Nowadays, most men agree with their wives and get an extra 15 minutes in front of the TV.
In 1963, then-hockey players Cecil Pittman and Bob Allan agreed with Allen’s wife, Yvonne, and created what is now a half-century and counting of hockey history.
The search for a name began when Ron Guinn - a member of the Neepawa Intermediates squad that won the 1936-37 Manitoba Intermediate Championship - approached Cecil Pittman - then-goalie and manager for the 1963 Neepawa Intermediates - suggesting the team should have a name.
The request led to Pittman and Allan discussing potential names for the team while they babysat together.
Until that point, all Neepawa hockey teams had simply been named after their level of play such as the Neepawa Intermediates or Neepawa Bantams.
“We were looking through the dictionary trying to come up with a name that would connect to Neepawa, which is a Cree name meaning ‘abundance’ or ‘plenty’,” Pittman, who is now retired to Neepawa, explained.
That information - coupled with Pittman’s personal fandom for the Chicago Blackhawks - led the pair to decide the NHL club's native american-inspired logo would be the perfect option for Neepawa’s new team.
And then Bob’s wife Yvonne came home.
“She asked what we were up to, and she suggested the ‘Natives’,” Pittman said.
Both Neepawa and Natives started with the letter ‘N’, and were seven letters long.
“We felt there could be no better name,” Pittman said. “The decision was made that evening.”
Just like that, the “Neepawa Natives” were born.
That intermediate team, which featured a core group of players pictured with this article, would do the Natives name proud, collecting seven major titles in only 11 years.
The two years prior to changing its name, the Neepawa Intermediates club won the 1961-62 and 1962-63 Inter Ridge Hockey League (IRHL) championships.
They continued that streak in the Natives’ inaugural season, claiming the 1963-64 title in a newly formed Central Plains Hockey League.
They then won the South West Hockey League (SWHL) in 1966-67, 1970-71 and 1972-73.
Perhaps its greatest achievement, the team also claimed Provincial glory in 1966-67 when they won the Manitoba Intermediate ‘A’ title by sweeping four consecutive best-of-three series.
“We had a good team,” Pittman chuckled as he rolled through the titles. “And we had a good following, over 1,000 fans at some games.”
The intermediate team then entered the ‘Old-Timers’ league and went on to medal at several major tournaments.
Meanwhile, a few years later in 1988, Neepawa was accepted into the MJHL and in need of creating its own team name.
Aron Berg, a lawyer at the time, requested to use the Natives name for the community’s new Junior ‘A’ Hockey club, and the intermediate team was honoured to oblige.
“We thought it was a great idea,” Pittman said. “The quote I always use is, ‘Always proud of our team and its name. Always appreciative of our loyal fan support’.”
The Natives name has since been gradually adopted by Neepawa Minor Hockey for its youth teams as well.