Posts Tagged ‘1998’

Dear Winnipeg Jets,

I apologize for this formal and outright old-school way of letting you know how I feel, but Blake Wheeler won’t respond to my persistent tweets about Tobias Funke (his dog) and I’m not sure how else to get through to you.

Seriously.

I can remember the day that hockey broke my heart. I remember it like it was yesterday, I mean, mostly because I refuse to believe that my age is relevant, and that 1998 was actually just mere seconds ago. 98 Degrees announced their reunion this week, so I think I’m right about this.

Everything fell apart for me when the ultimate gentleman, Paul Kariya had his face taken off in 1998 by Gary Suter. And it wasn’t the first time little, swift, heart-of-gold Paul had been viciously smashed in the head by someone larger than him, and surely wouldn’t be the last. My mum would tell me these things happen because someone is jealous of you. I see you, Gary. I’m looking right into your jealous soul. You too, Patrick Kaleta, and especially you, Scott Stevens.

 

But this letter isn’t about the pain or the years that followed, wherein hockey and I didn’t see eye-to-eye. This is a letter about hot, lusty attraction.

When I was sent packing (with my arms crossed, pouting through the airport) to Winnipeg for work, I set my sights on going to a Jets game, and I can’t explain it. It’s as if all of the stars had aligned into the shape of a fictional fighter plane, and some mystic force disguised as -20 degree weather was pulling me towards that hangar where I would be the only person that wasn’t clad in the right (or wrong) colours that night in February. My ticket purchase was like a sketchy drug deal and to be honest, I kind of liked it. Dangerous and sexy, just like the movie ‘Entrapment’ with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

And in I went, to the NHL’s little-engine-that-could venue, the MTS Centre. With my arena-pizza and large soda in hand, I was among friends. The excitement amoung the 15,004 fans was a force, exactly the way I imagine it feels to be in the front row at a Justin Bieber concert where he actually touches your outstretched hand and then you vow never to wash that hand again. It’s also equally, if not louder than this alleged Bieber show I’ve never been to.

It was there, on that February night that I was seduced by the bright lights, the announcer’s voice, and the mass booing of Chara whenever he was within ten feet of the puck. I heard Chara is a really nice guy, but I mean, NOT IN YOUR HOUSE. My version of the ‘Go Jets Go’ chant perhaps borderline made people think that my pizza was laced with caffeine pills (or crack).

Your line-up hierarchy is incredible. It’s the only time in the history of the entire world that the women’s washroom line up is the sixth longest.

1. Beer

2. The other beer line

3. Mens washrooms

4. Tim Horton’s

5. 50/50 line up

6. Women’s washrooms

 

I left that night wanting more of it all. I wanted to say ‘Byfuglien’ over and over because I finally could pronounce it correctly with ease. The taste of a delicious victory on my lips, I went back again to see you trample on the dreams of the Avalanche. And then I kept following, cursing the Maple Leafs for taking up valuable air time on my Ontario television with all of their losing.

 

The flying-W on Mar. 1 was like all of my mighty childhood dreams coming true. Okay, fine. It’s not actually called a flying-W, but see if I care! It’s as if Paul Kariya and Emilio Estevez were collectively egging them on (on my behalf) to create such a magical moment. It’s no coincidence that both Jets and Ducks fly. Together.

 

 

And Ondrej Pavelec, is he even a human? Does it matter?

 

 

Last night, I regained consciousness after 16 seconds of overtime when Andrew Ladd gave the gift of official elimination from the playoffs to the Carolina Hurricanes, as you beat those pesky storms 4-3. Sure, there’s practically no chance of making the playoffs. Putting my confidence in Montreal and Toronto to both win, and on the same night? That’s far too much to ask. But as Jean Girard in Talladega Nights said to Ricky Bobby,

“I will battle you with the entirety of my heart and you will probably lose. But maybe, just maybe. You might challenge me. The Beatles needed the Rolling Stones. Even Diane Sawyer needed Katie Couric.”

 

 

There’s something to be said about rooting for the underdog. Even the roughest exterior on the team that Atlanta didn’t want gives light to an electric personality that would make even the tightest of panties get a little bit closer to dropping.

Please Winnipeg, be my Rolling-Stone-singing Katie Couric.

xoxo

Steph

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