18 April 2013

I wrote something.

You know what's even worse than coming back to blogging after a multiyear hiatus and finding that most of the shit on your site is ANCIENT HISTORY (holy fuck, a Derek Meech tag?!) and that in your absence, Blogger has finally reached roughly the mid-year 2002 level of technological prowess?

Waking up to a world in which with less than two weeks to go in the season, the Columbus Blue Jackets are in the playoffs and the Detroit Red Wings are not.

Fuck. Me.

How is this real life?

Or is it actually real life?  I've long suspected that instead of believing we're going to die and THEN go to hell, maybe we're already in hell.  Not HELL hell, like for serial murderers and puppy kickers and Pol Pot and the entire membership of the Westboro Baptist Church, but the good part of hell, for people who are semi-shitty and/or too fun to kick it for all eternity in heaven.  And maybe we've all had our fun in Good Hell for long enough, and now something actually shitty has to happen.  You knew the carefree, free-for-all, whiskey-chugging, circle-jerking shenanigans had to end at some point.  Let's all just reflect on the good times.

Twenty-one years' worth of 'em.

That's a long time.  For many of us, it encompasses the majority or even the totality of our hockey fandom.  The last time the Wings missed the playoffs, I was four.  Danny DeKeyser was in diapers.  Chris Chelios was ushering in the 1990s by celebrating his 1,990th year on Planet Earth.

And now, with just a handful of games remaining for the Wings to scratch and claw their way through to a bottom rung playoff spot, it may soon be all over.  That's what many of us are thinking, anyway.  "It" will be a thing of the past -- the Glory Days, the Dynasty, the certainty that while other teams' fortunes may ebb and flow, Hockeytown's is always on the upswing because The Detroit Way never falters.

Clearly, this season has not given us much to cheer about.  The Wings failed to make a splash during the last offseason, despite the unusually high-profile courting of free agents who would have unquestionably enhanced the roster's chances of success.  The injury bug yet again robbed us of several of our key players, including Darren Helm, and the impact from his absence cannot be overstated.  One of the most horrible sports cliches of all time -- your best players need to be your best players -- has been a steady reminder that when the players who are paid the big bucks to produce the big points fail to register numbers in the books, the loss column begins to outweigh the win column.  Those nagging criticisms from bloviating blowhards we all hate keep manifesting themselves in the results of Detroit's play on the ice:  Tired.  Uninspired.  Over the hill.

Last night's loss against Calgary is fairly comparable to other shitty games we've watched the Wings play this season, except with so much on the line, it's fair to assume that the Ozzie Switch would get flipped -- you know, the one that elevates you from your dogshit potential to your awesomesauce kinesis.  And it didn't happen.  Instead, we watched our team get dry-humped up and down the ice by a team that has been disadvantaged by just about every crappy thing that can happen to a team in the National Hockey League.  Yes, this is real life, and yes, it sucks ass.

I know, I know -- we as Red Wings fans have it good.  I know how the others see us.  Fans of other teams want to punch us in the throat when we gripe about our team being not as good as another, and then we make it to the second round of the playoffs.  They make fun of us for complaining over trifles when we have had the luxury of watching myriad Hall of Famers wear the Winged Wheel over the course of the past two decades.  But here's the deal, straight up:  I don't give a fuck about thinking about this from somebody else's perspective.  JFC, this is the Detroit Red Wings we're talking about here.  Our team.  We make the playoffs, period.  That's just the way it's done.

What happens next?  Playoffs or not, we all know the organization has some tough questions to ask itself.  They're the same questions we've been asking ourselves and one another.  How do we shore up our weak defense in the immediate future?  Are our top players really destined for the roles they have been assigned?  Is a coaching change the answer?  (And for those of us who believe it is, what would a different coach be able to accomplish differently than the current one with this roster?)  Why are we investing so much in broken-down dinosaurs when young kids with exciting potential have had to dust off the kneepads to convince someone for a spot in the lineup?  And, a more painful question for the immediate future:  What's worse -- missing the playoffs and snapping the streak or eking into the playoffs and facing CHI or ANA in the first round?  (Picture this:  An Axe Body Spray-ed, Fratellis-lovin' motherfucker holding up a broom at the Joe?  I know, RIGHT?! Now press the button on this Men in Black-style memory eraser, fast!)

I don't proclaim to know the answers to any of these questions.  As soon as I formulate a moderately intelligent thought, I end it with "Fuck it -- let's just see if we can manage a buyout for the entire team."  People far mathier than I can explain to you the potential financial comings and goings for our team.  People with memories like Beej can recite on cue who's available, who isn't, who has a NTC (I swear, TPL, if I could find the link to your chart, it would have totally gone there).

As for me, I'm just a spoiled, whiny, bitchy, babycrying Red Wings fan who feels THISCLOSE to having a Grade A meltdown if the Wings' season ends on April 27.  In Texas.  Which I'm 13% sure might be Actual Hell.

Over the next ten days, there will be a lot of nail-biting and Xanax-popping.  Definitely some double shots to take the edge off.  Maybe even sex with hobos to relieve some of the tension.  (What?  Don't say you've never considered it...)  We care so much about this team, we're willing to ride the rollercoaster until we fly off the rails and crash into a brick wall.  Because we know that even when we crash, we get back up and keep on going.  Draft Lottery, FTMFW!


1 comment:

  1. Fuck to the Motherfuckin' yeah! I have not worked up the muster to post either, so I was delighted to see a post from one of the originals. I totally and wholeheartedly endorse everything you said, especially sex with hobos. I am older and dumber and have been watching this team before they were making the playoffs, and something was waaaay off this year. Especially from a management perspective. Shit, if they read twitter, they could have fixed this team one week into the season. For me, I am not so worried about the defense as I am not too happy about non-production. For the price of some, I could own twelve mule farms.....that produce something. I could rent them out to coffee bean pickers. I could use them for tours around the Grand Canyon. Shit, I could open a hamburger stand on the side of the highway. However you cut it, I would be producing with my Mules.

    I don't want the streak to end. I don't want to basically be a first round bye to the team that gets the Wings in the playoffs. I don't want to hear jack or shit from other fanbases if the Wings don't make it. I want them to, To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women. So speaketh Conan.

    As always Let's Fucking Get This Shit Done Red Wings