It is an interesting, self-psychological experiment to observe my own demeanour in response to the outcome of a particular sporting event. In other words: it’s kind of weird to see how I react to the fortunes of the Habs. It has been 17 years since the only professional team that I have an almost unhealthy allegiance to has gone this deep into the play-offs. There is part of me that cannot quite believe what they have done, and yet part of me that has always felt they could always do this. In all the years that they have struggled between 1993 and now, there has been a nagging feeling that they would return at least this far before too long. While I know full well that my happiness is not actually linked to what 20 or so grown men do on a rink half a continent away, there is a link to a past, a reminder of my childhood, of dreams, and of escapism.
I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Bob Gainey, and as this team does more than most people expected, it is exactly what he has always expected of them since he began the job that he stepped down from a short time ago. This is his team, and I would love to see them do well for him, for themselves, and for the unexplainable mystique of it all. This current squad shows similarities to 1993, but it is also quite different. They have bought into a system, and they believe and play as a team. As much as there is a great deal riding on one Jaroslav Halak, they could not have pulled of two of the biggest upsets of all-time if they did not come together as a complete unit. Regardless of who they are, I admire that in a sports team. There are life lessons there as well – at least I hope.
The self-experiment had an interesting twist today. The sport team I was coaching lost today, eliminating us from contending for the league championship. A person, who heard the result of my game, and knows I am a Canadiens fan remarked that “at least the Habs win balances off your team’s loss.” Without even thinking I replied, “I would pass up the Habs winning if it meant [this team I’m currently coaching] could find success.” I think I really meant it too. Their childhood is now, their challenges and mine are real, their learning of life is in real time. I stand by my response.
Still… Go Habs Go!!!