The fall will always bring many things. Colder weather, changing trees, turkeys, school buses, and shitty movies that weren’t good enough to be released in the summer. Ultimately it is also the best time of the year for any true sports fan. MLB and CFL are wrapping up and heading into the playoffs. NFL is now four weeks in with various teams emerging as favorites. NBA is right around the corner as we wait to see if Lebron can cement his legacy with another ring, just like the world is waiting patiently to see if I can cement my legacy with a fourth fantasy basketball league title. Finally, last but certainly not least, the most important sport to anyone who bleeds maple syrup, loves beavers, and lives in the great white north – hockey starts tonight.
To be completely honest with you all, I haven’t prepared myself this season with the same vigor and intensity as previous years, which is evident by my lack of blog entries. I had intended to breakdown all the Habs off season moves and give my two cents. As well I wanted to run a preview breaking down our division and the Habs chances of success this year. Here is the coles notes version. They will be hard pressed to repeat the regular season success from last year and I hope fans will temper their expectations. Team success will depend on Carey as usual, and the success of special teams, as well as the continued development of our young players. All very obvious facts but nonetheless important to mention. The X factors will be whether or not the Habs can match the toughness that the other teams in the division possess, and I don’t mean pound for pound, because the Habs don’t have the guns for that. I mean the ability to hold your ground and fight back and earn respect, and then hit him where it really hurts: the scoreboard. Finally the continued emergence of P.K Subban as an elite force is paramount to the team’s success. Although he won the Norris last year P.K is still on the bubble when it comes to the top 3 to 5 defensemen in the league. However I fully expect him to make the leap into the top 3, as well as earn his monster contract for the next 6-8 years.
So there is my breakdown in a nut shell. Alas, before you point your dirty finger and charge me with 2 counts of laziness and 79 counts of being too drunk to type, I have a very good reason for not having time to devote to my blog. Approximately two weeks ago my lovely wife, known to all of you as Bats, gave birth to a beautiful and healthy 8 pound Habs fan. It was an incredible moment that would have only been more special if he was born wearing a tiny red Habs jersey.
After 12 days of raising my newborn, I realized 2 things:
a) My child is already taller than David Desharnais.
b). There isn’t much difference in many emotions when it comes to being a father and being a devoted hockey (sports) fan.
Give me a minute while I dodge a couple of dirty diapers Bats launched at me for comparing our baby to a hockey team. (I’ll tell you if this kid has her arm, we may have to bring the Expos back)
Listen up, I broke it down into 3 points and I challenge anyone who has kids and loves the Habs (or any team for that matter) like I do, to tell me if this doesn’t sort of make sense.
1) Sleepless Nights: Now let’s see…Baby is crying and you stay up to comfort him – It’s the playoffs and we’re headed into triple OT and you stay to watch! Baby isn’t feeling well and you’re worried about him – Habs are in a slump and you’re up late worried about them. You need to wake up every few hours to prep a bottle and feed the baby – You stay at the bar late and drink a bottle every hour to deal with the ups and downs of the season.
Aww Crap: That’s right, poop. How many times has it felt like the Habs just pooped all over you? How many times have you said they just shat the bag when getting blown out or losing a series. Well let me tell you something about newborns; just like your Habs, the outcome is totally out of your control and you will be pooped and peed on. My favorite example here is during the 07-08 season after the Habs finished first overall. They narrowly beat Boston in the first round and won the first game of the second round against the Flyers…I was feeling great…and then poop: they proceeded to shit all over me by getting reverse swept. This in fact is the rare instance of “outta nowhere, what the eff” poop. This is when you are feeling good and think you’re in the clear; the baby’s eyes are closed, he’s about to enter deep sleep…and then PFFFFTTTFRRRTT!… … …Poop.
Irrational love: Here is the best part of both sides and herein lies the one significant difference. There is no real way to explain the bond with your child. In my case he is in essence a stranger that I have to get to know but I love him already. Yes I also love the Habs and have tried to explain why (please read The Pursuit of Habbyness if curious) but some people still don’t understand. Obviously the comparison here is the amazing feeling I get when I see my baby smile or watch the Habs win a big game. The emotion you feel the first time your baby holds your finger or cheering for an injured player who returns from a serious injury or illness. The euphoria you get when your baby giggles and laughs and watching the Habs make a run through the playoffs (ps: neither of these thing has happened. My baby is too young to laugh and the Habs…well it’s been a few years since they went deep into the playoffs and it’s been 21 years since the Cup…ugh I will now go dunk my head in the pot of boiling water used to sterilize baby bottles.)
Of course the fundamental difference here is I will always love my child even when he’s crying and keeping me up, even when he decides to drop a number two on me and use his weewee as a super soaker and my face as the target. While the Habs…well let’s just say I’ve thought about kicking them to the curb a few times after…but who am I kidding? I love you Habs, and always will.
I can’t wait for this season to start as it will be extra special for me as it’ll be the first season ever I get to watch with my son. (Although Bats has already told me I’m not allowed to hold him during third periods).
Now let’s just hope they both stop pooping on me soon.
Go Habs Go.