So hockey is back. In case you just emerged from your
self-imposed Mayan apocalypse-like exile at your custom-built underground human habitat in your backyard, it's true... Hockey is back and civilization as we know it has been saved.
We survived four long, lonely and looney months filled with doubt, despair and disgust. The millionaire players and billionaire owners played with our patience, our loyalty and, most cruelly, with our hearts. With every press release, every media leak, and every staged conference, they trifled with our love affair.
The season has hung in the balance on a razor's edge. It is our way of life that was being held hostage. It didn't seem possible that they could do it to us again! Yet there we were every morning at the coffee maker, water fountain, Tim Hortons line up... the good for nothing, self centered, greedy, despicable, useless, pathetic, arrogant, wastes of oxygen for doing this to us! This is our game. They have no right to toy with it for their own amusement. Peoples lives are at stake here – didn't they understand?
In a land so completely devoid of any other sport competition, the pretenders to the hockey throne tried so hard to steal our attention. The Marlies tried hard and somewhat filled our void – but not quite. The mighty NFL had one of its best seasons ever, climaxing in a playoff season for the ages – and we barely noticed. The Argos' return to glory – did it register? The Blue Jays certainly took advantage of the sports silence and made a huge off-season splash – but it is January and the boys of summer are a long way off. Canada's basketball teams seemed to be turning the corner, their appreciative lunch box crew with newfound entertainment. But basketball's hard efforts largely went unnoticed. After all, who plays hoops in the Great White North in the middle of the winter? The TFC or Vancouver's White Caps? Right... it's winter! Even in BC, global warming has not been so kind this year.
Respect does goes out to lacrosse, curling, UFC, golf, car and horse racing, roller derby... And then pillow fighting, lingerie football and all the other extreme sports such as competitve eating... Plus any other attention-seeking, media whoring, and sad excuses for professional sport! But make no mistake. After all the threats, promises and vengeful voodoo curses, we were all delivered to the evil of long winter's nights so completely unfullfilled. What choice did we have?
Hockey is back and like jilted lovers, we reluctantly – yet empathetically – took her back. She has tried a few times now to divorce us and her high-priced lawyers have taken us to the limit. We swore to never, ever allow ourselves to be taken so lightly again and yet? When that frozen piece of black rubber... dropped to the pure white ice surface... and the Habitants faced the Maple Leafs?
All was forgiven.
The 60th Edition of Hockey Night in Canada was magic. It mattered not who won. Well maybe a little – but the point is hockey is back and all is well. The sun can come up, our taxes might get paid, and all that's essential are these questions to be answered:
- Is Crosby back?
- Does Ovechkin have anything left?
- Where is Luongo going?
- Is Tim Thomas insane?
- Is the Red Wings'
- Can the Kings repeat their Stanley Cup glory?
- Will the Leafs make the playoffs?
- Are the Oilers on the verge?
- What pixels on my flat screen is Grapes' next suit going to burn out?
Oh yes, hockey is back! And once
all was said and done, the world became a better place again. •
Jock Talk With Jake the Snake
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