Sunday, May 27, 2007

Monkey See Monkey Do

I meant to write a little something about my thoughts on the NHL playoffs a while ago. The usual suspects get the blame for the absence of such a post. The Stanley Cup finals begin tomorrow, so it's now or never, despite that fact that I should be working on the last remaining suspect.

I usually root for the Leafs, but they weren't in the playoffs this year. The only team that I was cheering for this time around was Calgary, and they had almost been knocked out of the playoffs in the first round before I even noticed that the playoffs had started (blame that on the usual suspects too).

I managed to catch a good part of one game on the last Thursday in April while I was sitting at the bar on my friend's last day at work. The sound was off, and the only commentary came through some questionable closed captioning. Detroit was playing. I don't remember who they were playing against, San Jose maybe, nor whether they won or lost. If I searched the archives I could find out, but I don't care that much. I spend a lot of time living in the past, and barring anything else, the team that was around when I was a child gets my support (if they both were, the team that was around when my dad was a child gets my support). But Detroit is the team that beat Calgary in the first round, which provided me an "anything else". Consequently, I was consumed by ambivalence.

The next thing I remember is that the Ottawa Senators were facing the Buffalo Sabres. At this point, you might think the obvious answer is to cheer for the Canadian team. Patriotism and all that. I picked Buffalo. Why? Simple answer. The same year that Ottawa put in a bid for an NHL team, Hamilton did too. Only one Canadian city got a team. How can I cheer for the other city? Call it sour grapes if you will, it's still my reason. Add to the mix the fact that I've typically supported the Leafs, and Ottawa is just that annoying other team from Ontario, there really isn't any reason to support them. Besides, Buffalo's just a hop, skip, and a jump from Hamilton. Ottawa's not.

Unfortunately, Buffalo lost, and so Ottawa's heading into the finals. In the past, I've always enjoyed watching them do well enough to advance, only to get beaten by the Leafs in the next round (every time). Of course that didn't happen this year. It was nice of Toronto to throw the season so that the Sens could have a chance at the Cup, don't you think? They're facing Anaheim, a team which barely exists in my mind (a recent addition to the NHL, in one of the warmest parts of the continent, named after a fictitious team in a children's movie. No thanks!). I can't screw up the will to care that much about whether or not they win, even if it means that Ottawa loses. So, rather than making a choice between a healthy antipathy and a rock solid apathy, what can I say? May the worst team lose!

1 comment:

Jono_or_Janice said...

What happened in front of your mom's appartment on Victoria Day long weekend? It's been a week and I haven't heard anything about it yet... Waiting... waiting... waiting.