Saturday, February 10, 2007

"Sherry + Hockey = Love"

Cross posted to Scarlett Ice

In my 20 years of existence I have never officially experienced what it was like to be in love but I can imagine my relationship with hockey is something similar to that sensation. You know, the dizzying highs and the emo-tastic lows. Yes, for anybody who’s read my blog they know that I at times take losses by my boys a little too personally and have needed the aide of the panic meter to pace myself. Heck just the fact that I refer to the Ottawa Senators as “my boys” is indication of how personal I take it. Which is completely ridiculous because the reality is they’re just a team, I don’t own them and have no personal relation to them.

I know very well that it’s just a desperate attempt to make our relationship more meaningful than it really is. The reason I love hockey is that I couldn’t imagine my life without it. Even before when I wasn’t as into it as I am now, it was always there in the background, tapping me occasionally with its stick just to remind me of its existence. It was always waiting on the outskirts of my conscience knowing full well it’d be a permanent part of my life again.

Perhaps the fact that sports pages and hockey blogs dominate my browser and sports channels are the first places I go whenever the T.V. is on are signs that I might be overcompensating for the fact that I felt like I didn’t know how to be a fan or felt like I never loved it enough. I was born in a country with sub-tropic climate and no natural ice, I was never an adept athlete and never good enough to play. I’m not really into pools or number crunching, I find the statistics behind the game indicative of nothing.

It’s the intangibles of the game that I find so mesmerizing. It isn’t the technicalities but the heart and the spirit. It’s a bit of a contradiction in that I’m well aware it’s just a game, but at the same time it’s become a part of who I am that I couldn’t imagine my life without it. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m religious or just overly sensitive, but I like to think that once something becomes a part of your life, you must experience it. At least that’s my explanation for it when I have no other explanation as to why I get excited whenever hockey is mentioned in any form in any medium or why when my heater was broken I felt the warmest when I was wearing my jersey. Maybe that’s why I want to work in the industry or find a way to be completely immersed in it. I feel like the relationship is missing something, that it’s not yet complete.

Hockey doesn't have theatrics or drama in itself, at least one that's not created by the fans, yet every single game has some sort of backstory to tell. It doesn't have the sideshows and personalities that draws attention to the game for the wrong reasons. But that's just part of why I love it. It's an honest expression that lays everything out on the line and lets the sport speak for itself. It's a team sport where everybody is dependent on one another to make each other better. It's one of the only sports I see where teammates are unequivocally excited when another scores a goal. It's the only sport that prides itself on honour and sportsmanship by having teams shake one another hands after a playoff series.

But just like when you love someone or something you can’t help but notice their faults and point them out. You can’t help but let it affect you and be disappointed because you know that they’re capable of so much better. But you don’t love them any less because of it. I’m steadfast in my belief that even if the Senators never win anything meaningful I will continue to support them despite it being a danger to my health. As long as they continue to work hard and show their love for the game, than I will do the same.

By the way, if you guys want some witty hockey themed t-shirts, check out True North Gear.


Heather B. said...

I was just reading an article about some psychological study that showed fans genuinely believe their thoughts can influence the outcome of a game. It's totally ridiculous but 100% true. The players really do become a part of your life. Here's to our boys!

Checked out the site you liked to... I *love* the "Saskatchewan: Easy to Draw, Hard to Spell" with the little box illustration.

Elly said...

Hear hear.

Paige said...

Don't worry, I call the Sabres "my boys" too.