Can this man help heal a broken heart? Here's hoping!
It’s the start of the hockey season — normally a source of great excitement and joy in my family — but I am bereft. My team is gone, spirited away to a better place. A real hockey market — where people actually deserve it.
I can’t express how tiresome those sentiments have become. But before I spiral into despair over the loss of my Atlanta Thrashers, I thought I would attempt to compile a list of things that are keeping the gossamer thread of love for the NHL intact for me. You know, the kind of exercise completed by depressed people and Oprah disciples trying to force themselves to be more grateful. So here is my self-indulgent, things-that-keep-me-hanging on list…
1.) Fantasy Hockey
If it weren’t for my long-standing fantasy teams, I may have thrown up my hands in disgust and just gone back to being a college football fan like I (as a person living in the South) am expected to do. But I have built many good friendships through my involvement in fantasy hockey and am the commish of a 12-16 team all-girls league. Looking forward to helming my own virtual teams once again has helped me through the bleakest of bleak times.
2.) Boomer Gordon, on-air personality for Sirius/XM’s Home Ice channel
Oddly, I used to kind of dread hearing his voice. It’s not your typical “Hey! I’m a radio guy!” voice, and I used to think he sounded a little drunk on air, but over the five or six years I’ve been listening, he’s become a true favorite. He can be excessively harsh, but has always been fair about the Thrashers, where most people haven’t. Maybe it’s because he is an Islanders fan. No matter, his show has been the one hockey program I could bear to listen to this summer.
3.) Jaromir Jagr
Thank you Jags for returning to the NHL! The anticipation of seeing one of my longstanding favorites has given me something to look forward to, now that I have no team to call my own.
4.) The KHL
I know it sounds crazy, but bear with me. Regular readers know that Sasha and I are Russophiles. We’ve been studying Russian and have traveled to Moscow several times now to watch hockey and raise some hell. My all-time favorite player (anyone care to name him?) is still playing over there, and I try to follow his career from afar. Being able to still be interested in hockey (any hockey!), I think, will help me pull out of this funk so I can one day love again.
Now that my team has been stolen away, I have powerfully negative feelings toward certain players who dissed Atlanta and, of course, the team I used to love. Hate is the other side of love after all. And just maybe looking forward to cheering against a team will help heal my broken heart.
I’d love to hear from other Thrashers fans — how are you coping with the loss of the team? What keeps you hanging on?