This Chicago Tribune story tracing Blackhawks star Jonathan Toews’s competitive drive back to his earliest days kicks off with one hell of an anecdote—a deleted scene from The Omen, maybe.
One of Toews’s friends, an older boy (Toews was good enough to play above his age group), recalls coming over for a sleepover.
“I show up at the door and he’s in his full workout gear just so excited,” Riel said.
Riel was led into the basement, where Toews “had Jock Jams just blaring so loud.”
“And he had like seven or eight stations set up – for chin-ups, pushups and lunges,” Riel said. “We worked out for like an hour.”
Actually, a young Jonathan Toews (at the time of this anecdote, he was 10 years old) doing pull-ups to C&C Music Factory projects precisely to what he is today. But there’s more!
Riel got through the workout, and he thought he was in the clear. Nope.
“All right, put your skates on,” Toews said. “We’re going to play.”
So they went out and skated for a few hours. When that was over, Riel thought finally, this has to be over. Bring on the video games and junk food. Nope.
“Hey, we’re going to bed,” Toews said.
Toews might be the blandest great player in any major sport. He has not been changed by success.