(This was spoken on April 18, 2010.)
Last weekend, we spent from 10 AM to around midnight “renewing” the Youth Group room. We completely repainted it, but left space on one wall for us to paint something that had meaning to us. As I watched the artistic people here do their work on the wall, I tried to think of something to paint. I spend most of that Saturday trying to figure out what had meaning to me.
After about eight hours, it hit me. What’s the one thing that I love, that I will never get tired of? Hockey. It may seem random, but most people who know me know that I am a HUGE Capitals fan. So, what symbolizes hockey? I’m really not artistic, so I couldn’t draw a portrait of a player, or really even a puck. What I decided on represents hockey very well – the Stanley Cup. Lord Stanley, as many call it, is what players dream about the second they put on their skates at two years old, and what fans dream of being paraded around their city.
But, it’s not just awarded to the team that plays the best during the regular season (which, of course, was the CAPS). It’s awarded to the one team that makes it through four grueling rounds of best-of-seven-game playoff series. Last year, the Caps made it to the second round of the playoffs, the best they had done in a long time. Unfortunately, they were knocked out by the eventual 2009 Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins (booooooo). This year, they’ve played two games – one depressing overtime loss, and one exciting overtime win, last night.
The playoffs are full of disappointment. It’s been said that bandwagon fans blame a loss solely on the team – but die-hard fans blame it on what they wore, what they ate that day, or what/who they brought to the game.
I take full responsibility for Thursday night’s loss.
Having to deal with so much disappointment year after year, Caps fans have become very resilient. Although we always have our eyes set on the highest prize, we always know that there’s another chance next year. Since only one team out of 30 in the National Hockey League can win the Cup, most hockey fans are experts at dealing with things not going their way. I believe that everyone can take a note from a hockey fan on how to get past a tough moment and renew their hope.
Oh, and LET’S GO CAPS!