Friday, February 09, 2007

For the Love of Hockey

I may have mentioned once or twice before that I'm a bit of a hockey fan.

"A bit" would be putting it mildly. I'm a hockey fanatic. Truly.

In September, I start the ice watch. Where we wait for them to put the ice in at the coliseum. And once we (that would be me and my fellow fanatic, Jules) know that it's in - we go to smell the ice.

Smell. The. Ice.

Because we're freaks that way.

Oh - we don't get down to ice level and sniff it - it's just mainly walking into the building. There is a certain smell to a hockey rink. (No - not the locker room - that's a completely different stench) We go up to our seats and check out the ice - see how the logos look - if the red line is straight, stuff like that.

And then we wait patiently for training camp.

Ok - no I don't. I complain everyday unless there is a signing announced. I hope against hope that this year we'll finally have a team that will not only make the playoffs - but GO somewhere - maybe even the finals. Maybe even win the Cup. So I spend too much time on The King's Court, and wait for training camp.

Which I go to, by the way. For the entire first week. And take notes. Yes I do. Then I write up reports on the message board. I actually make a point to save up my vacation time so that I can take off for two hours a day for a week to attend a minor league hockey team training camp.

I told you. I'm a freak. I admit it. I'm not ashamed.

And I'm right there when the season starts. I'm in the booster club. I was even president for a couple of years. I go to all the games, and enjoy the thrill of the game, and the sound of skates on ice - a sound like no other. And as we start off the season with hopes of the playoffs - I'm excited and thrilled and wear my goofy crown and my hockey bracelet and one of my many jerseys (I'm from Texas y'all - we call 'em jerseys because a sweater is something you wear skiing.) and put on my hockey necklace and I'm so optimistic! And I just know THIS. WILL. BE. THE. YEAR!!!!

Then - the last few years, anyway- reality sits in. And we start losing. But I still go. Even though I'm pretty sure our coach just doesn't have what it takes to put together and coach a playoff team. Even though our team doesn't have what it takes to win a cup. I still go. Even when sneezing eleventy billion times an hour - I still go.

(Of course, Jules hates it when I do go then - because she sits next to me and has to spend the entire evening spraying me with Lysol. But I digress.)

Because when it comes down to it - I love hockey. And even when I detest the low down dirty sneaks that own this team, and the coach that is in over his head and too clueless to realize it....I still go. For the game. For the thrill of a goal. For the fun of seeing grown men duke it out then sit in the penalty box like chastened boys in time out.

Because I love hockey.

And that's all there is to it.

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