Norberry Knights coach, Jeff Hadley, arrived at the St.Vital Arena about ninety minutes before the start of the rematch between his team and the Maplewood Cougars. Jeff was a tall, thin man in his mid-twenties. This was his third season as head coach of the Norberry Knights juvenile hockey team. Coach Hadley was nervously pacing the rubber matted floor of the St. Vital Arena’s visitors’ dressing room. The room reeked from the stale sweat that the midget hockey team that had occupied the dressing room fifteen minutes previously left behind.
Jeff would stop pacing periodically, sit down on the players bench and would jot down some notes for the message that he wanted to deliver to his team before they started to arrive in the dressing room. Coach Hadley felt a tinge of guilt as he remembered that it was his idea to ask Glenn Davidson to viciously attack Maplewood’s star goalie, Rick Miller.
Jeff attended his local Baptist church occasionally. but he struggled a great deal with his relationship to God. Hadley was a true believer in Jesus Christ and the Bible, but Jeff would be the first to admit that his walk with the Lord left a lot to be desired in certain areas of his life. Jeff’s wife, Hillary, was very disturbed by her husband’s frequent spiritual lapses, but she had no idea of how inwardly tortured the love of her life really was.
Nobody had to tell Jeff Hadley that he lived a lifestyle of which his pastor and his wife’s friends did not approve. When his wife was not around, Jeff would often drop F bombs and assorted other profanities. He would often think to himself:
“Most of the Christians I know are a bunch of gossipy, backstabbing hypocrites. They should take their own moral inventories as it says in step five of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Why are they so concerned about my spiritual condition? I don’t judge their lifestyles. What gives them the right to judge me?
Hell, I live in a tough world. My critics think that it’s easy to have to convince husbands and fathers to buy enough life insurance to provide for their families. Do these people think it’s easy to produce a winning hockey team every year? Man, if those people only knew how much stress I carry around inside, day in and day out, I hope they would have the common decency to ease up on me. So what if I induce some might players to resort to using dirty tactics to win important hockey games? It’s a hard, competitive world we live in. I just try to prepare my players for real life.”