Thursday, February 17, 2011

And I'll Find Strength In Pain

Photo by Linda Hamilton. "The Faces of Lightning Hockey"

Tonight was the most depressing experience I have had at a Lightning game in a very long time. Not since OK Hockey and Brian Lawton and having 40+ defensemen suiting up for the team in a single season. The Red Wings were in town, the media was hyping things out of control since it was Stevie Y versus his former team. And it felt like I was in Detroit. There were that many red jerseys in the stands. There were that many people cheering each Red Wing goal. There were three octopi thrown onto TAMPA ice. It made me absolutely sick to my stomach.

I understand that the Lightning will never have as many fans as an Original Six team. There's too much history there. It's complicated further by the fact that so many people who live in Florida are from somewhere else originally. They might locate and adopt local teams, but they keep their allegiances to the teams they grew up with. I can't point fingers there, I'm from somewhere else originally. I live in Tampa but maintain my loyalty to the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Boston Red Sox. It's just frustrating. Really really frustrating.

This is when we have to take the advice of the coaches and players. Forget about this game and move on to the next one. Tomorrow is another day to regroup and move forward. Another day for the guys on the injured list to get a little bit healthier. There's another game on Saturday. And I'm pretty sure I won't be surrounded by a sea of Panthers jerseys then.

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