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Monday, May 5, 2008

Ways You Know You Love Your Team Too Much

OK, so after Game 5 of the Penguins/Rangers series I was talking to Gopher. I decided to wait a little bit to rub it in as he's a Rangers fan and I'm obviously not. About 2 hours after Marian Hossa scored, I still had some nervous breathing going on. You know how you get when you nearly get into a car accident and your hole body shakes and you think you might have a reversal of fortune of your meals that day? We concluded that still feeling that way that long after the game might be a little much. The rest of the conversation became about ways you know you might love your NHL team too much.

These are in no particular order mind you. This is just meant to be something fun for me to do and for you all to read and see just how nuts I actually am.

#1 You Grow Your Own Playoff Beard

Yep, doing it right now. I've been toying with the idea of growing out a beard for a while now anyway so I figured, why not make it for the playoffs? I normally sport the goatee, so this playoff beard is off to a bad start seeing as how the goatee has been groomed for years and this "thing" has only been around for a month.

My girlfriend looked at me like I was nuts when I said I was doing this. I got that head cocked to the side half rolling eyes look as she walked away saying "You never cease to amaze me."

The things I do for my team.

Don't think I'm the only one either. Gopher never even blinked when I told him I was doing this. Apparently he's done it in the past and I must say, he put most of the NHL guys to shame. Check It Out Here!

I don't care who you are, that's an awesome playoff beard.

#2 You Have Sacred Pre-Game Rituals

Again, I'm guilty. I won't even go into details on this because you might make a couple calls and have the men in white coats come pick me up. I always wanted padded walls in my room. Mainly because we used to have knee hockey wars and the only way it could possibly get better would be to institute checking.

Here's how this works and I'm sure you all have your own. When I say pre-game I don't mean from the time you sit in your favorite chair and turn on the tv. Not at all. What I'm talking about is this.

From the time the final buzzer sounds in the previous game until the puck drops in the next game, you do the same things the same way every time as if your life depended on it. You celebrate a win or get over a loss the same way. Your daily routine stays the same. You go all out walking on egg shells as if one minor slip up such as dropping a spoon en route to the sink doesn't throw the universe out of whack and thus rendering your team dead. (Yes this happened before Game 4 against the Rangers, that's all I'm going to say.)

In most cases this lasts for 24-48 hours and every minute that goes by is a painful mindgame that keeps you awake at night with the voice in your head combing over your every move that day and you don't sleep at all if you screwed something up.

#2a. You Have Sacred Rituals During The Game

This is obviously a continuation of the above, but it must be mentioned.

This is probably the most crucial time for you as a fan. It's funny how one little body movement that results in something negative happening to your team will change how you watch the game.

You'll end up looking like you're playing twister by the end of the game if you've got a cold or a rash or anything else that doesn't let your health be at 100%. What happens when you make the slightest movement and it results in a goal? You apologize to the team through the television as if you've got a microphone on and everyone on the team has an earpiece to hear you.

You will risk bodily harm by not making a bathroom break until intermission even if the call of nature comes with 19:59 on the clock in the period. In your mind you are the center of the universe and anything you say and or do during a game has a massive impact on how the game turns out. The things you do and more importantly, don't do during the game would make and OCD patient look completely normal.

#3 Anything Can Become A Projectile

This should be self explanatory, but it's true. You get soo wrapped up in the game and think you're the coach of General Manager and whatever happens to be within an arms length is at risk. One example of a massive flip out had nothing to do with hockey.

2003 ALCS Game 7. Aaron Boone walk-off homer sends the Red Sox packing after they blew a big lead. I walked back into my dorm room entirely infuriated and bumped into my dresser with my upper thigh. I forgot I stil had keys in my pocket and they jabbed me in the leg ever so slightly. I reached into my pocket grabbed the keys and chucked it at the wall faster than Tim Wakefield has ever thrown in his life. I'm surprised I didn't lose an eye with the flying shrapnel that came off the key ring as a couple key chains disintegrated upon contact. The holes in the wall were still there 3 years later when we moved out.

Normally the remote takes all the abuse. It's the serf of electronics really. It always serves and never asks for anything but new batteries so it can perform its duties efficiently and we end up throwing it against the floor, wall or in some cases not my own, the television. What did the remote ever do? Oh and forget it if the batteries die at the exact instant you want to change the channel due to being so disgusted with how your team is playing. Get the kids out of the room and hide the women as that sucker might break the sound barrier as it leaves your hand.

#4 You Construct A Shrine For Your Team Somewhere In Your House

My entire basement would fall into this category. Have no fear though, I got full approval from the girlfriend to construct this room. I had to concede that I wouldn't make it look tacky or go too nuts with it, so in order to make her happy I enlisted her help. It's reached a point where we are both happy with how it looks and I'm OK with it.

The walls have pictures of various Penguin greats as well as most of the young guns I've enjoyed watching over the past couple years. Some of it is autographed, some of it just looked cool so I bought it.

Here's the thing with the shrine. You are never quite done adding to it. You'll always find space for that new item no matter how big or small it is. I've still got about 3 more framed pictures to put up and I don't know where I'm going to put it. I just might have to annex the shrine to another room and slowly take over our whole place. If you read this dear, I need your help measuring out the walls in the bedroom.

#5 You Will Risk Getting Some Disease For Your Team

I'm not talking something entirely disgusting here. Just simply wearing the same shirt or clothes for every game while your team is on a winning streak in the playoffs.

I haven't quite pulled this off during this year's playoffs as I've had to work for some of the games and that would just put off some people. That said, during last year's ALCS and first couple games of the World Series I refused to wash my Red Sox shirt I wore during Game 5 against Cleveland. We were on vacation in Florida at the time and wasted 4 evenings watching baseball, while the odor in the room grew with every pitch.

When we returned home from our trip I refused to wash the shirt until the series was over. My girlfriend tried to wash it without me knowing, but I caught her and got the rolled eye thing I noted above. It's the look I get when she knows I'm doing something crazy or beyond her understanding of how involved I get with a team.

1 comment:

Apryl DeLancey said...

Ha! I've done these...well, except for the beard...