Monday, April 09, 2007

The Morning After the Morning After

The term is over; the holidays have begun. The dream is ended; this is the morning.

I’ll spare you the details of my reaction to Saturday’s game. It was not pleasant. It reflected poorly on myself, the city of Montreal, the Canadiens, hockey as a sport, and perhaps the entire human race. As much as I knew, always, for months, that this might be the outcome, I wasn’t ready, and I’m still not. It’s two days later and I still can’t accept it- hell, look at me, I can’t even name ‘it’. I have not made my peace with this. So I am not going to do a post-mortem on this season. I’m not going to eulogize my Habs. I’m supposed to, this is the time for it, but I can’t.

I hear them, my guys, in the interviews after the game- Koivu cursing and Huet blaming himself for everything and Higgins just trying not to cry- and I try to talk to them through the ether… guys, listen, we are going to come back here next October and we are going to try this again and we are going to fucking get it right next time. Okay? Come on, don’t break down like that, it’s not really over, not really… It’s harder than I thought it would be to give up and admit defeat- it was easier, in fact, to feel like giving up when there was still plenty of possibility left. Now that it’s set and definite and I’m not supposed to have anything more to hope for, though, I can’t let go. The first question I ever asked about hockey fandom was how fans keep such a fierce sense of loyalty, year after year after year, when everything about the team changes and so often there seems to be nothing worth loving- a reasonable question, especially for Habs fans. That question, however, is based on the premise that it is more difficult to care about something than not care, that the basic human position would be indifference, that love is something that constantly has to be earned and re-earned. But that’s not the way it works, is it, for I find it suddenly much easier to maintain a belligerent affection for whatever will survive of my Canadiens into next season than to… honestly, I don’t even know what the alternative is, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

So there isn't going to be a pretty post about endings and farewells here, just a few tears and whole heap of denial, and the overconfident assertion that they will be better, next time. Because it’s not really over.

Next project: Trying to find a way to care about the playoffs.


grey wall said...

The easiest way to care for the play-offs is to actively hate another team. For me, its the Oilers.

I cursed them in my mind. I took extreme satisfaction when roloson went down, more when they lost game 7 and even more when Pronger left.

Smyth leaving finally elicted a small degree of sympathy, for a moment.

I'm a petty, petty canucks fan. But to answer your question, that's how I still maintained interest.

Teebz said...

Cheer for the Lightning! With St. Louis and Lecavalier as a couple of high-scoring Frenchmen, it will be like a mini-French brigade! :o)

Julian said...

The Oilers fan motto : "Calgary sucks. Vancouver doesn't matter".

(thanks to mudcrutch79 for that one)

Julian said...

Sorry E, I don't mean to turn this into a flame war. I just couldn't let that go by.

If there is any justice in the world, Luongo will demand a trade at the end of the season and Nonis will get sweet fuck all back in the deal.

I'd cheer against the Canucks this spring, but then what do I do after the first four games are over?

Ok, i'm done now.

Jordi said...

Screw playoffs. Watch football err... soccer.

Matthew Macaskill said...

Having seen the Habs miss the playoffs three (or maybe it's four) times since I became a die-hard fan - which was when I was old enough to follow - I can tell you that it doesn't get any easier. However, after seeing the Habs fail year after year, it makes the times they do make the playoffs all that much more special.

Sure, it still sucks monkey breast, but "there's always next year."

My main interest with the playoffs right now is routing on Craig Rivet and watching what Sidney Crosby is really capable of.

I kind of see the whole season as a soap opera of sorts. For example, every time a player is traded away, it's as if they've been killed off.

Jack Bauer is on his way to take out the main Russian counterparts right now.

Robert L said...

Look at the bright side - your not a Leafs fan. They've been going through this emotion so long it's like a reflex. They are pretty much numb to it now.

Myself, I never really get over it, but I get throught it. I find and follow two teams I hope will meet in the end, giving hockey it's best possible final, in this case Detroit and Buffalo would be killer.

Barring that eventuality, I cheer on the Canadian teams, minus Ottawa of course.

In any event, stay with us E, Habs fans need this couch called "Theory Of Ice" until next Ocober when hope springs eternal again!

LittleFury said...

I'm a petty, petty canucks fan.

Is there any other kind?

Anyhoo...the Habs, unlkie the Oilers, seem to be in a better position for next season. Hopefully they bring Markov back and shuffle a few pieces, but this doesn't look like a team in need of an overhaul.

aquietgirl said...

I find the playoffs much more enjoyable when I don't have a team to worry about. I can better enjoy the hockey for what it is. Perhaps you'll feel the same way.

MetroGnome said...

The Oilers fan motto : "Calgary sucks. Vancouver doesn't matter"

Really? Cuz the most recent mottos I hear coming out of Edmonton are, in order:

"Die, upper-management die!" (German for "the upper-management, the!", No doubt)


"Joffrey Lupul should die of gonorrhea and rot in hell."

Or, alternatively, a long, inarticulate cry of anguish:


Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

I have a nice long sobing post on my blog if you'd like to see what e felt on Saturday night.