Saturday, April 30, 2011

In Pursuit of Lord Stanley: Chronicles Volume II

The subtitle of this blog reads: "The triumphs and travails of sports, liquor, and literature." Today I'm experiencing the travails.

Laying in bed, suffering from a wretched hangover induced by a fifth of 75 South whiskey, listening to Robert Earl Keen sing about depressing stuff, drastically overreacting to one game of hockey, I've been thinking about missed opportunities in sports throughout my life. I've been thinking about the NCAA hockey championship that Michigan lost in overtime this year, the game I thought would finally bring me that elusive national championship I've been wanting so desperately since 1997, when I was too young and naive to fully appreciate the value of one. I've been thinking about the 2009 Stanley Cup, when the Red Wings lost in game 7 and I spent hours at a Chicago bar by myself with my head in my hands because I was old enough to fully appreciate the value of those moments in a lifetime. I've been thinking about the 2006 Michigan Ohio State game, when the teams were ranked 1 and 2 respectively, and how I left my dorm that Friday when I heard Bo had died and then went for a walk through the graveyard next to Mary Markley dormitory and cried about Bo, and I didn't really know why I cried because he had been the coach before my time, but it didn't matter. And I've been thinking about this Red Wings team, a team that has really gotten me through a difficult year of my life in Chicago, away from all of my friends and family, and how they've been the one constant in my life that makes me feel like home, about how I love when I get texts from my father during every game, about how I forget about everything else in the world when the puck drops, and I feel like crying over one damn game because I can't even stand the thought of this team being eliminated.

So when I turned on a movie, a non-sports movie mind you, in an attempt to get away from these thoughts, of course one scene featured the Stanley Cup. I was back to square one. This scene featured one of the more interesting stories I've heard about the Stanley Cup. Apparently back in 1996 when the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup Mike Ricci had brought the grail to a party. At the party, a woman who had been trying to have a baby with her husband but had recently been informed that she could not in fact concieve kissed the Cup. That night she concieved and 9 months later a baby named Stanley C. (after the Cup) was born.

And of course that just made me think about the magic of the Cup some more and made me want it that much more. The days after a loss can be some of the worst days ever. Let's hope I'm not feeling this way come Monday morning.

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