the rant re: Sunday's game

(So, the Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks, March 14. Here's my recap--language advisory! Also, there's some sarcasm here, but I'll leave it to you to determine how serious, or not, this all is...This was neither written nor posted in the heat of anger, by the way.)

Fuck NBC for broadcasting this game, because I still don't have NBC reception and keep unsuccessfully begging people to record these games for me (not that I want to rewatch it...). Fuck NBC for scheduling it so early, and right after the "spring forward" part of daylight savings time. Fuck the early start because the Blackhawks have a terrible record with day games. Fuck that I had to leave after 9 to get there right after 10 to get the free hat. Fuck that a discussion I had with someone I know outside reminded me I was going to this game alone (like all but two games at the UC this season, and all games at Allstate) and put me in an existential despair. Fuck that the person with the season ticket next to me never showed up, making things worse.

Fuck Alex Ovechkin for the hit on Brian Campbell. Fuck Jordan Hendry and Colin Fraser for their penalties late in the game and the Blackhawks collapse. Fuck Nicklas Backstrom for his game-winning goal, and that I had to look up his name to make sure I didn't spell it like the other NHL'er, Niklas Backstrom.

Fuck that this was the first time I'd seen the Blackhawks lose to an eastern conference team in person, and the first time I saw them lose in overtime. Fuck that this was their first OT (as opposed to shootout) loss this season.

Fuck that Twitter died right before I left for the game so I had no way to get in touch with/try to meetup with the many people I follow who were going to the game. Fuck that a Milwaukee friend, the first person I knew of as a Blackhawks fan, was at that game (his first this season?) and I didn't know till later.

Fuck the first caller to WGN's postgame show, who said "Maybe I'm not drinking the goaltender Kool-Aid like you are..." "Which saves should Niemi have made?" "I didn't watch the game." Fuck everyone who blamed the Blackhawks losses this weekend on goalies, did THEY watch the games?

Fuck the totally packed Wicker Park coffeeshop Filter that I went to after the game, because I sat in there 45 minutes in a Hawks shirt and no one asked the game result. Fuck that they all have laptops and Blackberries, unlike me, and could check the score. Fuck that it's more likely they're a bunch of pretentious sports-hating hipsters who didn't know about the game, and the fact I spent so many years in Chicago around art school types like that is a reason I didn't get into sports sooner.

(great hash browns and coffee, though)

Fuck the comments I saw on Twitter when I got back. Fuck Mike Milbury for his comments on NBC I didn't know about till then, criticizing the penalty. Fuck Scotty Hockey and Japer's Rink (via Twitter yesterday, I don't know if they blogged it) for saying, respectively, the hit shouldn't have gotten a penalty at all (!!!) or just a minor penalty. Fuck all the rumors flying around about Campbell's injuries. Fuck that they pretty much turned out to be true later.

Fuck that Japer's Rink (Capitals blog, for any readers who don't follow it), on their game recap thread, had 800+ comments by late evening and I could count on one hand the number that expressed sympathy when Campbell's injuries were confirmed. Fuck their commenters for saying (right after the hit) that he was embellishing it, and since he walked off the ice he was obviously okay, and the penalty was ridiculous (right, because all concussions and internal injuries are immediately visible).

Fuck that after the Blackhawks matchups this weekend and what I read online from followers of these teams, I'm left thinking of Flyers fans as generally decent, and Capitals fans as amoral, hypocritical scumbags (except for a sensible one I follow on Twitter).

Fuck Deadspin for calling it a "terrible call"" yesterday (I have problems with that site but agree with most of their opinions on sports.) Fuck Ryan Lambert's Puck Daddy column today, not for anything he said about the hit, but for his "What We Learned" summation of the Blackhawks this weekend: "Chicago's goaltending: playoff-ready." Did HE watch the games?

...Okay, more about Ovechkin's hit. (And remember, I'm surprisingly neutral on most things Crosby/Penguins and Ovechkin/Capitals related, unlike the folks who drag that into every topic on Puck Daddy...) I think it was a dirty hit. I'm fine with the penalties. I'm not sure about suspension or how many games it should be. It's very frustrating, especially as a Bruins fan, that Matt Cooke's hit on Marc Savard didn't even get a penalty, much less a game misconduct or suspension, when it was a dirtier hit and also ended the season for a star player. But all the people saying you can't suspend Ovechkin because the NHL didn't suspend, isn't there some common phrase about "two wrongs" I could familiarize you with?

Do I think Ovechkin is a dirty player? No, not like Cooke, or Steve Downie, who had a cheapshot versus the Penguins yesterday. But even if he doesn't have the bad intentions and general sleazebaggery of players like that, I can't just write off incidents like the Campbell hit as "oh, that's the risk of his style of play" or whatever. Makes me think of a older relative or neighborhood eccentric who says odd, sometimes amusing things, but "Oh sure, sometimes he'll say that women shouldn't have the vote anymore or all illegal immigrants should be shot, but that's just Jerry being Jerry! What a character!" Uh, okay...

Note: as I wrote the above, a two-game suspension came down. Not sure if I'll have more to say about this (oh, I didn't even address how having Brian Campbell out will affect the Hawks' defense now...), but I will have more about the rest of the hockey weekend (which mostly was not much fun for me).

No comments: