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Two years have passed… October 16, 2007

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.
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It was exactly two years ago today.  The Tampa Bay Lightning were visiting the Washington Capitals.  Another Southeast game…how boring.

It wasn’t for me.  I’d never been to an NHL game before, and this was my belated birthday present to myself post-lockout.  I hadn’t really been a hockey fan per se; but then came the lockout, and I realized how badly I missed the sport.  And what do you know?  The Caps won the game, 3-2, in a shootout.  I was absolutely hooked.  After doing a fairly brisk walk-up business for a couple of months, I finally signed on the dotted line, and became a planholder.

 Now, I’m sure this guy would love to know just what it was that got me from first game to planholder, and in a rebuilding season at that.  For the team’s sake, I wish I could give him an easy answer.

One thing I remember about that year was the intro video.  This gorgeous-looking female helps Alexander Ovechkin get dressed–perhaps a more apt description, given the editing, would be “gird for battle”–and says “It’s time.”  Ovie walks out a door into a blazing sea of white light.  Fade to a shot of passing stars, zoom in from a satellite view of the DC area to a nighttime shot of a glowing US Capitol.  Cut to exterior shots of arena, then to various shots of fans cheering on the team.  I think the impression they were going for was one of a cosmic battle being played out on the ice right before us.

Folks, I talk to angels.  So that idea is right up my alley.  A shame we lost so many of those cosmic battles that year.

By the end of the year, I was a planholder, complete with mascot puppet.  I’m now in my second full year in 417, and I’ve since traded out the puppet for my cloak and rave lights.  Last night, I got the puppet–his name’s Wristshot–down from his perch in my closet.  And I remember saying, aloud–and with some regret–“Time really does march on.”

Doesn’t it, though?  It only seems like yesterday when Ovie scored two goals against Columbus on Opening Night.  And yet, it has been two years, and a lot has changed since then.  Two years ago, the Bolts were the defending Stanley Cup champions.  Two years ago, I was working in a different office.  Two years ago, my father was still alive.  Two years ago, my nephew hadn’t been born yet.  Two years ago, I was still coming to terms with my newly learned healing skills.

It’s like I got on a Metro train to Union Station to do some people-watching, and all of a sudden, what the puck?  Why am I halfway to Boston on the Accela?

I got to mulling over the almost Silly-Putty nature of time.  I’m not going to write anything original about time–the idea has been philosophized to death since, pardon the phrase, TIME immemorial–but consider time in hockey.  Barring national anthems or stoppages in play, everything at an NHL game is on the clock, even the intermissions.  Penalties aren’t given in yards or free throws; they’re given in terms of TIME.  A team that’s ahead can milk the clock; a team that’s behind is up against the clock.  If you’re leading by two goals late in the third, forget the crowd–Father Time is your seventh man. 

Does time harm, or heal?  With the passing of time comes age, and the gradual loss of all we hold dear.  Yet the passing of time also brings wisdom, perspective, and distance.  It’s said that time heals all wounds.  Yes; but time also takes away your slapshot.  Sooner or later, every hockey player runs into an opponent they can’t beat: their time. 

It’s hard to believe, on reflection, that Olie Kolzig has been around for more than half the history of this team, and more than half his own life at this point.  Yes, that’s obvious from a quick glance in the team’s media guide, but is it really that simple?  And has it really been that long?  I’d love to kick this around with Mr. Kolzig, to get his perspective on time and how it relates to his hockey career.

Random thought: would time even be a concept if we weren’t self-aware?

Whoa, I’d better stop right there, before I end up on another thread entirely.

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