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End of One Season, Beginning of Another January 8, 2009

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.
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As it was written in Ecclesiastes, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” The Jackets are in town tomorrow night, and I think it might be worth a look back at what’s transpired since the last time they were in Washington.

The last time the Jackets played Verizon Center, some Russian kid named Alex Ovechkin was making his NHL debut. It’s been three hockey seasons since, and it’s been quite a life’s season since, as well.

That year, you could pretty much walk up to the box office on game night and pick your seat. I know, because I was doing it a lot. You can forget that this year: it’s been a rare night when all of the seats at the Phone Booth haven’t been spoken for.

The last time the Jackets played Verizon Center, we were playing to be better, someday. I think “someday” is about a year in the rearview mirror, give or take.

On a personal note, the last time the Jackets played Verizon Center, my father was still alive, and my nephew was yet to be born.

The last time the Jackets played Verizon Center, Tampa Bay was the defending Stanley Cup champion.

The last time the Jackets played Verizon Center, Jeff Haleprn was the Caps’ captain. He wore the since-retired #11.

The last time the Jackets played Verizon Center, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” would have been a punchline. Last year, it was the emotional anthem of a Cinderella stretch run to the division crown.

The last time the Jackets played Verizon Center, I had yet to see my first live NHL game.

My, how things have changed since then.

The last time the Jackets played Verizon Center, my life was different; the Capitals franchise was different; the NHL was different; the whole world was different.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.”

But seasons change, and life goes on. The mournful, icy gray of winter melts into the colorful, fresh breezes of spring. April showers bring May flowers, but almost before you know it, it’s suddenly the 4th of July. Suddenly the leaves are turning, the pools are closing, and the school buses are chasing away another all-too-short summer. And then, in what seems the twinkling of an eye, the ground is dressed in white again. In the end, you always come back to where it all began.

How can it seem like only yesterday, yet at the same time seem so long ago? It’s quite a paradox, isn’t it?

There was a story I read in, I want to say, Guideposts, several years ago. It was about a demanding basketball coach, who, after every game, would tell his players, “The season starts tomorrow.” While that was backhanded comfort after losses, it put the wins in perspective. Past wins mean nothing: every game is a new beginning.

So, in a way, a season has ended. And, in a different way, a new season starts tomorrow.

Hope to see you all at the Phone Booth tomorrow night.

CAPITAL SPIRIT
IT’S A NEW SEASON

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Comments»

1. Stokley Rose - January 8, 2009

I miss being able to get Eagle’s Nest seats for $5 each. That’s the only thing I miss about that time. Damn, this team is fun to watch!

2. CapitalSpirit - January 8, 2009

Those $5 seats weren’t going to last once the team got good and the Caps could charge full price for the whole section. If they’re selling seats short like they did with Eagle’s Nest, it’s good for the fans, but not quite as good for the team.

As for this team being fun to watch, I agree completely. Some nights they’re a little TOO fun to watch–I’d like to see us dishing out more 5-1 smack-downs and fewer 2-1 nail-biters–but a win is a win is a win.–CS


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