Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Lockout is Ending, But my Frustration is Not

When my husband texts me at 6 o'clock in the morning anxiety shoots through my body like lightening. I assume something terrible is happening since well if I text him any earlier than 10am ever it is an issue. But today, the text message read:

"Tentative Agreement Has Been Reached. Hockey is Coming Back" 
"Merry Little Christmas, Jesus was given the best gift this year"

Immediately I am overjoyed. The lockout induced depression that has been in this household has become unbearable. Normally, the NHL Season starts and the New York Rangers schedule sits proudly on our refrigerator. All plans made are around this schedule, and when I moved in with my Husband I kept a promise that I will never keep him from a Ranger game. Hockey is something we truly enjoy, and since 2008 I share in the love of the sport that my Husband so deeply has. Hockey is thrilling to me, the players in the NHL are true athletes. Who else can balance while skating backwards dodging hits while focusing on the puck? Nobody. And while my smile seems permanently strewn across my face an unsettling feeling creeps up into my system. 

While Hockey is Returning, You Will Not See Me at a Game 

My frustration started during the Playoffs last year. The Rangers were amazing. They were playing like we haven't seen in a long time and it was so exciting. Every game my Husband sat in the same spot watching our team as they did us proud, or not so proud. I will never forget the devastation that was caused by their loss to The Devils in the final rounds before The Cup. I was working, wearing my jersey in the middle of the mall talking to fans who stopped by to check to see if I was streaming the game at my post. I got home just in time to watch the game close out our fighting season and my Husband hung his head, went into the bathroom and shaved off his mighty playoff beard. The problem I had during this time was the fact that Playoff tickets could only be afforded by businessmen and tourists - true fans couldn't even sit in the 'blue seats' for the prices asked. We splurged on many trips into the Garden, in fact I did some rough math. Last year for the 2011-2012 Hockey Season, between my Husband and myself,  around $2,000 was spent on Hockey Tickets & Merchandise. This number is so high because of our splurging on The Winter Classic which obviously meant so much to us since it did top my Top 100 of 2012 list. We went to the NYR & NYK Double Header at MSG, a few games including one that lifted our spirits as we mourned the loss of Nanny (The Rangers killed the Panthers 6-1 on December 11th 2011. Nanny, a fan, never got to see the Blueshirts play at the Garden, this meant the world to us). And even with sentimental value we spent more than we could afford on a sport we loved just for the pure enjoyment we got out of it. 

And what did this estimated two grand get us? A f@*%!ing lockout. 

It almost seems silly when you detach yourself and realize how much you emotionally invest in sporting events and music. Even when I defended Jack White for his September RCMH Shows I had to smirk at how much we really take pride in things that we do not even participate in. I hit my head on walls when I stand too close to them, do you really think I can skate? No. My Husband can shoot a puck and strum a guitar but he isn't getting paid what these guys get paid. I have a serious issue when the fans, who make not nearly what the athletes or musicians make are the ones shelling out the dough and getting a cat fight in return. While in this Lockout, my best friend and fellow NYR fan reminded me of a prominent scene in one of the best movies ever made: 

It is true, is the NHL going to pay my credit card bills for the tickets I charged? Is the NHL going to apologize for showing that while I thought they were the only professional sports league left not fueled by green but by heart that I was wrong? Are they? No. They're not. The Rangers got robbed of a promising season, and fans got robbed of the escape they crave. 

Will I continue to buy knock off jerseys? Yes. Will I continue to tune in especially when this lockout is a distant memory (until Bettman pulls this shit again in 10 years)? Yes. Am I so over the moon excited to hear Mr. Sam Rosen's voice again - IT'S A POWER PLAY YES! Am I saddened and disappointed by millionaires fighting will billionaires? You bet your ass yes. 

But, I am leaving this entry opened ended as I will probably blog about The Rangers as the season progresses. I follow too many Hockey Blogs and get too invested in the games to not lend my two cents from time to time - when Twenty Something Stephanie gets a makeover as a blog in the upcoming months there will be a specific section for my Rangers loving. This entry is not filled with the facts and statistics I have been obsessing over because you will be able to find all of that elsewhere. When I have a Hockey specific section be prepared for me to throw those numbers at ya, this is meant for pure opinion - I will not be buying a ticket to MSG to watch the boys fly - I just can't. Because while King Hank is amazing - he isn't going to pay my bills is he? While I look forward to going back to see The Rangers in the famous arena, I am locking this season out and will be enjoying from home. 

With that said, LET'S GO RANGERS!

(is it too early for this shit? haha)

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