Why did I ever give hockey the power to break me?
What is it about this sport?
I love football. I have always loved football. It was the first sport I fell in love with. Ever since I was a little girl going with my grandpa to see the Syracuse Orangemen (yes, they were the Orangemen back then) to almost every home game. I am crazy every single Sunday during the fall and winter. I don’t let anyone make plans with me if it interferes with game time. I always wear one of my 3 Giants jerseys (usually accompanied by my Giants pajamas, Giants hat, Giants long sleeve shirt, Giants socks…you get the picture). And despite all of the feelings I get after losing a football game, it can’t even compare to the feelings I get after losing a hockey game.
I mean, yeah, I get upset. I jump up and down on my bed. I swear and yell at the TV. But I don’t feel like this. Like I feel right now. Going into Game 6 down 2-3. Completely heartbroken.
Even after the Giants season was abruptly over without even making it to the Playoffs in January. I was upset. I was angry. I didn’t want the season to be over. But I got over it.
I don’t think I could get over a loss on Monday or Wednesday by the Bruins.
To be fair, we’re not in football season right now so maybe I just can’t compare the two sports unbiasedly. Or maybe it’s because the Giants just haven’t really had any dramatic, heart-breaking losses lately (they’ve just been doing it to Tom Brady and the Patriots).
Or maybe it’s just this Bruins team that plays with such heart that you can’t help but just want them to succeed. Or maybe it’s this city. Maybe I just really, really want this for the city of Boston. The people of Boston deserve to line the streets once again for a happy coming together of celebration of perseverance and Boston sports. The Bruins represent so much more to me than just a hockey team. Boston is my home. When the Bruins win, the entire city is happier. And I’m happier.
Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful to watch the Giants beat the Patriots in the Superbowl once again as a Giants fan living in Boston. But it’s just not nearly as good when you don’t have your entire city, that you love more than anything, to cheer and be happy with. Have you ever been to an away game for your team? Especially in Foxboro with some of the most dedicated football fans in the country all rooting against you? I have. And I watched the Giants beat the Patriots (with an Eli Manning come from behind in the 4th quarter win) in an amazing game on my birthday weekend. It was perfect. But if you have ever done this, you know that there’s just something incomplete about a win like that. When your team scores the potentially game-winning touchdown with seconds left in the 4th quarter, you jump up and scream and cheer, but you are surrounded by utter silence. At first you think that something’s wrong, that you saw the play incorrectly and it wasn’t actually a touchdown. But then you realize that it really was, you’re just the only one who’s happy about it. It’s just not as fun.
But now here I am, in the city of Boston, with half a million of my closest friends all longing for the same thing. The Stanley Cup back in Boston.
The Giants 2012 Superbowl win was glorious. In so many ways. But it cannot even compare to what it would be like to experience a Bruins Stanley Cup win while living in Boston.
Hockey is just a more passionate sport. It’s a more fun sport to root for. It’s a more exciting sport to watch. And, consequently, it’s a more devastating sport to lose. These men play about 3-4 games a week for nearly 9 months if they make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. That’s insane! Football players play 16-19 games a year. That’s it. Once a week for 4 months.
Football Sundays are great. They really are. Some of the best memories of my childhood and teenagehood are sitting around the TV all day with my mom watching football games from 1 in the afternoon to 10 o’clock at night, eating snacks and just lounging around all day. But hockey season is different. It’s 9 months of ups and downs, good stretches and bad ones, injuries and breakout players, all leading up to the best (and certainly longest) Playoff season in all of sports.
I don’t think there are any athletes tougher than hockey players and in my biased opinion there are no fans more passionate than hockey fans. And it may suck right now. And it really sucked at midnight on Wednesday as I descended the back stairs out of TD Garden after an overtime loss. But their are moments when every single bit of sadness, defeat, nervousness, and heart-attack-inducing stress is worth it.
This is what that moment looked like 2 years ago.
And as much as last night’s game broke our spirits, I know that this team (with or without Bergeron….hopefully with) is capable of bringing us back to a moment just like that one pictured above.
White jerseys and all.
Or the one below:
Boylston Street and all.