“I believe in Hockey”
When Carp told me I could write a guest blog I immediately started thinking about all the different Rangers off-season topics worth commenting on. The choices seemed endless — Marc Staal’s ongoing contract negotiations, the potential impact of new acquisitions like Boogaard, Frolov, and Zuccarello-Aasen, the growing (hopefully) youth movement — the list goes on and on. However, after rummaging through these issues, I decided that most of you probably don’t care what I think about these things. It’s all been said before, and probably will be a thousand times over before the season even starts. Given the humbling reality that I’m no hockey god who can solve all of our beloved team’s problems with one blog post, I’ve decided not to try. Instead, I’ll provide something I’m more certain of; a taste of what this team, and more importantly, this sport, means to me.
I graduated from college in May, and find myself in a very confusing world. Growing up the world seemed so simple: Do well in school so you can get into a good college. Do well in college so you can get a good job. Get a good job so you can make a lot of money. Seems easy enough, right? What no one tells you is that the simplicity ends there. You realize the world isn’t as black and white as you once thought. Those clear lines of right and wrong, good and bad, and fair or not fair all begin to fade to gray. I find myself spending a lot of time trying to make sense of everything-trying to find some stability in a chaotic world. Of course we find the stability we’re looking for in many different places — family, friends, community, etc. For me, one of the greatest sources of stability is hockey.
The solace I find in a cold ice rink can just as easily be found on a football field, or a baseball diamond, but hockey is my sport of choice for reasons that need no explanation to the Ranger faithful. It provides me with certainty in a world filled with nothing but uncertainty. The Rangers are always the good guys, and 29 other teams are the enemy … no matter what. Life in the hockey world is great on any night our team wins, and absolutely miserable any time we lose. Our hired guns are fighting for justice when they drop the gloves, while the Dan Carcillos, Steve Otts, and David Clarksons of the world don’t even deserve to be called the scum of the earth.
I will always remember the way I felt every time I went to hockey practice as a kid. No matter what was wrong at school, at home, or in life, nothing could touch me while I was on the ice. All of my burdens were lifted, and for at least an hour and a half each day, everything in the world seemed right. I feel the same way when I watch the Rangers. Win or lose, happy or sad, at least it all makes sense. I’ve never been a religious person, but I’ve always thought that people believe in God, at least in part, because it helps them to make sense of the world. I may not believe in God, but I believe in hockey, and I hope I never lose that faith.
Hi kids. It’s Carp.
Thirty-eight days until Opening Night.
38: Pacifist Jeff Bloemberg when he was pummeled by Mick Vukota in that famous end-of-game playoff brawl with the Islanders.
Also, Rico Fata and Robbie Ftorek.