Friday, March 5, 2010

Lucky 13

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Red Wings vs. Predators game at the Joe tonight. Unless I somehow con someone into giving me playoff tickets, it will be my last game this season. Infinitely more heartbreaking is the knowledge that it may have been my last game at JLA; currently we don't know where the Red Wings are playing next year- maybe JLA, maybe the Palace- and even that will be a short-term lease agreement so a new arena can be built. They desperately need this new arena; the Joe is what I like to call ghetto-fabulous and is reaching the point where upkeep costs more than building a new (sponsored) arena. I'm excited to see what Ilitch Holdings and the city of Detroit come up with; I'm sad to see the arena of my childhood go.

I suck at making decisions, so when I was preparing for this game I called my dad and asked him what jersey I should wear. I actually own four: Yzerman, Federov, Filppula, and Datsyuk. We decided that we didn't want to match, which knocked out #19. #91 basically lives in my closet and doesn't make appearances- I'm still not over how he left. #51 would be my first choice except my jersey is HUGE and also has the 2008 SCF patch on it, and I dislike patches. We decided I would wear #13.

Pavel Datsyuk is a clear fan favorite. He led the team in points and +/- the last two years; he wears an A on his jersey; he is a two-time Selke and four-time Lady Byng winner, and a Hart nominee; he gives all that he has to this team and this city.

I love him for all those reasons, but also because he seems to be a genuinely good person. He jokes around with reporters and mentors the young players and very clearly puts his family first.

The Thursday night before the beginning of my spring break, I was basically at the end of my rope. I had spent hours throughout the week editing position papers and preparing for midterms and writing papers and taking midterms and then editing more position papers. Despite all the work I had already done, I wound up having to stay up until 2:00 that night to get the papers done. Of course, the papers that weren't finished were the worst ones, making the experience all the more frustrating. Everyone else I talked to was just as stressed, so tensions were running high. I decided that I needed a break and started poking around on twitter... where I saw this:

NHLShanny- Saw Datsyuk at breakfast. Expected him to be crushed. His little daughter was cuddling & kissing him. His smile was huge. Perspective.

(This was the day after the Canada/Russia blowout)

This might seem silly, but I can't explain how much that lifted my spirits. Knowing that one of my favorite players wasn't going to brood on his disappointing Olympics and was already looking forward made me smile, and it was a lovely reminder that people can persevere and be happy. It was also a reminder that, awful as my week had been, it could have been a lot worse.

Thank you #14 for posting that, and thank you #13 for never failing to make me smile.

Oh, and thanks for scoring this danglelicious (thanks, VS announcers) goal tonight: