I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach.
So, Brooks Orpik. His "You Can Play" promo video was released today, despite being one of the first ones filmed. Here it be:
There are reasons why he is my favorite player. Not least because of how he plays and how it reflects his character - no-nonsense, straight-talking, up front. Tougher than nails, businesslike yet passionate, powerful and talented. Hard hitting, but always clean. His sacrifice in blocking shots and taking hits, responsible and defensively-minded yet not afraid to loose a hard shot on net. Sincere, honest, and outspoken, showing his intense leadership with actions even more than his words. Professional yet blunt, never afraid to share his feelings. Every single person on his team, whether it's the Penguins or Team USA, respects him immensely.
In short, a complete badass and absolutely decent human being, in every respect of the word. I say decent because he always does what is right, whether on the ice or not, every single moment of his life.
Now, we come to this video, and what it tells about him.
First of all, how obviously sincere he is. How much he actually takes this subject seriously, and isn't reading lines off a cue card because he has to. His attitude shows how he is doing this not because he thinks it's just a good cause, but because any decent human being should be able to show respect and support for other decent human beings. How everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and consideration, without any regard to who they are attracted to. Quoting from raspsun's blog:
"What I love about this the number-one most is his compete and utter sincerity. Not earnest sincerity, just straight-up sincerity: this is what I truly believe, so fuck yeah, I'll come forward and talk about it. And there's absolutely a little bit of seriously, we need to do PSAs about this? we're still at that point as a society? in his attitude...and along with that, a little bit of we do? all right then, you don't even have to ask, I'll come find you."
On Twitter, Patrick Burke says:
"Brooks was the first player not on our advisory board to sign up. His leadership went a long way towards recruiting other players."
In the video, Brooks says:
"My teammates are my friends, and we're all playing to win."
In the end, that's all that matters.
Posting my picture with him again, because I can