It’s a week later and it still stings a little. A double overtime loss when we were so close! Close to the Stanley Cup. I’m talking about the recent Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburg Penguins game. Game 7 and so close.
Now I’m about to tell you something about me. It’s the most unCanadian thing. I HATE HOCKEY. Like I really hate hockey. I hate the Hockey Night in Canada jingle, the cold arenas, the politics of hockey, the teams, the ‘bros’ and everything that goes along with hockey. I HATE HOCKEY.
And then 18 years ago I got together with the man who is now my husband and I had no idea that he LOVED hockey. Like loves hockey and he LOVES the Ottawa Senators. So now I know things I don’t want to know. I know statistics about hockey players that I don’t want to know. I know the Senators schedule, who their prospects are, players that should be traded and so on. I don’t want to know any of it. I hate the amount of my husband’s time it takes up. I hate that I have to give up television nights for it. I especially hate it when they score and he screams at the top of his lungs and wakes up the kids. When I visit my in-laws they always have a hockey game on the television, on the computer and on my father-in-law’s phone. My husband is in heaven and I am in hell.
So here’s my problem and my point to this weeks blog. When the Ottawa Senators got into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I was miserable. ‘Great more hockey to watch,’ I thought. But I had to be supportive because of how much he loves his team.
But then I found myself getting into the team and into the game. I saw and understood the joy of winning. The teamwork that this team had mastered and how without one another they couldn’t win. I saw the fans and heard their cheers and wanted to be a part of it. I felt the sting of losses and the pure happiness of winning. I saw a city and fans across the country unite to cheer the ‘Sens’ on. I loved being a part of it. I appreciated how much work it took for them to get to the playoffs and how hard they worked every night to win.
Let’s face it. If you are born in Canada or even if you immigrate here, hockey is (or seeps into) in your veins. It’s our sport and we own it. The Stanley Cup should be in Canada and the Ottawa Senators should be the ones raising it above their heads.
So that loss still stings a bit. It hurt to watch them lose. It hurt that in one moment, one flick of the wrist it was all over. It hurt – a lot. It hurt to see my husband deflate because I knew he hurt. I watched his Ottawa Senators jersey ruffle as he hung his head. I knew there were thousands of jerseys across Canada doing the same thing at that moment.
Now, I’m not saying that I’m jumping on any bandwagon. There will be no joy when the season starts and lasts it’s LONG ten months. But I do hope that this hurt can be changed to joy when the Stanley Cup comes to Ottawa next year where it belongs.