Sunny days, everybody loves them
Tell me baby, can you stand the rain?
Storms will come
This we know for sure (This we know for sure)
Can you stand the rain? ~ New Edition, “Can You Stand The Rain?”
We are in the middle of winter. There was snow last night; there was sunny weather today.
The weekend of the Super Bowl, it rained. It rained so much, I joked that I needed a canoe to get around. Pretty sure I saw one floating down Broadway. Of course, I needed to be outside, taking care of pets and not hunkering down, eating bad carbs and watching a game where I had a healthy hate for both teams.
Being a dog walker can be fun and on bad days, when you love your pets, it can make them not so bad. On a rainy day though, that separates the true believers from the poseurs.
And since my last post, which celebrated the life of my beloved furry baby, Cassie, I spent some time not only mourning her loss, but also mourning the loss of my sports teams. Which was very palatable. At least in the past, I’ve had sports as escapism. With the Seahawks puttering out at the end of the season, the Rangers basically in back-up-the-truck mode now, and the Mets being not so cautiously optimistic for 2018, these teams haven’t done much to make me forget my pain.
This also marked the first year I haven’t seen the Seahawks in a postseason since I started following them in earnest. Someone told me, though, early in the hockey season, that I better hope the Seahawks do something because the Rangers were looking maddeningly frustrating.
Well, I seem to not be able to exist without my teams frustrating me, so I figured bring it on. Plus, out of all my teams, the Seahawks always leave me pleasantly surprised. And the Rangers, well, we can find a way for them to make it to the playoffs. Right?
It seems like Ray Ramirez’ golden shit touch has infiltrated my teams. Well, the Seahawks since nearly everyone was injured, and it was tough to come out of that hole.
The last day of the season, they were officially eliminated from making it to the postseason, before they even officially lost a nail-biting heartbreaker of a game. I suppose it was fitting. 2017 was a shitty year for me personally, it was motherfucking cold that day, and it was New Years’ Eve. 2018 had to be better by definition.
Then New Years’ Day, the Rangers played a Winter Classic game at my baseball summer home, CitiField. If it was fucking freezing here, on Manhattan Island, it was probably polar vortex meets Antarctica gusts in Queens.
The Rangers won. It was ice cold, but they played red hot that day. If I felt concerned and not at all hopeful of their play, I felt like despite the unnerving weather, they had given us hope.
Turns out, it was the last time I felt any hope about this team’s performance. Everything has gone downhill since. As of February 18th, they lost 15 games out of their last 21. Oof. And the worst part is that letter to the fans, talking about a rebuild? It was sent on February 8th! 10 fucking days ago. As we like to say on Twitter, back up the fucking truck, and they made it official in writing. But it just seemed to have gotten worse and worse as time goes on.
#NYR HC Alain Vigneault: “This is definitely not a pleasant time for us. But again, you have to keep doing your jobs, both players and coaches, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
— Sean Hartnett (@HartnettHockey) February 18, 2018
So let’s talk about AV for a second, who had the understatement of the year above. I notoriously defended and called myself a Terry Collins apologist while he was with the Mets. It wasn’t his fault he was given mostly shit to work with in his years as Mets manager. AV though, I’m sure Sonny from A Bronx Tale would have a word with him about “wasted talent.” For a team that made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013-14, and all the way to Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Final in 2014-15, he has managed to not get the best of his team in his time as head coach. Even in those years when they seemed destined for something big. That’s a problem. Especially with an aging Henrik Lundqvist.
Above all, Henke does not deserve this shit.
The first one on the flat bed truck is AV. But Henrik must go too, for the betterment of himself and the team. Unfortunately I cannot see the team being a success without sending him someplace else to potentially win. And talk about squandering a talent while he was there.
No great goaltender can win The Stanley Cup on his own. Hasek won his first career Stanley Cup at age 37 and on a loaded Red Wings team that included Lidstrom and Chelios. Brodeur needed Niedermayer and Stevens to win his three Cups. What HOF d-man has Lundqvist ever played with?
— Sean Hartnett (@HartnettHockey) February 18, 2018
When I was younger, I didn’t know much about what went into building a team, any team, be it baseball or football, even hockey. I remember my dad making a rationalization about a player saying “You could build around him, though.” The way I taught myself about sports is the way I relate to it, and I could relate to building around a player. I guess it’s apropos that an MLB Network documentary on Field Of Dreams, where the saying “if you build it, they will come” was coined, is playing in the background now. Because if you build it, they will come. And by “they,” it means talent and by “they will come,” means making the team attractive enough for players to want to be there.
I hate to see Henrik Lundqvist be the sacrificial lamb here. And I know his contract terms might be a bit onerous right now. It leaves basically everyone else to go elsewhere. Yet, when it comes to the Rangers, how many times have we seen our all-stars go elsewhere and win? Marian Gaborik. The centerpieces that brought Rick Nash to New York. Shit, even Ryan Callahan played in a Stanley Cup Final after he was traded. Why is this? Do we become too impatient for a rebuild that we sacrifice the future for the immediate gratification? And guess what? We still don’t fucking win. Because you have one guy, and you can’t even fucking build right around him…it’s gonna be a problem long-term.
So it’s painful to watch. But you know what, I’m back to what feels right. And by “right,” I mean all my teams disappoint me again. I have incredibly low expectations now. This is what I am used to. Sigh.
As a dog walker, I spent a lot of time outdoors. I’m exposed to many different elements, I battle bad sinus infections in cold weather, and I have to wrestle dog shit out of the jaws of pups unwilling to relinquish said shit. When it rains, no one wants to go outside. This separates the real people who love their work though from the babies.
Riding out a rain delay at a baseball game? It sucks! If you don’t like rain in the Pacific Northwest, you probably are better off not living there or attending an outdoor sporting event there.
After rain, you may be lucky enough to see a rainbow. You can have a beautiful sunset once the rain stops. Weather can become bearably cool after a rainfall. Flowers and grass and all kinds of vegetation grows after rain.
If you can stand the rain, somewhere over the proverbial rainbow, dreams of your team winning a championship can come true. So you wait it out. The storm will pass, eventually.