Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Case of Moore Meaning More

Later today - in the building located at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue in New York City - the professional hockey team for which I have rooted with all of my heart (or the little charred bit of coal masquerading as one) for the entirety of my life shall play a game.  This afternoon the Rangers shall host the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Five of their First Round Best-of-Seven Playoff Series.  

I know not what role if any one of the pluckiest guys on the Rangers, Dom Moore, shall play in today's game.  If history is any guide, Moore will spend the time he is given to ply his craft on the ice doing what he does best:  winning important faceoffs, forechecking like a lunatic and working, working, working.  As someone who has always been a grinder in everything I have done, I find that Dom Moore is the type of professional athlete towards whom I gravitate.  He is not a superstar.  He is a battler.  Every day.  All day.  

Moore is 33.  In his NHL career he has played for nine teams.  This year was his second tour of duty with the Rangers.  It was also the first NHL season he played without the love of his life, Katie.  The two were college sweethearts - at Harvard.  They married in July, 2010.  Less than two years later, when Katie was only 31, she was stricken with a rare, intensely virulent type of liver cancer called Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma.  

Dom Moore earns his living playing hockey.  Yet during the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Moore left the San Jose Sharks to be with Katie.  He was there at her bedside on the morning of January 7, 2013 when she died.  Katie Moore was 32.  

An extraordinary young woman whose impact still resonates - most especially with her husband. “She’s … she’s … 100 percent of my life,” Moore said. “Not only her example, but her presence is with me, 100 percent of the time, all the time.”

Katie Moore's legacy lives on not only in and through her husband Dom but also through the Foundation he established in her honor.  The Katie Moore Foundation ( helps families who find themselves where the Moores found themselves just two-plus tragically short years ago:  being ravaged by a rare form of cancer.  

The business of sport is one riddled with cliches.  Games are "life and death".  Players are "warriors".  Situations are "do or die".  The very next time you find yourself, whether as a participant or as a fan, preparing to utter any of those old saws, think - just for a brief moment - about Dom Moore, Katie Moore and the fundamental distinction between real life and sports.  Dom Moore said it better than I could ever hope to, discussing the final few hours of his wife's life:

"I wanted to make sure she knew how proud she should be of herself.  A lot of people think you’re a success if you beat cancer, or if you survive or whatever. That’s kind of the way we work in sports, too — either you’re a winner or you’re not. I wanted to make sure she knew that she’s a winner.”

I suspect that if Katie Moore was here, she would point out to her husband that he too is a winner.  In her absence, it is my honor and my privilege to so advise him. 


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