten minutes about how Plante had a 27-year career and won six Stanley Cups and seven Vezina trophies and was the first goalie in the NHL to play outside the crease and he engineered the use of goalie masks and was a major innovator in player safety and Jack made this papier-mache copy of Plante’s first hockey mask and his dad helped him drill out holes so he could breathe and–

“Jack, who was John Cabot?”

“I don’t know.  Did he play hockey?”

“Jack, tell us about life for settlers* in early Quebec” (*french: les habitants)

“Well, before a game the team* always used to…” (*hockey: Les Habs)

If you want him to talk nonstop for an hour, ask him what he thinks the greatest hockey game of all time was. 

He got over it his monofocus eventually, but only just by extending his laserlike concern to broader topics like “World War II”–he still doesn’t give a crap about anything outside his area of interest.  It’s still less true to say he is a history geek than to say he took every class Samwell offered related to hockey, from Sports Management to Kinesiology to Human Ecology 267: History of Leisure and Recreation, and then looked at his credits and went, “Huh, I could make a history degree out of this.”