We recently purchased a new house, and in the process of moving, we were forced to address the mountains of clothes, accessories, and shoes that one tends to accumulate over time. With U-Haul space at a premium, we made some difficult decisions on some items that hadn’t seen the light of day in several years. Staring at the floor of my wife’s closet, I cracked on her about the garbage bag full of purses and dozens of pairs of shoes. “Do you really need 60 pairs of shoes? How many pairs do you actually wear, four? Should I just call for a second truck?” Her response was straight-faced and serious: “I’ll get rid of the shoes when you get rid of your hats.”
She kept the shoes.
I am not predisposed to being a pack-rat, but there’s just something about my old hats that makes it impossible for me to throw them away. I have hats that are decades past their last tour of duty, but still they sit on a shelf in my new closet. Some are sweat stained, relics from day-long roller hockey games in high school or Sunday morning flag football games in my twenties. Others are faded from sun-soaked summers of wiffle ball and poolside BBQs, the rich navy blues faded to embarrassing purples. There’s the old corduroy Graf hockey hat, the plastic strap in the back replaced by the belt from my Tackla pants (admit it — you did it too). Each hat symbolizes a period of my life, and each one would tell a million stories if it could tell one. So I keep them around — sweaty, stinky, stained scrapbooks of life atop my head.
This post isn’t about those old hats. It’s about my newest one. If there’s one thing this website has done that has changed me, it’s that I’ve been introduced to or stumbled uponÂ some really remarkable hockey people. One of those people is Ben Weber, owner of PondRocket, a hockey apparel company based in the Southwest US. Ben grew up with the game, as many of us did, and spent more than a decade working in its professional ranks. Now an entrepreneur, Ben is creating a line of products that speaks directly to the hockey fanatic, with shirts and hats inspired by the subtle themes embedded in the game’s DNA.
I placed an order two months ago, and was so impressed with the attention to detail and quality of materials that I vowed to share PondRocket with my little slice of the hockey world. So I worked with Ben to bring you the first-ever Backyard-Hockey.com giveaway. To enter, simply visit the Backyard-Hockey.com Facebook page and click the “Like” button at the top of the page. That’s it. Everyone who “Likes” our page will be entered (even if you already “Like” us), and one winner will be chosen on 11/1/10.
What’s the prize? A brand new PondRocket First Line Lid, the same one that I’ve been rocking for the last 8 weeks. It draws comments wherever I go, and rightly so. It’s stretch-fit, so don’t worry if you normally have to custom order helmets to fit your mammoth melon. The black hat features silver contrast stitching, with the PondRocket logo on the front and the word ‘PONDROCKET’ on the back. Under the hat is where it gets crazy, with skate-lace-inspired seam taping and an under-brim banner that commemorates the inaugural season of the PondRocket brand.
As I said before, I speak to a lot of great hockey people every day, and many of them have things to sell. I could work with any number of them on prize giveaways, contests, or promotions. But not all of them “get it” like PondRocket does. I truly believe in the brand, and urge you to visit their site to see for yourself. If you’re trying to find a unique, hockey-based gift this holiday season, PondRocket is it. And if you need further coaxing, 25% of sales in October and November are going towards the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program.
So don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook and you could be sporting the First Line Lid in a few weeks!
Unlike some other links on this site, the links in this post are not bound by my Affiliate Disclosure. I just really, really dig PondRocket and think you should, too.