Fever Pitch

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
1 year ago
If you are a sports fan then you must read Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch. It is the greatest book ever written about the experience of being a fan and even if you are not into the vagaries of British football and the goings on there, Hornby’s descriptions of his experience as an Arsenal fan will make you laugh your ass off.
When Hornby becomes an Arsenal fan they are mediocre and remain so for years and on top of that they play boring football … the experience is terrible but he keeps going back for more. And then one day, unexpectedly, crazily, they win something. (They have won plenty since.) His description of that moment is amazing. I am paraphrasing here so forgive me but essentially he describes that moment as the best and most unique feeling in the world, like an orgasm, but if you had been waiting ten, twenty, thirty years for it, and the release so completely overwhelming that you are left exhausted and happier than you have ever been …
As you know from my last post a couple of weeks ago the boy’s hockey team did what was unimaginable for years, they won something. And because of the time that we live in I have multiple videos and pictures of the moment and I relive the moments daily. Stop. With under a second left Carpenter turns from the play, knowing it’s over, and charges towards our goalie, who is hugging the two defencemen fiercely. Stop. Konstantatos, who scored the only goal in our 1-0 semifinal win and the insurance goal in the final, throws his arms in the air and flies over to the bench where he jumps into Lee’s arms before the latter can get onto the ice. Stop. There are my son and Maddi Mann hopping over the boards, Jack throws himself into the arms of his teammates. Stop. The unsinkable Kennedy Brown, a week away from moving, in perhaps her last game with the team, is everywhere, hugging Choe and Mann and Burrell, flying into the pile, waving to the crowd.
And in the background you can see we coaches hugging and then standing, watching, as they celebrate that their dreams have been realized. Finally.
What is wrong with our Edmonton Oilers? I am an optimist in life and a pessimist when it comes to the Oilers but I was very bullish on them this year and I had very high expectations. But here we are and the team is barely treading water and on the Tweeter the other day someone asked ‘what Oilers have met or exceeded expectations this season?’ and the list is an awfully short one. Campbell has been awful, the D has been shoddy at times. There is no, I mean, no secondary scoring. Kane is out until the spring, Broberg is in the minors and the kids are all running in place.
And the PK has been giving away all the good that the power play has wrought, as bad as the latter has been good.
Am I worried?
Hmm … ask me in a month. 😉 As I noted a while back, teams go through heaters and slumps and everything looms larger in the early season. The team is better than it has shown and these things tend to have a domino effect … right now not much of anything is going well. But the talent is there … there will be a game where Skinner or Campbell steals a win and then the next game a couple of pucks will go in off of Jesse’s ample buttocks and then players will begin to loosen up and just play and suddenly we will be on an 8 and 2 streak or some such thing.
Just you wait. As Archie Bunker used to say … patience is a virgin.
The time where we throw ourselves into the air madly, cheering ourselves hoarse, teary eyed as we hug our friends … that time is coming!

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