Thursday, April 10, 2008

Beating the Alarm

He woke up a little early today. He rolled over, wide eyed, and watched as the bright red numbers clicked forward, his hand perfectly positioned over the snooze button. As soon as the first hint of noise sprang from the tiny speakers, probably a quick word from some crackling FM station with slick, too perky DJs, his hand slammed down, and he lay still for nine more minutes, not sleeping. He's not tired. He's not angry. He's not dreading his trek to the office, or worrying about bills, or wondering how he's going to spend his two weeks vacation this year. He has only one thing on his mind, one overwhelming thought that pushes all others into the foggy outer edges of his day. Eventually, he will get up, shower, and pretend to taste breakfast, going through the motions of the morning a little more rushed than usual. And then he'll grab his black and gold hat, the one with the spoked "B" emblazoned on the front. For a moment he'll stand in his hallway, lost in thought, entertaining hopes he'd been avoiding for weeks, going over an imaginary checklist in his head.

"If we can..."

"All we need is..."

"A couple breaks here..."

He knows the odds. He reads the papers and hits the sites. He hears the announcers say that the fight is pretty much hopeless, and his boys should hold their heads high for just showing up. But he just can't shake this feeling in his head. Gauging something like this solely by numbers is foolish! David didn't beat Goliath on a stat sheet, right? You need to look at the little things We have the guy coming back from injury! Isn't he worth a home win? They upset us before. Isn't it time for karmic payback? We have their old coach, dammit! The guy that beat us!

And there he'll stand, for a minute or two, until a peripheral noise shakes him back to reality. His eyes will focus on his wife, who'll tell him to get going or else he'll be late, but there won't be any heat in it. She knows. She knows how much today means. Finally, he'll turn to the door, and with the ghost of a smile crossing his face, he'll attack the day.

I like the Bruins. I've hit the Garden this year, where I watched Ference duke it out with Sid the Kid, and the Bruins come back from 4 down in the 2nd period to salvage a point against a more talented team. I've watched a fair amount of games this year on NESN. I check the hockey blogs. I've fought against the "hoc-key?" mockery that takes place too often today, as if fans of any other sport look down in disdain at those who follow the sport. But I'm no diehard. Diehard hockey fans are a different breed. Diehards know their sport isn't dead. How can it be dead? It's all they've thought about all year! They've watched every goddamn game! You don't like the sport? Fuck you then! They don't need you! They never did! They could watch hockey fights 24 hours a day! These people live, eat and sleep hockey, and are perfectly content in doing so.

Today, the Bruins start the first round of the playoffs as an 8 seed. They play the HATED Canadiens. This is the Lakers. This is the Yankees. This is the Colts. I've witnessed this rivalry first hand, in a seven game playoff series that I'd like to forget. That year, the Canadiens fans somehow had all the upper level seats in the Garden, creating a Crown of Fire Effect that rocked back and forth as they beat us in our own house. We were heavily favored. They were chippy underdogs. And I remember them celebrating on the streets of Boston as we slinked home, lockout imminent, wondering if we'd ever get the chance to avenge this awful day.

That was 4 years ago.

So today, forgive the construction worker in the Real Men Wear Black shirt for taking a little long to get his coffee. Don't honk at the truck with the spoked "B" on the fender that sits a little too long at a red light. And if you hit the bar tonight, realize that not every TV needs to be on the Sox game, especially the ones surrounded by the intense group wearing black and gold in the corner.

Because today, finally, the Bruins can punch back.

Go Bs.

1 comment:

futuremrsrickankiel said...