For those of you who don’t know I’m a huge hockey fan. I grew up watching the ‘Mighty Ducks’ movies, and as a result instantly fell in love with the sport. Not only did I love hockey, but I also became an avid fan of the Anaheim Ducks.
During the season I listen to almost every game on the radio, get text updates to my phone, and watch whatever games I can. Needless to say, I love it when playoffs come around and the Ducks are in it. The 2013 playoffs is one of those years and this series against the Detroit Redwings has been amazing! I’ve been able to watch most of the games at friends houses and it has been so close! Out of 6 games 4 of them went into over time, and in two of them the Ducks came back from at least 2 goals down in the 3 period to tie up the game. I’ve never been more nervous and excited during a 1st round series before!
Last night, however, the Ducks lost. I wore my jersey and everything, but I suppose the magic wore off after the 3rd period. In the last 3 mins of the game they came back to tie up the game 3-3, but in the first 2 mins of Overtime the Red Wings scored. Now the series is headed to game 7, yet again. I predicted this would happen, but dreaded the thought of it going to game 7 – even now I’m so nervous about what could happen, knowing I’ll either be relieved or heart broken.
While I was watching the game last night I noticed something different: I love hockey more because of the deep friendships that continue because of the sport.
Yes, I love the games, anticipation, victory, atmosphere, ect… but what I love the most are the friendships that continue to exist because of the sport. During the entire game last night I was tweeting a dear friend of mine named Andrew. Andrew is an avid Detroit Redwings fan who is teaching English in Japan. We met in college and hockey immediately brought us together. It all started because I hated (and still hate) the Redwings, and wanted him to know. Then Detroit played Anaheim in the second round 2009 playoffs and won in game 7. It was a sad year – for me at least.
Every time hockey comes back around I send him a message – normally making fun of his team – and every year a new rivalry begins. I love this! Last night was no different. I sent him a message as soon as the Ducks tied it up and he sent me back the reply, “Absolute Garbage”. Then when the Redwings won in OT, we both sent each other messages to wish each other luck in game 7. As I walked out of the door to go home I realized how much I cherish these friendships.
Sunday is game 7 and it is going to be crazy! The more I think about it the more I realize that we are both going to be super nervous during it. Both of us are going to be on the edge of our seats, and only one of our teams will make it. But I’m okay with that. Actually, I’d have it no other way. These aren’t just games, these are memories being created. This isn’t just about hockey; it is about friendships that may have fizzled out if the sport did not exist. This isn’t just a game 7; it is an opportunity to cheer for your friend along with yourself while excepting the fact that you are okay with losing for their sake.
But I still hope the Ducks win.