Some may think hockey is an amateur American sport. They may even think the NHL is an organized group that strives to compete in profit and entertainment with the more popular NFL, NBA, and MLB. My commitment to this sport has often been questioned, “Why hockey?” Listening to the band, Mumford and Sons, this evening helped me fully articulate the answer. How very fitting it is titled, After the Storm.
And after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
And I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.
And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.
And now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more.
That’s why I hold,
That’s why I hold with all I have.
That’s why I hold.
And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
I do not live for my NHL team, but they did help me through tough moments of life this year. As the 2011-12 season comes to an end, I wish to write an open memo to my storm, the Carolina Hurricanes. If you thought the above lyrics were dramatic, I apologize for the below.
Dear Carolina Hurricanes,
I have seen this team unite people in friendship that may have not done so without you as the common ground. It has given a bond between couples struggling for blissful moments. I have witnessed this team provide distraction from stress, sickness, and even devastating deaths.
No, hockey is more than a sport. It is constructed of a group of athletes, coaches, fans, executives, broadcasters, equipment managers, physicians, and families that collaborate to give so much more than sixty minutes. The game can provide a person’s outlet, their drug-free antidepressant.
This is not my first year following hockey or the Canes, but it is the first year I leaned on it as a flight from reality. So I thank you Hurricanes, I thank you for my new friends, for the opportunity to write crazy articles on FanSided, for allowing me present ridiculous caniac contracts to players, for providing relief during hard times, for saluting our troops, and mostly, I want to thank you for providing joy and honor to a departed fan…and my friend.
So, what is true and do I hold dear in reference to the above lyrics? In the end, at least for me, it isn’t about the records or Stanley Cup. It is about pride, passion, and community. And for that, I thank you.