As the Canucks get set to finish off their east coast road trip and the recent string of early starts comes to an end, I’m realizing that being a hockey fanatic isn’t as easy as it used to be. First, I’m sore from last night’s beer league hockey game, so my aggressive fist pumps are mellowed. Second, I’m feeling guilty about shirking my baby bathing duties that have become part of my nightly routine, so my usual diligent hockey spectating is unfocused. And third, my near obsessive post-game stats analysis will have to wait as I’ve got to wash the dishes from my wife’s dinner party. I’m reconizing that being a hockey fanatic requires having just the right perspective in order to continue being a contributing member of society and still catch all the must-see games.
My twenties were the peak of my hockey fanaticism. I used to plan my life around the Canucks. Dinner?! On a Saturday night when the Nucks are playing the Flames – you’re joking right? You want me to work overtime? You realize that the big game – and they were all big games – starts in one hour? Well suffice it to to say, my social and work lives were a little pathetic at times, but hey, somehow I managed to get married, start a family, and score a sweet job. The only problem: it’s much harder to slough off my work and family duties to watch an afternoon game against the Buffalo Sabres. Thankfully, my real job allows me to watch the highlights.
Now of course, I wouldn’t give up my family or even my job for my team to bring home the Stanley Cup. In fact what I’ve just come to realize, and I hope all my fellow Canucks fanatics can realize, is that having a life outside of hockey fandom makes the moments when I can sit down and enjoy a game (like I plan to this Saturday night when the Canucks take on the Blackhawks) better than ever. When you put it all in the right perspective, even for a fanatic like me, hockey is simply a reflection of life and is not the meaning of life.
Canucks — Get into it!