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I’m Giving Her All She’s Got Captain

April 23, 2012


Almost every year, for a very long time, this time of year is a weary, often sleepless affair for the likes of me. I’m not alone. There are many who ride the roller coaster of NHL playoff hockey right along side me. In reality, under favorable circumstances, I spend everyday, all year, swimming around a pool of ice hockey. I can watch three games a day, only to be left wanting more. It’s all-consuming if I allow it to be. I’m not alone there either. Given that circumstances are not favorable in any sense of the word and my ability to temper the consumption when necessary, an ability gained over thousands upon thousands of articles, games & occasional jobs relating to ice hockey in experience, I’m far less “Hockeyfied” this season in most ways.

I had to let a lot of it go. I’m going through the process of letting the playoffs go right now as I type. It has to be done. It’s the only thing that can be done really. As I have done, in more recent blogging history (say over the last year), I point out that each post is merely part of a continuing situation and is not independent of itself. The simple reason for this is that life works exactly the same way. My blogs reflect the ebbs, flows and currents of my life. It’s my natural way, but based on a few e-mail conversations from those who have read the last three posts, I thought it best to give the previous information shape in form of text for all who read here to see (or be read if that’s the situation-I know I have at least one blind follower).

As for hockey, the only words I can summon in English to describe what hockey means to me is “hockey means everything.” I have plenty of other interests. If one roams the pathways of text included in either of my blogs, exploring the inner depths of my sharing in this form, one would have little ammunition to argue otherwise. Of that I am confident. For whatever reason, and I don’t ever search for that reason, I believe I was born because of hockey. That could mean many things. No matter what it means to you who are so gracious to read my posts and no matter how any should interpret what that means, to me, it just IS. To put it another way, if you know of the idea of “six degrees of separation”, you may understand what I mean when I say there is usually only one degree of separation between everything I see, hear, read, learn, feel, discuss, perceive, etc. and ice hockey in my world. When I say everything is relative to hockey, I literally mean it. When I say everything is relative to love I literally mean it. I love hockey and everything is relative.

So many different terms get used for things that are very similar to each other, that I’ll often avoid those terms in order to remove an “expectation bias” from thought when I approach communication. This is a trait formulated over 40 years in this human existence having life. With respect to hockey, the word “boring” is used by masses of those who express themselves about hockey. “Boring” is a relative term. It is relative to you. Everything is relative to you. Your understanding of the word “boring” is not exactly another’s understanding of “boring”. This is true words of every language. The translation of everything you are able to perceive is relative to you in the exact same way it is relative to me. Everything is relative, but it’s relative to each and every single living and non-living separate thing in the Universe. My point; any person who becomes internally angry at me because I do not have an argument, nor do I participate in arguments, over what is or what is not “boring” hockey should know that I have no memory of ever finding anything to do with hockey “boring” in any way. Hockey games fill me with more love for hockey, so “boring” doesn’t apply. It’s not that I do not want or refuse to “argue” about how exciting hockey should be played, it’s that ALL hockey is exciting to me, hence I do not have a means to “argue” about what the “right” way to play is or is not. It’s all “right” with me.

Some hockey teams do not work together well enough to win. That same hockey team can play the next game as a tight unit of effort and cohesiveness, yet lose because of an assortment of reasons that can’t ever be just one reason. No team loses only because the goalie made mistakes. No team loses only because they “suck”. The factors are broad, diverse, multiple and complex. None of those factors come out of a singular vacuum independent of continuing circumstances. I view ice hockey in this light and that makes an enormous amount of people furious with me. Everything is relative when a hockey game is being played. Suppose the Captain of your favorite hockey team has not been have to have a bowel movement for a few days, despite his bet efforts to make that happen. How well do you function when you are all stopped up and feeling the symptoms associated with this situation? Isn’t it possible that even that one thing could have an affect on something that happens when the Captain plays with the other humans who also play in a given game?

It’s not even a question of empathy (which is not the same as sympathy) in the previous situation, it’s more a realization that no matter how much money that Captain makes, no matter how many goals that Captain has scored or not scored in any other game, season, etc., no matter how reliant you, his team and himself (she is applicable here as well) may be on high level performance, none of that will change the fact that humans get constipated. The other people on the team are all in similar situations. One may have not gotten enough sleep due to circumstances far beyond the realm of control. The goalie may have hemorrhoids. The other team may be on crack. The refs may be suffering from dementia. The goal most may be possessed by the ghost of Jim Morrison. Who knows. Do you?

I operate as a hockey fan and a person who is unconditionally in love with hockey, under the following guidelines. I appreciate the humanness of those who play the sport I love. Money, contract, former “productivity” is not a measure that I use often. Those things do not correlate in meaningful ways to personal, human circumstances. Humans play hockey. I wonder sometimes if Tim Thomas might be a robot, but there’s no proof of that, so I’ll think he’s human until proven otherwise. Money does not stop depression. Money does not stop differences in culture. A large paycheck has nothing to do with where the player currently earning it was born. Everything is relative and everything does not exist in a vacuum independent of time. Hockey players have lives. Their lives do not exist in a vacuum independent of time.

I understand what a human life is because I am living a human life. This makes it easy for me to understand that in regular play, there are 12 humans on the ice playing and four officiating. I know that in any given game, at least one player on the ice has an injury of some kind, whether it be a cut rubbing on a pad or a broken bone. Those things affect games and most of the time, only but a scant few even know the injury exists. If I see five skaters on my team moving slower than normal, they are probably capable of moving their legs and I urge them to do so. If I see a goalie continue to move well above his paint in a back and forth game, not adjusting after being scored on twice because he was far above his paint, I will urge get my imaginary “goalie/cat” squirtgun out and imagine myself squirting the goalie every time he starts going a dangerous distance from his paint. Each and every game is different for different reasons. Something can work like miracle magic in one game, but the same things may not flow through as well in another game. They must play no matter what, so I will be supportive of them no matter what. That’s how I work and this fact seems to bewilder the heck out of a gigantic majority of those who express themselves about hockey, either directly to me or indirectly via internet/social media.

The anxiety, frustration, anger, disappointment felt by those who find hockey something to have in their lives is because everything is relative to you, but it is not you who has control of most of the factors playing into what you are watching. Let some of it go. You do have control over one very specific and very important thing though. You can support your team through good and bad. You can cheer for them when they are down, because that is when they need you the most. You can encourage them when they are in a losing streak, because that is when they need you the most. You may pay to see hockey, but you’ll have a better chance of getting a return on your money if you try to fill them with your support, rather than wait around so you can be angry when they disappoint. You make a difference. How many of you do your best work when people around you are angry, automatically assuming you will “suck” and generally quiet until you either succeed or fail. Cheer them up. Help get them up.  (The dirty minded folk may appreciate that last sentence on certain levels. I know I do.)

I view hockey the way I do. It’s never boring to me. I don’t hate other teams, I want my team to fire it up and beat the other teams. None of my energy gets wasted on hating the other team. It all goes into my team, because if they do everything they can to win and they beat the other team on top of that, the other team has been hurt, which is far worse than being hated in competitive team sports in my experience. Hating other humans because they support an opposing team is in no way the way I work. I appreciate the fact they are fans of the same sport that I love and I know that if my team wins, they will be disappointed as I will be when their team gets a “w” over my team. No team wins all 82 regular season games. No goalie stops every single shot in an 82 game regular season. No coach has the perfect, no mistakes, line-up for all 82 regular season games. No game is played in the same building with exactly the same noise level and faces in the crowd for all 82 games. The best I can be as a fan is to put my full attention into every game, every period, ever shift. I feel this way because I want my hockey team to be the best they can be every game, every period, every shift. If they are there, I am with them.

As for the Flyers/Penguins Round 1, Game 3 playoff game, I was horribly unhappy about what I termed a “spectacle”. Many people thought it was “exciting”. Many thought all hockey games should play out as that game did. I was and still am not one of those many. For the first time in my hockey watching life, at least 20 seasons watching no less than 50, but often hundreds, including a season hit the thousand mark of games watched, I have not boycotted any games, playoff series shown on television broadcasts. The remaining games in the Pens/Flyers series, I did not contribute to the ratings. I did not watch the rest of that series. That was first for me. I did it because game 3 was everything that hurt my heart filled with hockey love. My biggest issue was that Dan Bylsma (Pens head coach) was quickly becoming pulled into a fog. I have a very unique ability to “read” people. If you’ve seen the show “Lie To Me”, you have a basis for understanding what I mean. Crosby was worked up a lather of fire, which didn’t bother me at first. It was the way he tried to use his fire and how he attempted to fight. Crosby is the Captain and he couldn’t find suitable ways to release all that built-up, pent-up frustration (a normal result of testosterone and adrenaline creating increasing internal pressure boiling within). He couldn’t release enough at any point in time to have a productive game and it was toxic enough for long enough on the bench and on the ice that other players were indirectly also unable to release theirs, hence the flare ups were happening as greater and more intense amounts. In a playoff game, their is such a thing as too much and if the Captain is the one who needs to be settled a bit so the rest of the bench can sense it and start settling a little bit so the team can play together to win, the coach needs to recognize and rectify. If I were the coach and I knew Mario would fire me before I could even do a post-game presser for telling Crosby he needs to leave the bench, walk the tunnel, cuss like an angry sailor, beat the shine of a trash can or two, stomp, scream like he’s never screamed before and bash the wall with a previously broken stick lying around and do that until he had composure. I’d do it and coach my last game with the Penguins. If it turned out he was missing for 4 shifts, 8 shifts, or the rest of an entire period, I would have rather had him off the ice, and  let the rest work on gaining their composure while playing. Odds are, once he’d had a few good whacks or kicks at something and blurted out every worst name he could think to call the Flyers (or me), he’d feel a good enough release of pressure to have only missed just a few shifts. I would have bet my job on it in that situation. Bylsma had a distinct look of emptiness. I have never seen it before. The team just got violent and degraded to hair pulling. I do not support that as a hockey fan.

When I mentioned on Twitter that I would not watch the remainder of the series, because I will not contribute to the ratings. The ratings are a factor in the sort of behavior displayed on ice and because many seem to think what transpired is exciting and fun to watch, so the ratings increase, someone stated that one tv not tuned into to NBC won’t make a single bit of difference at all. I was told I wasn’t making a point to anyone just because one unhappy NHL fan won’t watch the rest the series.  I was then further informed that what I’m doing doesn’t make a difference, so I might as well just watch seeing that I have no chance of calling attention to the fact that one person did not watch the remainder of the games.

I did not respond to that person, but I am now in this form where others may also feel as that person did. It does matter. It matters to me. I said I would not support that sort of hockey. I meant it. I followed-through with my lack of support. I made a statement. That statement may not have done a single thing to the ratings for the remainder of the series, but it did matter to my word, my principles and love of hockey. One person doesn’t make a difference? One person can make, at the very least, a difference to that one person though. That matters to me.

On a related subject, focusing back on the idea of letting hockey go, it is the only way I know to make it easier for me spend the time I have left not holding on to something which I can no longer hold on to. I tried to get help in so very many ways. I’ve been doing everything I can to manage the situations that are collectively what is my current state of being. I’ve told numerous people a few months ago I was using whatever I’ve got left. I have. The money left will not sustain my any longer even in the most minimal, basic ways. The assistance I needed, I could not get. The medical issues which could have been dealt with some success in 2010 if I had not lost my government contract due to under funding have gone unchecked ever since. The pain I went through this winter living in cold of outdoors drained me further. The energy I’ve used moving things out of storage and from the previous place of living trauma and sorting, selling, unpacking, repacking and generally being emotionally beaten down seeing things broken, dirty, moldy, ruined and generally packed by others as though they were drunken monkeys with no sense of respect for another person’s property. The extent of waste and destruction I have encountered while trying to get everything organized after it had been thrown around with great, uncaring haste by people who felt they were being helpful to me has been an ocean of pure sadness. And it still continues.

At this point, any one who would like to tell me to “hang on” and “this too shall pass” and “stay strong because it will be OK,” I’ll give you blunt facts. I have nothing to hang on to. It shall indeed pass, because I will pass with it. Ok went away a long time ago. People with no money do not live for long. People with no money do not survive. I’m letting things go, because I do not want die angry, frustrated and wondering why so many people gave me so much false hope. False hope is a murderer of the heart. So many people connected with me, offering help, yet that help either never came, or it did come but the follow-through to see that help actually happen was not there. Much of the help I was offered was in the form “to do” lists which only added to the “to do” list I already contend with. Some help came, confused me, had me take the precious time I have and use it in a manner I still to this day do not understand. All sorts of people couldn’t understand why I wasn’t willing to move to their house in another state and sleep on a cot in their basements. I already sleep on a basement. I can’t personally handle temporary any more. I can’t. I’m strong, I’ve been through all sorts of hard, tough, bad times, but I’m not able to handle temporary anymore. I’m just not. You have to believe me.

It was an emergency more than a year ago. I’m going through the process of letting go, because emergencies tend to degrade to total no-return disaster if it continues for this long. I’m letting go because I don’t want any more false hope. I’m letting go because there’s no empirical evidence that I have a tangible reason to believe in that indicates my situation will improve or even level out fast enough to save my life. I’ve been fightning for a very long time. These days, I don’t want to me anymore. What for? Nobody can give me a particularly solid answer to that question. Life is worth living, but fooling myself into thinking I’m able to pull this plane out of nose dive by myself is unwise and emotional futile at this point. I’ll just let go. Life is not worth living if I hold onto the fact that I’ll starve, be overcome by the simple little medical things that have been slowly building to reduce my health on a day by day basis and cannot be addressed, especially not together, as parts of a whole picture, and it certainly isn’t worth living if I don’t let go of all the horror and deeply awful fellow humans who came at me over the years plundering, ruining, taking, stealing, bullying and all the many other reasons I’m in the position I’m in. Most of all of that, I have very little control of and when I did have control, I fought for dear sweet life over and over again. I have to let go of knowing other humans could have actually, truly, genuinely cared, but didn’t. I have to let go of that. I’m not carrying that with me any more. I’m not taking any of that with me any more, no matter where I’m going, in life or death. If I die faster than I might anticipate, I’m not taking all that with me. If I don’t die any time soon, because some unseen circumstance presents itself and stabilizes my situation, I’m not taking all that with me as I move forward.

Right now, hockey is slowly being let go. Going cold turkey made me something ugly and mean the last time I had to do it, so slowly, I’m easing myself into a non-hockey state of mind so that it will not torture with longing if I can’t get access to enough of it. A little hockey is not a “be grateful for what you got” sort of situation for me. That situation will make me goalie weird on speed with PMS. Not a good way to go, I can assure you.

All I can do it let go. I will always love hockey. I will always love music for being there for me in every possible way as I’ve travelled through life. My love of hockey will travel with me for eternity. No one can take that away.

I’m giving here all she’s got Captain. Sometimes, even Scotty couldn’t save the ship from disaster.

peace – mia – I love you

PS – For inquiring minds who have asked and I did not say:  My average tested IQ is 184. I will never take another IQ test again. I could care less about that number. It doesn’t define me in reference to others with IQ numbers. It just means I have speedy, well-developed neural pathways and highly accurate intuition. I’m a thinker, but I’m a whole bunch of other things too. Take it or leave it.

One Comment
  1. dj4jg permalink
    April 23, 2012 11:20 am

    I’ll take you… and all you have inside of you… for there in lies a bountiful treasure. Love ya, Mia! – DJ

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