What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
There’s a new rabid hockey fan in Florida, and I’m pretty sure that’s my fault. My blog brother SportsChump listened to enough of my shouting from the mountain about hockey’s awesomeness that he’s fallen head over heels into the hockey-loving world.
You can look either at his blog or projects we’ve worked on together to see the progression. It all starts with a piece he wrote about nobody caring about the NHL Lockout of 2012. While guys like me and Ryan Meehan were losing our minds over not having hockey, the Chump comforted himself by not caring about the NHL secure in the knowledge he is Facebook friends with what must be every single MILF in the greater Tampa area. The Chump is too much of a gentleman to admit it, but my suspicion is because he’s got the “smooth operator/bartender” thing going he gets more ass than a toilet seat.
But I digress.
What the SportsChump does admit in that piece is that he was even then he was harboring a fetal case of hockey fandom.
Over the years, I’ve asked fellow, more hockey-oriented bloggers to turn me on to the sport. Consider me a fan on the verge.
Well, I was one of those hockey fans he’s talking about. Then came the official acknowledgement of burgeoning hockey fandom.
Then came the summer of 2010. They appointed Steve Yzerman as their general manager and Guy Boucher their head coach shortly thereafter. With the Melrose experiment in their rear view mirror, the Lightning were back on track. They stumbled through the end of the regular season but still made the playoffs as a five seed.
In the first round, down three games to one to the Sidney Crosby-less Penguins, the Lightning caught fire, outscoring Pittsburgh 13-4 and sending the Penguins packing.
I started to watch.
Then the Lightning went to Washington to play Alexander Ovechkin, who I hear is a pretty good hockey player. They took the first two games IN WASHINGTON, then came back to Tampa to complete the sweep. A seven-game winning streak.
Okay, I’m cheering.
I used to complain about hockey, saying there wasn’t enough scoring, the typical American response. Now I’ve learned the importance of valuing every goal. Hockey is about breaking an opponent’s will.
That last sentence is clearly not just entry-level fandom; that bit of knowledge comes from a “400-level” hockey class. I know this as a guy who not only can trace his own hockey roots back to Marcel Dionne’s days with the Los Angeles Kings , but also as a guy who experiences in higher education happened at an institution which prints it’s diplomas on pucks.
If that red-lines your “Worry-meter,” just wait. It’s about to to get waaaaaaaay worse. The Chump actually wrote a graduate-level thesis about how hockey could over-take baseball in popularity in this country. Granted, that was another collaboration project with me, but it is also why I blame myself for creating a monster here.
That’s why I knew I had a problem when this hit my phone.
In my section of said collaboration, I made it very clear that my major concern here was that combining Floridians with the liver-soaking associated with hockey fandom could lead to more scenes like this.
So, imagine my horror when this hit my Twitter feed the other day.
Sometimes, it feels really awesome to be able to say you were right. This is not one of those times. Somewhere, there’s a Bruins’ fan who is still talking about getting horked on. Fuck him. Bruins’ fans deserve what they get.
However, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the innocent bystanders sitting next to that Bruins fan. I have a level of responsibility for the fact you found yourself in the “fall-out zone” for that bit of Bruin barfery. I knew mixing Floridians and hockey was like giving whiskey and car keys to teen age boys. Nothing good was going to come of it.