When you are unemployed and living at home, there are precious few things that bring you joy.
The ability to do your laundry without dragging it down 33 floors or up the block to a laundromat is one of them. DirecTV is another. The company of my adorable old golden retriever throughout the day is up there. But up until this week, one of the biggest perks of living at home had been missing.
In case you’ve never read this blog before, let me inform you that I love hockey. Hockey brings me great joy and cheers me up when I’m feeling down. And at just the time I needed it – when the holidays are over and everyone is back to work and I am still unemployed and on the verge of spiraling into a deep depression – hockey is back.
I’ve written a fair amount about my love affair with hockey here, and I don’t think most of you come to read my analysis of why Sidney Crosby is the best player in the world. I’m not sure I could add much to the pages and pages that have been written this week about the NHL lockout and its conclusion. But I feel compelled to add my voice, and as such, the things I’ve missed most and are most excited to get back:
Skates on a fresh sheet of ice. The clang of the puck hitting the goal post. A Doc Emerick or Mike Lange goal call. Jeff Jimmerson’s rendition of the national anthem. The “OOH!” of the crowd after a big hit at center ice. “Sidneeeeeeey Crosbyyyyyyyyyy.”
The Stanley Cup. A breakaway with under a minute remaining, down one goal. The brilliant saves, creative goals, and passes that land right on the tape of the stick. Playoff beards. Grown men jumping into each other’s arms and little kids, wide-eyed watching their heroes. Kris Letang’s hair.
The relief after your team kills a 5-on-3 penalty. The “how the hell did he save that?” sense of awe and disbelief. The anticipation when you first arrive at the arena, when it’s dimly lit and quiet. The roller coaster ride that is a game 7. The camaraderie of making new friends at a game or at a bar, of hugging people you just met three hours earlier when your team pulls out an overtime win. The absolute hatred you feel when your team’s biggest rival destroys you. The ecstasy you feel when your team beats them.
Drop the puck, guys. Let’s do this.