Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And it all comes down to one game...

...and maybe one goal.

A season that started on October 7, 2010 is ending, finally on June 15, 2011...that's a long time for hockey. It's pretty much summer now, even in Canada. But we're still playing (and cheering wildly for) a winter sport.

Regardless of the outcome of tonight's game, I am glad to see this craziness come to an end. It's been two months of elevated heart rates and blood pressure, gnawed off finger nails, ground down teeth, queasy tummies, late-night horns honking, lack of concentration and focus craziness.

Don't get me wrong, it's been spectacular! But I'm ready for normal (and hoping that normal now includes a Stanley Cup for the Vancouver Canucks). My daughter is ready for regular bedtimes - they have been few and far between since the playoffs started because we live on a major street and jubilant fans walk by cheering and drive by honking their horns. I learned early on not to fight this and now J hangs out at her window or sometimes on the deck and yells GoCanucksGo to them.

I am certain employers will be glad to have productive employees back...the early game times haven't affected me much because I start early and leave early to pick J up at daycare, but I know lots of people who have been leaving work half an hour to two hours early, pretty much every other day since April. That's a lot of missed time to make up...

And days like today, well, I know my mind keeps flitting back to questions of what will happen tonight...what if...what if not...

Seventeen years ago I was seventeen. I had been away at boarding school for the first part of the playoffs in a state where hockey isn't really followed. But my dorm mother graciously allowed me and the other lone hockey fan (who was cheering for Chicago...we made a deal, as long as our teams weren't playing each other, we'd cheer together) to watch our beloved teams in her apartment on her tv during study hall. I came home in time for the last two series. Our house was full of yelling, cheering, screaming people. I was at my friend Michelle's the night of game 7. It was heart wrenching, then heartbreaking, then devastating [I know, I know, first world problems] but we recovered. And the Canucks recovered. And seventeen years later, here we are again. It's not the same team, but it is the same team.

And so, I am leaving my desk now. Yes. Early. Yes, I'm blogging from work. Yes, my boss told me to leave over half an hour ago. [I didn't...I have to wait for J to wake up from her nap at daycare] I'm going home to cheer loudly for the Canucks with J and with AndreaClaire who is here to cheer all the way from Victoria. And we might venture into the party zone. And hopefully we'll have lots to be excited about. And tonight, tonight I hope the noise and honking and cheering lasts well into the wee hours of tomorrow. And I hope there is a parade for us to go to later this week.

So, boys in blue and green, please:
Play hard
Play safe
Play clean
Win it for the ones you've lost through these series and the late season - Samuelsson, Hamhuis, Rome, Raymond. Win it for the seventh man on the ice - Bourdon. Win it for the fans who have cheered for you since before they really understood the game. Win it for the fans who jumped on the bandwagon, drawn by the excitement and insanity of the playoffs. Win it for the guys of 1982 and the guys of 1994. Win it for yourselves. And your families. And your friends. Heck, just go out there and win it! I believe!

And fans, please:
Cheer hard
Cheer loud
Cheer long and late (or is it early)
Cheer respectfully
Ignore the Boston trolls and welcome the more respectful Boston fans [but let them know we're going to win]
Have fun
And please, please, please, no matter the outcome of the game, don't ruin our city or all the good feelings that have piled up and grown through this playoff run.

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