Hockey season, sadness and zombies
At the start of the hockey season, I bet my Rangers fan son $100 that the Isles would end up with a better record than the Rangers. I knew in my heart it was a losing bet but when the season is new and the prospects look better than they have in while, your hope turns into something like stupidity. I was reaching for something, anything, to make me feel like this season wouldn’t be another one of despair and bitterness.
Of course it was. And I say was even though the season isn’t over because - let’s face it - the Islander’s season is over. After their OT loss to the Rangers Sunday night I felt deflated and sad and then spent a good portion of the night wondering why I let something like sports make me feel so awful. In fact, people ask me this all the time: “Why do you care so much?” I’m sure you’ve heard it. “It’s just sports.” “It’s only a game.” “It’s not like it matters in your life.”
These words come from people who get hung up on tv shows so I try to put up a comparison for them. Each hockey (or baseball, etc.) season is like an episode of a tv show. You become emotionally invested in it. You care about the characters and what happens to them. You wait for each subsequent episode and between those episodes you talk about the show, speculate what will happen and armchair quarterback what should have happened. When you devote that much emotion into watching all those episodes of a show just to have Shane get his zombie head blown off leaving you with no characters left to like, you feel a sense of disappointment. You feel let down. Empty. “Why bother,” you think. “Why watch the rest of this show when there’s just nothing left to care about?” Then you spend the next hour evaluating all the ways in which Rick and Lori and Carl can die. You just hope for implosion at that point.
Sometimes people will get it. They’ll realize why I feel sad when my favorite team sinks to the bottom and I’m left hopeless and sad. The people who mourn when their favorite person gets voted off American Idol now understand that sports is my entertainment, my escape, my moment to cheer for something awesome to happen between the bookends of my hours spent at a soul sucking job and hours spent watching people vote for Rick Santorum.
So yea, I’m sad. I’m sad the Islanders once again have failed me. I’m sad I have nothing left to cheer for. The only thing I can wish for now is a Walking Dead type vengeance, where Garth Snow and Jack Capuano are fed to the zombies and left jobless, if not walking around aimlessly looking for entrails to eat.
My son has forgiven me the $100 bet, sort of. I bought him MLB2K12 and told him to never talk to me about the bet, the Islanders or hockey ever again. Especially during the playoffs.
At least we’re both Yankee fans. We’ll have plenty of shared happiness, high fives and hopefully an ending which does not involve me thinking of the Phillies as soul crushing zombies.