Thursday, June 23, 2011

:: Tough Day ::

"Everybody is no-showing. Is there a white-trash convention today that I don't know about? Or a monster truck rally?" - Christene, complaining of missed appointments by her dental office's decidedly low-budget clientele.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

:: The Day After ::

I'm sure at some point in the future, I'll write something longer about the end of the Canucks' playoff run, the Game 7 collapse, and the riot that, quite frankly, I'm already sick and tired of hearing and reading about. But not today.

Today I don't feel like doing anything.

Today, I'm just so God damn sad.

Monday, June 13, 2011

:: End it Now ::

I can't take this anymore.

Can't take the cheering, the stomach knots, the eating, the drinking – Oh God, the drinking. I can longer survive through these ultra-highs and ultra-lows that come with having a team in the Stanley Cup final.

You think the players are tired after playing this long into June? Well, we're not used to having to cheer this long, either. And to be completely honest, I'm nearly ready for it to be done, as much fun as it may be. And make no mistake, it's been one helluva run.

But for the past two months, it seems like all I've done is eat pub food or pizza (or both), surviving on a diet of light beer, bring-your-own-appy platters and never-ending hope.

And when I haven't been eating or drinking – and watching my bank account dwindle as a result – the emotional strain has been too much. I can't sleep the night before games, I wake up early and with a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach on game days, and I can't focus on much else other than the game. And in the rare moments not spent thinking about Tim Thomas or the power play, I spend planning for the next time I'll be thinking about Tim Thomas or the power play.

Where are we watching the game? How am I getting there? Do I have to leave work early? How early? How will I get home? Who will feed the dog? Is Christene coming?

It's not just me, either. Just moments ago, I got this message from Meghan: "I'm trying not to hyper-ventilate. That's normal, right?"

Normal? Sorry, we gave up normal weeks ago. This is the Stanley Cup. This is Vancouver – normal doesn't live here anymore.

And as much as I've lived and died with the team through the last few months, I don't know I could handle a Game 7. I have enough reserve strength to last through tonight, but after that? Fumes.

Before Friday's game, I threatened the Hockey Gods to give us a victory. They politely obliged. And today? Today is not a time for threats - instead, I ask them for a favour:

Put me out of my misery. Let it be over tonight, in Boston. Let me spend my Wednesday evening with the TV off; let me take my dog for a long walk; let my bank account rest; let me go to bed happy, not nervous. Let my liver have a lunch break – my heart, too.

Please, Hockey Gods, let me live my life.

Friday, June 10, 2011

:: Weather for Winning ::

It is cold and overcast today - very un-June like, and I just had this conversation with my brother.

Chris: This is good weather for a Canucks' win.
Me: I don't know what the weather has to do with anything, but I'll agree with you.
Chris: I just figured it'll be a cold day in Hell before the Canucks win the Stanley Cup, and it's pretty cold out.
Me: Good point.
Chris: Yeah, the Canucks aren't going to win on a sunny day. That just would never happen.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

:: A post in which I threaten and possibly anger the Hockey Gods ::

There has to be a way, right?

This won't happen to us again, this losing, not now, after all this. After all we've invested – emotionally and financially (because those car flags ain't cheap). No, it cannot be.

Yet, I fear it is. I hope I am wrong.

If you have to ask what I'm talking about, well, then you probably won't care about the rest of this column. But on the slim chance you'll continue to read, I'm speaking of the Stanley Cup. The Holy Grail.

And more specifically, I'm talking about the fact that the Vancouver Canucks – who just a week and a half ago were talked about as though they'd already won it – have lost two straight games, both badly, after winning the first two, both narrowly, and appear on the verge of blowing the best chance they've ever had to capture the trophy in question.

So yeah, I'm a little nervous and fear the worst. And I know Canuck fans are conditioned this way – as though we're Deloreans on an assembly line, destined for a few bright moments but, ultimately, failure. But for me, it's even worse because I am, when it comes to sports, a fairly pessimistic sort. Drives my brother crazy. Just ask him.

And here's the thing – I don't want to be this way. I hate it about myself and I really TRY not to be. Honest, I do. But sometimes I can't shake it.

Sometimes, after all these years, I wonder why the Hockey Gods – if such deities truly exist – refuse to give us Canucks fans a break. I mean, one Stanley Cup – just one – is that too much to ask? The Carolina Hurricanes have one, for Christ's sakes.

But before I delve too far into negativity, it must of course be pointed out that the Canucks are not losing this series, nor have they, in fact, trailed in a series throughout the entire playoff run. Not once. They are currently tied. And have two of three remaining games at home. They can still do this. Nobody said it was going to be easy; the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win in pro sports, so it shouldn't be. And there are as many reasons to suggest they'll pull it off as they are to suggest they won't. I get that. I try to remind myself of that often.

And in the meantime, I hope.

I hope Roberto Luongo starts playing like Roberto Luongo – actually, I'd prefer he started playing like Tim Thomas, but I digress – and I hope the Sedins and Kesler and Raymond and the entire powerplay score a goal. Maybe 5 goals. Whatever, just put up a number.

I would love for all of those things to happen. All fans would. And when fans want something like that they often start talking about having to pray – literally beg and plead with – to the Hockey Gods for a little luck.

And fans being fans, we'll do whatever it takes to help sway said luck, as though our own personal actions will somehow affect the outcome. I put myself squarely in this camp, as irrational as it is. We wear our lucky shirts. We watch it at one house only, or switch to another friend's place after a loss; change bars, change beers. Sit in the same seats. Different seats. Stand up. Lie down. Hop on one foot.

Whatever it takes.
And we hope and we pray that one day the Gods will do us a kindness. Once, just once.
But here's the thing: 40 years of asking hasn't done us a lot of good. So yeah, I'm getting a little fed up. The time for asking is over. So here's this:

Dear Hockey Gods,
Throw us a fucking bone.

Or at the very least, just tell me what fucking seat on the couch I'm supposed to sit in Friday.