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Pred Fan Therapy for the Weekend

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02-18-2012, 07:15 AM
  #1
ILikeItILoveIt
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Pred Fan Therapy for the Weekend

If you are reading this thread, you are a sports fan in general, and a hockey fan specifically. Last night’s game illustrated the reason you are a sports fan and the dark side of that decision.

Few scenarios in life hit you as hard as that goal. There are jolts you get when receiving the results of something you’ve been anticipating, but those things build up over time and are anticipated, one way or another. That dagger with 5.8 seconds left was not only sudden, but had an end-of-a-slasher-movie quality about it. You know the formula: girl heroin is chased by the Michael Myers / Freddie Krueger / Jason monster who’s killed at least a dozen teenagers effortlessly but can’t seem to close the deal on our little screaming B-actress. She finally manages to escape and the monster appears dead or gone. Then in the tranquil final scene, she’s either floating in a boat on the lake or in her seemingly safe hospital bed, only to have a crusty hand rise out of nowhere and grab her just as the credits pop up on the screen, and you jump.

In our Detroit final scene, any Pred watcher worth his/her salt, understands the tortured anticipation of a non-clear or a bad linesmen call resulting in the puck staying in our end for seemingly endless face-offs. Klein clears into an icing when it could have been played (bad call #1) resulting in a face-off in our end. Pred fans grimace with the nagging feeling this will lead to nothing good. We survive another face-off, Smithson forces the puck out of the zone along the boards, only to have it go into the bench area and have the face-off brought back into our zone (bad call #2). 15 seconds left. Now we’re beyond riddled with fear of what seems pre-ordained coupled with home cooking from our striped buddies in Motor City. OK, were reminded to breathe at this point. We’ve dodged two bullets in this last 30 seconds. A huge point awaits us winning this face-off and grabbing the regulation tie. It would be gravy from here, with the upside possibility of breaking their streak. Just win the dang face-off and clear the dang puck. And guess what? We do!!! We clear up to center ice and for a split second, we relax. Like our heroin relaxing in the boat on the lake, assured the monster is long gone and she’s no longer in danger, we take one long exhale followed by the hand coming out of nowhere, grabbing us by the throat. Wings retain possession and with less than 10 seconds, Charlton Heston raises his Staff and the Red Sea parts as the Wings pass to #13 and he’s unbelievably in our zone, all alone, with just Suter to beat, and plenty of room to move. We gasp. We were safe and now we’re not.

Freeze frame. Their best player has to get by our best defenseman. The one we’re begging to stay next year and who demands we “add pieces” to warrant his esteemed consideration to continue slumming in Smashville with a long term contract. Thank God it’s not Klein or Hillen or a forward. We’re once again going to be reminded how vital #20 is to our very existence. He will body #13 and/or break up the shot and we go to OT armed with a playoff-quality point. But wait! #13 fakes right and slides left. #20 buys the snake oil and when he realizes he’s been “Deked”, awkwardly spins backward in a pitiful attempt to recover. #13 shots by the now corkscrewing #20 and he’s in all alone.

Freeze frame. Their best player is one-on-one with our world-class goalie. There are 7 million reasons why this should be ok for us. As viewers, we’ve entered the twilight zone of game watching. What seemed like a relief several seconds earlier has turned into a flash of “Oh No”. You can feel your blood pressure rise as #13 closed in. Please Pekka, do what you’ve done so many times before. Save our Old Hickory Blvd Smoked Bacon and stop that puck one last time as time expires. #13 keeps it simple and wrist’s it with amazing snap. The back mesh of the net moves with a shot, the red light goes on, the crowd explodes, and thousands of TV watching Pred fans scream out a variety of involuntary epithets so viral, they almost sound animalistic.

Suter’s head drops. Peks can’t believe it. Camera darts to Trotz, as he paces and shakes his head (no small feat without a neck). The Joe is partying and we’re sick. 5.8 friggin’ seconds. The Kübler-Ross model, commonly known as The Five Stages of Grief (DABDA), instinctually kicks in.

DABDA:
1. Denial — "I feel fine."; "This can't be happening, not to me."
Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of one or two points down the drain and opportunity lost.

2. Anger — "Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"; '"Who is to blame?"
Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Spouse and kids should leave the room at this point for safety purposes.

3. Bargaining — "I'll do anything for a reversal, maybe an offsides or penalty detected in some video review. You’re reminded of Duke & Duke at the end of Trading Places on the stock market flooring pleading: "Turn those machines back on!!!” The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow reverse the reality of the loss. Usually, the negotiation is made with a higher power (Hockey Gods) in exchange for a reformed lifestyle.

4. Depression — "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"; "We lost when we should have won and its over. There’s nothing I can do about it. Why do I care? What am I a fan? I can’t watch the post-game show and relive this thing. Where’s the remote. Click. Over. No watching the Highlight Show tonight. I’m “going fetal”. “ You curl up in a ball and sulk. Why do I put myself thru this? Why go on as a fan?"
During the fourth stage, the dejected fan begins to understand the certainty of the sudden loss. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refusing visitors and spending much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the crestfallen fan to disconnect from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.

5. Acceptance — "It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well accept it."
In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their loss. They put it in prospective, go to bed, wake up at 4:30 in the morning, can’t fall back to sleep as the images of the final 30 seconds seep into the brain, get up, open the computer and by the flashlight of the laptop screen, write this post to complete the personal therapy journey so Saturday isn’t a total waste.

When you sign up emotionally to being a sports fan and following a team passionately, you’ve unknowingly signed up for the fickled finger of fate. These moments happen. The reason you endure them is because when it happens the other way, it’s a sudden joy like no other, followed by an afterglow of contentment known only to true sports fans. Remember how you felt during those comebacks and OT wins in last year’s playoffs? It was the drug that hooked you. You endure the possibilities of last night for the promise of another “hit of joy” later on. Last night reminded me of “Game 5” against Chicago when Erat unbelievably centers the puck to Arnott from behind the net on our PP with less than a minute to go, trying to score when we already had the lead and just needed to run the clock out. We know what transpired when the Hawks picked off the pass, took it down ice, scored shorthanded, and went on to win the game and the series.

Our reason tells us to turn the page. We got Hal Gill, we’re still in good shape in the standings, we have the moral victory of outplaying the best team in hockey in their invincible barn, and our stock in the hockey world probably went up as we almost ended their streak with many eyes watching the game.

But every time we do, the heart tugs and reminds us what might have been. The pure happiness of a weekend spent reliving the victory that ended the streak against our most hated rival. Highlights even on ESPN because it was such a big win. Hope for catching them in the standings. Further evidence that this is not your father’s Pred team and we’re Cup-worthy.

But alas, it was not to be.

So I finally discovered a way of putting the pain in prospective. I’m a 45 year sports fan. My baseball team is the Amazin’ Mets. Growing up in the shadow of NYC, I was a Mets-Jets guy as opposed to a Yanks-Giants guy. In 1986, the Mets won a dramatic NL championship series against the Astro’s, coming from behind in several games, including an extra inning marathon for the ages. Then there was “Game 6” of the World Series against the Red Sox. Vin Scully: “….a little roller up along first, BEHIND THE BAG! It gets by Buckner! Knight scores and the Mets win it!”. To a Met fan, that call rivals the “Do you believe in miracles??? YES!” call as an instant goose bumper. Another less famous Scully call occurred earlier in that final inning of Game 6. Red Sox up on the Mets, 5-3, bottom of the 10th at Shea Stadium. "Everybody sitting very quietly in that New York Mets dugout," said Mets radio announcer Bob Murphy, "hoping against hope that something will start to happen." Wally Backman and Keith Hernandez had both flied out, and Calvin Schiraldi peered in from the mound to throw the final strike and win the ’86 Series for the Sox. Instead, “The Kid” at the plate refused to make the last out of the World Series. Vin Scully: “single to left and the Mets are still alive”. You know what happened next. Kevin Mitchell singles to center, Ray Knight singles and drives in the 4th run, Stanley throws a wild pitch to Mookie Wilson and the tying run scores from third, and then Mookie hits the slow roller to Buckner at first that lives in infamy. Mets go on to win Game 7 and the series. “The Kid” who singled to start the two-out rally was Gary Carter. One of the best catcher’s of his era, with an optimism and spark that made him a media darling in NYC and one of the most beloved American athletes in Canada from his 11 seasons with the Expos in Montreal.

Gary Carter died Thursday from a malignant brain tumor at age 57. I’m 53 ……..

I’m over the loss and ready for Sunday against Dallas.

Perspective. We’ll get over the daggers, knowing the Game 6’s and OT winner in the playoffs are always out there as possibilities. That’s why we do this and that’s why we care.

#20, you are forgiven. For your penance, you must now sign a long term contract.

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Old
02-18-2012, 07:46 AM
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cleangene
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THANK YOU for the theraputic, excellent post. It still doesn't erase the hurt at the moment for me, though. About everything else has turned to s### around me, so I NEED this team for some smiles. Last night's latest example of "we're not there yet" did not produce a smile reaction, and I really, really hope it's burning in the guts of everyone who was on the visiting team bench.

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02-18-2012, 09:00 AM
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What a nightmare. You got "NHL" level forwards on your team that cannot beat a journeyman backup goalie called up from the AHL one on one 3 ****ING times.
What a bad nightmare that is going to continue to show its ugly head when the games get tougher.

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02-18-2012, 09:26 AM
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kypredsfan
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I skipped the 1st step I guess. I was just like wtf and instantly pissed. My wife who just walked into the house with 2 min to go and doesn't give 2 craps about hockey looked at me and said "did that really happen". Right after the game ended my mother called, not knowing that I was even watching a game, and I answered in an irritated tone by default. I'm still stuck on "pissed" for now because the blackhawks get to play the almighty jackets today. If Columbus can somehow pull it out, I'll be back to normal and be pumped about us playing with Gill to help out. If/when chicago wins, I'll be pissed that the Hawks are within 3 damn points of us .

Anyways, enough of rambling. Still a Preds fan.

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02-18-2012, 09:27 AM
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kypredsfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VFL615 View Post
What a nightmare. You got "NHL" level forwards on your team that cannot beat a journeyman backup goalie called up from the AHL one on one 3 ****ING times.
What a bad nightmare that is going to continue to show its ugly head when the games get tougher.
I don't know about 'nightmare' but I'll finally admit we need a scorer, big time.

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02-18-2012, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by kypredsfan View Post
I don't know about 'nightmare' but I'll finally admit we need a scorer, big time.
What would you call it? We clearly outplayed Detroit the entire game and could not get more than one goal. Lose 2-1????

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02-18-2012, 10:51 AM
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PhoneGuy
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heroin - highly addictive narcotic

heroine - hero of the female persuasion (see Jamie Lee Curtis)


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02-18-2012, 10:55 AM
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Joe T Choker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoneGuy View Post
heroin - fantastic song by VU

heroine - hero of the female persuasion (see Jamie Lee Curtis)

FTFY


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02-18-2012, 11:23 AM
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kypredsfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VFL615 View Post
What would you call it? We clearly outplayed Detroit the entire game and could not get more than one goal. Lose 2-1????
It's definitely not the first time we've made a backup look damn good. MacDonald is on his game right now. I'd call that game a good wake up call to play the full 60 not 59:54. It also made it obvious how we need a pure skill player pretty badly to compete with the top teams better. There's absolutely nothing wrong holding Detroit to 2 goals. We just needed to capitalize on the chances we had.

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02-18-2012, 12:20 PM
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ILikeItILoveIt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoneGuy View Post
heroin - highly addictive narcotic

heroine - hero of the female persuasion (see Jamie Lee Curtis)

I was on one while spelling the other.

These screamers have come to be known as "Final Girls":

Jamie Lee Curtis - Laurie Strode in Halloween

Marilyn Burns - Sally Hardesty in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Heather Langenkamp - Nancy Thompson in A Nightmare on Elm Street

Amy Steel - Ginny Field in Friday the 13th Part 2

Neve Campbell - Sidney Prescott in Scream

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02-18-2012, 12:24 PM
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Evidence that hockey is the most difficult sport to deal with over the course of the game. The split-second failures/successes and the only sport when 10 seconds is an eternity. 10 actual seconds. Not 10 seconds split up with timeouts.

Baseball - People can rip on the slow pace of play in baseball, but there are sudden plays to grab and pull on our heart strings. The bases-clearing double, the walk-off home run, a game-ending error, etc. But in baseball, there's build-up to those moments with base-runners and time between pitches.

Basketball - Usually the endless timeouts at the end of a close game, although justified, will give fans time to prepare and think of what will/might/could happen in any given situation. 10 seconds can take 5 minutes.

Football - The only thing I can think of that comes close to the sudden jolt and momentum change such as a goal in hockey might be an interception or fumble. Either way, I give the edge to the suddenness of hockey.

Oh well......it is what it is. I think it's why hockey is such an easy sport to get into and become addicted to once you're in.

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02-18-2012, 08:11 PM
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jwhouk
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The only time I felt a hurt even worse than that goal was in the 2005 Calder Cup playoffs. Mark Popovic of the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks scored with 13 seconds left in game seven against Brian "Five Goal" Finley to eliminate the defending champion Admirals from the playoffs.

I remember sitting there thinking, "okay, we get this to overtime, we've got a shot..." and looking up and the red light was on down at the other end of the ice.

Finley played in a grand total of about 45 more games in his North American pro career.

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02-18-2012, 08:54 PM
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29dryden29
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Go wings go go stars go

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02-18-2012, 09:23 PM
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Anyone know the timeline for the McGrattan injury?

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