Rockin' the Red (one last time in the '09-'10 season)

Rockin' the Red (one last time in the '09-'10 season)
Max headed to school on Game 7

Saturday, September 22, 2012

If the lockout had been in 2008-09...

If the lockout had been in 2008-09...
There wouldn't have been any playoffs that season, when my then 5-year-old son got hooked the moment Sergei Federov scored the game-winning goal for the Caps in Game 7 against the Rangers in Round 1... He wouldn’t have cried himself to sleep after the Caps blew it against the Penguins in Game 7 of Round 2... A kid who had to be forced onto the field for tot soccer, had shown no interest in sports, and had never been on the ice, wouldn’t have woken up the morning after that playoff game saying “I want to win the Stanley Cup”... He wouldn’t have started skating lessons immediately... He wouldn’t have gotten hockey gear. My husband and I wouldn’t have mastered the art of putting it all on him... He wouldn’t have spent hours playing hockey in our basement or on our driveway, where he consistenly scores the game-winning goal and wins the Stanley Cup... He wouldn’t have become a Mite. Or a Squirt... He wouldn't know what Sticks and Pucks was... He would never have met some of his closest friends, his hockey teammates... His love for hockey wouldn't have rubbed off on his two younger brothers who are learning to play the game. Or his mom, who also is... He wouldn’t be a fan who, despite throwing up in the car on the way to the Caps game, wanted to go anyway... He wouldn’t have played hooky in first grade to spend the day at a Caps pep rally... He wouldn’t have Caps players’ birthdays marked on his calendar and bedroom walls covered in NHL fatheads... He wouldn’t be able to name every province in Canada, which he learned by studying the team roster... He might not care where Russia is... He might not have been glued to the Gold Medal hockey game in the 2010 Winter Olympics... He wouldn't wake up early every morning of the NHL season to watch highlights from the night before, and check league standings... He wouldn’t have stayed up until well after midnight on a school night, only to watch his favorite team lose in triple OT; or to experience the pure exuberance of watching them score an OT-winning goal in Game 7 of the playoffs... He wouldn't always identify Superbowl Sunday with the day that his family traveled through an epic DC snowstorm in 2010 to watch the Caps beat the Penguins in OT... Living in the DC-area, he might have known who Ovechkin was, but he might not have waited hours in the parking lot after practice to get his autograph and pose for a picture with him... After moving to Connecticut, he would never have shown up at MSG wearing the visiting team's jersey... He simply wouldn't be an obsessive hockey fan, or a hockey player. He became a player because he became a fan during that '08-'09 NHL season... And he wouldn't be sad that he's on the brink of never seeing a regular-season NHL game when he's 9 years old... Here's hoping there's a '12-'13 season - not just for a current fan like my son, but for the fan who just needs the chance to become one.

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