I will start by apologizing for this being so long, but it's hard to cut it down.
Well I don't know what to say really, I couldn't find an appropriate thread for this. As it is pretty much impossible to talk to anyone in Australia about hockey this is probably as good as I will get.
Anyway, since following the ducks for about 6 years now (which compared to most of you would seem like nothing I am sure) But it has been a roller coaster every step of the way, fair to say just in the last couple of seasons there has been enough close games to age me far more than just the 6 years I have been following them. I have spent the whole time on here stalking away and learning off you all.
To give you an idea of being over hear and following the Ducks it is almost like a video game, in that from the second the game finishes and when gamcenter cuts out there is no coverage at all of the game. It is a weird feeling watching a group of players which I have never seen in the flesh, but I still feel so connected to, I have spent the last 6 years admiring these players for these skills which are so foreign to me, but so impressive.
Early on in this time I knew it was only a matter of time before I set of to SoCal to finally experience what it was like to witness a game and see all these players which I cheer on so much. After working away and saving enough money I had finally got to the point where I I had enough money to come over and watch the last part of the season (including the playoffs, which I had budgeted for the Ducks to go all the way). I am pretty sure I made a post at the start of this season saying how I was finally coming over to see this see this team which had captured my attention and become something that had taken priority of virtually anything else that could come up (it has gotten to the point where I will take work or university of so I see the games)
I had originally planned on going by myself, but after speaking to my best mate and letting him know my plans we decided to go together, this had slightly taken away from my plans of simply being a trip to watch the ducks, but he was the sort of guy that I was willing to miss a few games here and there to be able to spend the rest of the trip with him. Just imagine you and your best mate on the other side of the world, following the team that you loved and partying away the nights.
So after finally booking our flights and having everything planned, it was getting into early January with everything looking good, the ducks were sitting up at the top of the conference and set to make a good push with me the to cheer them on.
It was the trip of the life time that I had planned, go over seas, watch a team that I had loved and travel with my best mate. What more could anyone ask for?
Unfortunately things just donít work out like they should, waking up to a message from my mates parents saying I needed to call them was the moment that my life changed from being the best time of my life, planning our trip across the states and just having no idea what we could possibly look forward to. That was one minute, the next minute my life was flipped on itís head, he had passed away in a car accident over night. One second I had gone from looking forward to the holiday I had been dreaming of with my best mate, to nothing. Absolutely lost.
Anyway I decided to cancel my trip as I just simply couldn't go without him, since it happened it has been the toughest time of my life. But I donít want to dwell on that too much, as that isnít why I have written this. To get back to the Ducks, they have been one of the few things that can take my mind off what happened and put a smile back on my face. Watching them in the playoffs, knowing that this is the season that I had finally planned on being over there and hopefully cheering them on all the way is not exactly easy, I had dreamed of being in America to watch them win the cup.
But basically I am writing all this just to say that the Ducks have been huge for me to give me something to smile about in a time where everything else seems worthless. Watching them really is one of the few things in my life that can make me genuinely happy again.
Although I wonít be there to cheer them on this year I hope you can all cheer a little louder for me. Hopefully one day I can make it to America to watch the Ducks lift the Cup in front of me and finally see this sport and team that I have fell in love with all the way from the other side of the world.
Any way long story short, Go Ducks. Bring it home.
Very sorry for your loss, dude, can't imagine what that would be like. Know exactly what you mean though by the Ducks being a balm for what ails you - I went through a pretty tough patch where basically the Ducks and Top Gear were the only things that got me through some days, silly as it sounds.
Here's hoping to a season that only ends with the Cup above Getzlaf's wonderful balding head!
Wow man, that is horrible to hear. I had a buddy have a really bad wreck and he was in a coma for weeks and it's nothing short of a miracle that he pulled through, but that time was one of the hardest I've ever had to deal with, I really feel for you. Sending all my best wishes and will be thinking of you, your buddy and his family, that's something nobody should ever have to go through.
Very sorry to hear about the loss of your best friend. Such a loss really puts things like sports and the playoffs in perspective, but if hockey can give you some sort of diversion and a bit of happiness during dark times that's a great thing about sports and I'm glad for you. Cheers to you and the good memories you have of your friend.