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Is It Happening Again? March 30, 2011

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

I hate to ask this in print, but I have to.

Is it happening again?

The Capitals are coming down the stretch with the Southeast Division title theirs to lose. Verizon Center is jumping. Tickets are so hot they’d induce third-degree burns. And the Caps look like they could end up facing Montreal–who were 3-4-3 to finish last season, and are currently 4-6-0 in their last ten. If the Rangers keep winning, and Montreal can’t stop its skid, it may very well be a second season rematch between the Capitals and Canadiens–one team on a tear, and the other team going the wrong way at the end of the regular season.

And I really have to wonder…is it happening again?

I remember Game 7 from last year. I knew, walking into the building, that the Caps would lose the game, and said as much to a couple of the ticket reps on the concourse before the game started. There had been so many bad things happening to both the team and to me personally, that I knew going in that Game 7 was over before it even started.

Nevertheless, when Brooks Laich got the Caps back to within one late in the third, I remember looking to the heavens during the goal celebration, and screaming, “Please…PLEASE!!” I’m surprised I can still hear anything after that: the silence of the heavens was that deafening.

And Reader, I hope you never get to experience that. Feeling like you’ve been totally abandoned, that the sentence is passed, and that there’s nothing that can be done–I’m literally tearing up just typing this–is probably as close to Hell as you can get without being stuck there forever.

And I really have to wonder…is it happening again?

I believe that we live in a just universe, and that Good must ultimately prevail. And so, if the Capitals are going to win the whole enchilada, it would help if all of us–every single Capitals fan, everywhere–did their best to align with the greater Good.

And then I see stuff like this. Are fans still complaining?! I seriously hope he’s kidding!

Because, from a spiritual point of view, it’s not that you win the championship and then feel grateful: that’s exactly backwards. You first feel grateful, and THEN you win the championship.

See, when you focus on something, think about it really hard, and put some emotion behind that attention, you’re telling the universe, “More of that, please.” So if you’re a Capitals fan, and you’re out there thinking, “This team’s no good, this player needs to get traded, this person needs to get fired,” and so on, then on a subconscious level, you’re ASKING for spiritual obstacles to be placed right in the team’s path. You’re ASKING for another playoff letdown. And guess what? IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN.

In fact, let me take that one step further. What if our negative intentions are the spiritual source of the very problems we ourselves decry?

Let me put one very big hypothetical out here by way of example. There are certain on-ice officials that some Caps fans don’t much care for. There are some games when the officials will take the ice during the countdown, and get booed the second they get on the ice: the negativity is just that strong for some. Now, what if all those “This guy always gets it wrong” intentions were actually causing “this guy” to actually get it wrong? What if “this guy” would get the call right 99 times out of 100, but then all of our negativity, from spoken to subconscious, influences what he does or does not see in that fraction of a second that he’s got, to get it right, instantly? Might our negativity toward “this guy” actually end up resulting in calls that we don’t like?

(And before you protest, yes, intention really can change what you see with your physical eyes. Want an example? Here’s one. There’s even a how-to section in there, so you can try it for yourself.)

I’ve probably said it before, but I’ll say it again: I think the negativity of the fan base could be a bigger problem than anything the team itself can control. It has to be asked: What if the problem really is us? What if all of the nay-saying, second-guessing, down-putting, pessimism is actually causing the Capitals to lose?

And, since that hasn’t changed much since last year, I’m precisely right back at my original question: is it happening again?

More importantly, can it be stopped?

Perhaps. If we all love our team as it is, all the way up and down the roster; if we look forward to victories to come, and not backward to heartbreaks past; if we watch our games gratefully expecting good results, and not cynically expecting the other shoe to drop; and if we do our best to be capital-G Good fans, then perhaps we’ll end up worthy of a championship.

But if we continue to complain, and carp, and cry, and caterwaul, and criticize, and cavil, we’re doing our team no favors, in a very real spiritual sense. If victory ultimately goes to the worthy–which I believe it does, in a just universe–then how does incessant ingratitude make us worthy of the ultimate prize?

The answer is that it doesn’t. And it can’t. Gratitude is first, and then comes victory. I would submit that if we want the Capitals to win the Stanley Cup, without first having a sense of profound, deep gratitude for this entire team, and for this exact regular season, then we may be desiring something that could be spiritually impossible. I’d love to be proven wrong here–you readers just have no idea.

What would it cost us to love this team as is, and to be grateful for what is has accomplished so far? What would it cost us, ultimately, to be on the side of the Good? Other than a few hundred dollars for late-round playoff tickets? Yes, it might take a little bit of effort to feel grateful for some things we’ve grown to dislike, but what if that spiritual effort pays off? We’d potentially have a Stanley Cup to win, and very little to lose besides our preconceptions.

But what would it cost us to continue doing what we’ve been doing, which seems to be the course we’re on? Yes, if we kept up the familiar, we’d keep the mental comforts of our preconceptions, but then what? What if the negative preconceptions ultimately become self-fulfilling prophecies?

What you focus on, is what you are asking for more of. And we cannot ask for Bad things, and then expect to receive Good things. It just doesn’t work that way. We cannot, by our Bad intentions, ask for this player to under-perform, or ask for that official to miss a call, or ask for the Capitals to play a bad game, and expect this player to excel, or that official to get everything right, or the Capitals to play a good game.

Focusing on Bad things is how we ask for Bad things. If we ask for Bad things, we will receive Bad things. There is no way around that.

So I have to ask. Is the defense of our various preconceptions going to be our excuse for being the spiritual albatross about our own team’s neck?

And is that going to mean the difference between the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup, and another summer of sorrow in Washington?

It’s not a question I want to ask, but ask it I must.

Is it happening again?




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