Sunday, June 12, 2011

Aimless, but that's okay...

How have I not written here since the season ended? Shell shock, I guess, even though I saw it coming.

Honestly, you could feel it in the building Tuesday night. It didn't feel like magic was about to happen.

I guess it's one of the hazards of trading your sports soul for a press pass, you are obligated to identify and accept as reality things that you might not as a pure fan.

As a fan, I would have ignored that feeling in my gut and thrown myself into it. I would have cried (really cried, not choked back a few tears like I did) in my seat. I would have hit the bar after and drowned my sorrows until I could laugh again.

Alas, I had something of a job to do. Admittedly, I didn't do it well. Maybe it gets easier to swallow the emotion the more years you do this, but my game story was shit and I didn't do justice to Binghamton's season.

In my heart of hearts, I knew Binghamton had to win. The story was just too good, too special. It meant so much to that city. Signs in yards and in store window, writing on car windows as you drive around town.

In a city that's been beaten economically for so long, I couldn't help but feel like it would mean more to them than it would to Houston.

And it obviously did. 5000 people turned out for the parade, and the boys rewarded them by making sure Roman Wick had his shirt off a lot. Oh my God, yes, please.

I'm glad the series is over though. My divided loyalties weren't really that divided and I certainly identified with Bingo fans to a large degree. I liked the team all season, too (except when they played like shit in front of Brusty).

To suddenly find myself arguing with them on whether the fans were taunting Hackett while Spurgeon was on the ice injured, or whether they cheered when he was helped off the ice, just felt wrong.

I wanted to say, "I'm on your side!" Er, except for the part where you actually win. I really did want the Aeros to win.

But I feel lucky to have been able to smile through my tears watching Brusty take a running leap into his happy pile of celebrating teammates. To not feel cranky when Lehner tossed his gloves and jumped in the air and raced to his teammates at the final buzzer.

They earned it and I'm happy for them. More happy for them than sad for the Aeros, at least in hindsight. That said, and I hope this doesn't come across wrong, but I think the Aeros would have won if they'd had the same amount of rest as Bingo had gotten before the series. If I leave the playoffs with any bitterness, it's toward Hamilton. That series was hell and it cost the Aeros the Cup, IMO.

Since Tuesday, it's been that weird end of hockey season grief process. Wednesday, I cried at the drop of a hat. Thursday, I was numb and on auto-pilot. Friday, I was sorta grateful to have this thing off my plate. Yesterday, I started to miss hockey again.

Of course, the great part of going so deep is not having to wait through everybody else's playoff fun before the draft and free agency swooped in to give us something new to chew on.

And luckily, I suppose, I still have this endless house hunting process and Camp Brusty to keep me busy for a bit longer.

Unfortunately, even with camp coming up, my own goaltending is about as far from my mind as it could be right now. I even had to borrow a fellow goalie's stick last Monday because I left mine at home. Head = not together. Loved that stick though. Need to give it back to him before I keep it forever.

Boy, rambling post and I think I contradicted myself about 3 times, but whatever. That's how I'm rolling these days. Thanks for hanging in there with me.


klemmer  June 13, 2011 at 8:06 AM  

What kind of stick? I use a Bauer Vapor X:50 and absolutely love it!

artandhockey  June 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM  

HOUSE hunting?

Ms. Conduct  June 13, 2011 at 11:17 AM  

@Klemmer, Reebok Lundin pattern.

Tall paddle on this one but still really light and nice balance. Haven't been a big fan of composite sticks for goalies, but I've only used one once, so I'm not sure it was a fair test.

Yeah, Christa... ugh. Not fun.

Dee  June 13, 2011 at 9:36 PM  

Loved, loved, LOVED your writing throughout the playoffs. Don't be so hard on yourself. No, you weren't impartial, but that's why your words hit home so succinctly with those of us who bleed for our teams. We can relate and we're living vicariously through your experiences.

maalivahti  June 15, 2011 at 2:07 PM  

It's ok to be burned out. We're not going anywhere. :)

Ms. Conduct  June 15, 2011 at 2:11 PM  

:) Thanks, girl. I think I needed to hear that.

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