This photo originally shared on Instagram
Thursday, July 08, 2021
Perspective in a hockey still-life
This may sound like heresy coming from someone born in Montreal, but I'm not much of a hockey fan. Come to think of it, most professional sports leave me somewhat cold.
Perhaps I should clarify: I grew up as a hard core Habs fan. I love the spectacle of the game. Any game, really. And I'll happily spend the day with my fam rooting for whatever team happens to be playing. Some of our best memories have played out in ballyards, stadiums, and arenas, and I can't wait to get back to the stands.
What I can't wrap myself around is the sports-as-religion mantra adopted by some. Life doesn't stop for me because my favorite team loses. I don't cry if we're eliminated. I don't believe any of this can be remotely tragic. The world has enough real tragedy as it is.
Likewise, winning is always awesome, but it doesn't define me. I don't feel validated when "my" team wins, nor do I feel betrayed when they don't. It's a game where success is determined by whoever gets the most round pieces of rubber in a net. With that simple construct in mind, the numbers at the end of it matter far less than some folks would like to believe.
Sport is a business, not an exercise in unfettered fan loyalty, and I cringe when some particularly bonkers fan comments show up in my feed.
Still, it's hellishly fun to watch. There's an artistry, a lore, a spirit, a community to the game of hockey, and to all games, that can only be appreciated by watching gifted players play.
And if you're not gifted enough to have made the big leagues, there's always a home-brewed game of tabletop hockey to scratch your itch.
As long as you lose the match against your best friend with a smile on your face.
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