David Quotes in Beartown
Sooner or later any sports team has to decide what it really wants to achieve, and Beartown is no longer content merely to play. They’ll replace Sune with the coach of the junior team, for one simple reason; when Sune talks to his players before matches, he gives long speeches about them playing with their hearts. When the junior team coach stands in the locker room, he says just one word: “Win.” And the juniors win. They’ve done nothing else for ten years. It’s just that Sune is no longer sure that’s all a hockey team should consist of: boys who never lose.
Sune was like Beartown: a firm adherent of the old faith that no tree should grow too tall, naively convinced that hard work was enough. That’s why the club has collapsed at the same rate that unemployment in the town has rocketed. Good workers aren’t enough on their own, someone needs to have big ideas as well. Collectives only work if they’re built around stars.
There are plenty of men in this club who think that everything in hockey “should be the way it’s always been.” Whenever he hears that, David feels like rolling himself up in a carpet and screaming until his vocal cords give out. As if hockey has ever been constant! When it was invented you weren’t even allowed to pass the puck forward, and two generations ago everyone played without a helmet. Hockey is like every other living organism: it has to adapt and evolve, or else it will die.
The storm of laughter from all the juniors makes the room shake. In the end even David smiles, and he’ll think back to that moment many times afterward: whether a joke is always only a joke, whether that particular one went too far, whether there are different rules inside and outside a locker room, whether it’s acceptable to cross the line in order to defuse tension and get rid of nerves before a game, or if he should have stopped Lars and intervened by saying something to the guys. But he does nothing. Just lets them all laugh. He’ll think about that when he gets home and looks his girlfriend in the eye.