I never thought I'd say this, but I'm watching hockey on television. I drew the line at hockey. I learned football and basketball and soccer and lacrosse and tennis but I drew the line at hockey. I'd seen professional hockey as a child; Daddooooo and his brother and my cousin and I sat high up and cold at a Rangers' game, as I recall. It's not that I rejected it sight unseen. I saw and I said no.
Yet, somehow, during this drought time in my boys' sports world calendar, I find myself wondering when the next playoff game will be on tv. My Facebook post, HAWKS !!!, was up and liked by Little Cuter and The Bride before they could post themselves. I was seriously considering asking for a Blackhawk's jersey.
I'm a fair weather fan, there's no denying it. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy myself.
I don't believe in the NBA. I know that David Stern is considered the guru of all league commissioners, but there's rarely a game that's worth watching before the fourth quarter, and even then, it doesn't matter if you miss a minute or two. TBG taught me that basketball is a team sport, a game of finesse and strategy and strength. What I see today, in the NBA, is tall men looking for their fifteen seconds of fame on Sports Center, hoping to bump and shove and muscle their way to stardom.
It's not that much fun to watch.
Still, I found myself cheering for the Pacers and then for the Spurs and now, more than ever, for the Spurs as they take on the team that was supposed to win several of these championships and which is now down, 1-0, in the series.
The Miami Heat had an incredible run this season, but that's history. It's true that a loss is a loss no matter the score, but losing by 36, as the Heat did in Game One, is humiliating. I admit that I loved every minute of it.
LeBron left Cleveland for Miami and, on behalf of all the family members who live there and loved him, I've found it impossible to forgive him. The man makes $20 million a year. Triple-doubles should be the expectation. Imagine if you offered a great principal $20 million dollars; you'd expect excellence in the classroom, wouldn't you?
I'm not saying it's rational. It's sports. It doesn't have to be rational. That's the beauty of fandom.
TBG and I know nothing about hockey. I had to go on-line to find us a definition of icing; I can't say that I can follow the puck well enough to recognize it in action. In fact, following the puck is often more a sense than an actual fact. TBG listens to the crowd for a sense of who has possession. We both watch the crowd of players and hope that the puck is somewhere in their vicinity.
Sometimes, though, we're watching the right player just as he cuts and jukes and skates past the defender and SCORE!!s. It's magical.
The announcer described a small but aggressive player's actions in the same way that we told the less competent recreational soccer players in the Under 8 division what to do: Go out and be annoying. We know you can be annoying; you have siblings
I guess some things never change. Sometimes, all you can do is get in their way.
The men who spoke at the press conference were polite, well spoken, wore no hats or jewelry or logo-ed apparel
Another perk of watching sports is the opportunity to judge. We yell "Shoot the damn puck!" and "Box out!" and wonder if we should suit up, ourselves, and show them how it's done. The referees need our assistance, except in hockey, where we know enough to defer.
It's a rush unlike any other when I contemplate skating fast, backwards, with a stick in my hand.. and SIR, TBG and The Cuters are by my side. For that one moment, it's real... and wonderful... and possible.
Triple overtime in the hockey game is the same as the 30 point blow-out in the basketball game... they both go on forever.