I never was a great athlete in high school or college. Sure, I ran cross country and track, but I was never really good at it. I did it for the physical fitness and for the team comrade of it all. It wasn’t until after college back in 1998 when I first gave hockey a try. That was back in 1998 when I didn’t even need to wear skates to play. Fast forward 11 years later to today, and I am still playing now. I got into the team sports later in life, but one thing that I learned was that anyone can win a one game playoff. You have to take the opportunity to make your mark when you can.
There were games that I sucked hardcore and there are games where I came out on top. There were bad bounces that went for and against me. I have seen just about every ending that was possible, and I have been subject to the greatest of victories and the most humblest of defeats. I have made it to the finals as a team that wasn’t supposed to win and upset a top ranked team when it counted. I have also been that top ranked team and been upset.
Driving home from watching the MSU game tonight, I was more than a little sick to my stomach watching the game. UNC played a awesome game thats for sure. I just wish MSU would have played better. Anytime you turn the ball over 16 times and the other team only has 4 turnovers, its going to be a long game. UNC deserved this victory and MSU deserved to lose the game.
I have been in that situation before where it just seems that you can do nothing right. The puck doesn’t bounce your way. Your passes are all just a little off. The deflections go your opponents way all night. The other team seems to capitalize on every opportunity. In the end, unless you are extremely lucky, you are going to lose those games. MSU just couldn’t overcome shooting themselves in the foot multiple times.
I remember when the Red Wings were ousted by the Devils back in 1995 in a sweep. I was physically ill watching that game as well. Same with the Colorado defeat in 1996. Still, I learned a very valuable lesson when I started playing hockey. In subsequent years when the teams I root for just couldn’t get it done, I am a lot more accepting now. Sure, I still get upset, but not as upset as I used to. I know how the game is played and there are times where you just aren’t going to win that game that you so desperately want.
If anything, I am more motivated to play tomorrow. Malys acquired a playoff spot with a big 5-1 win tonight over the #2 team in the division. I believe in Malys being able to do some damage in the playoffs next weekend. I also believe in Marketlab doing some damage in playoffs on Saturday next week. Most of all, I believe in myself and my ability to win any game and achieve any goal in front of me.
Playing hockey has given me a whole new outlook on the way I cheer on the teams that I enjoy watching and accept the results even in a tough loss.