Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Sens-ational recuperation

Well, plenty has happened since there was activity in this space. There was, of course, the matter of the "football-sized kielbasa" (as my surgeon put it) that was removed from my abdomen. (And yes, you know you've had abdominal surgery in Wisconsin when your surgeon uses a comparison that includes both football and sausages.) That large object was otherwise known as "half of my colon," or "what had been tormenting my digestion for the past twenty years or so."

You would think that having your plumbing rerouted after thirty-eight years would mean bizarre dietary restrictions for some time after the surgery. You'd be right, but only to the extent that bagels were good and cucumbers were bad. We went out for Chinese food the night I left the hospital. (In retrospect, that may have been pushing the envelope a bit.)

But before I recap the life-changing past six weeks or so in this space, we must discuss an event of more profound proportions.

I'm not sure how my life - or the lives of many of us -- evolved to the point that the actions of men with bats, balls, and gloves, or sticks, pucks, and helmets on a television screen can move me to tears. I mean, the whole time in the hospital, I received not one get-well card from the Ottawa Senators.

But for the last ten years, my mental health, between approximately September and June, has been inextricably linked to - let's face it - an obscure hockey team from a place most Americans couldn't find on a map, even if it was a map of Ottawa. More than once, I've worn my Senators jacket in public, only to have someone come up and say, "The Senators! That's pretty neat. It's so cool that Washington has a baseball team again."

For the seven years I lived in Arizona, I dutifully showed up in Phoenix whenever the Senators played the Coyotes. There were always about twenty Sens fans at those games, and whenever the Senators scored, our "Whooo-hooos!" resounded through the arena like the cheers of Harold Stassen supporters at the Republican National Convention.

So the Senators play hockey. They have stars named "Alfredsson" and "Redden" and "Spezza "and "lesser" known players named "Corvo" and "McAmmond" and "Preissing". The one player that casual hockey fans have probably heard of is Dany Heatley, and that's only because he was involved in a reckless crash in his sports car a few years ago that killed a teammate.
What I'm saying is, you've never heard of most of them. And truth be told, if I wasn't an overly zealous Senators fan, I wouldn't, either.

And yet, for some reason, for the past decade, whenever the Senators win a game, I'm one - maybe two - iotas happier for the next 24 hours. And for most of that time, the Senators have won far more times than they've lost. But in each of the seasons they've reached the playoffs - the last nine years in a row - their season has ended with a loss. And usually an agonizing, annoying, and, well, cruddy loss. They've never had the puck bounce off a live lobster in a luxury suite and into their own goal, but it's been close.

This afternoon, the Senators beat the Buffalo Sabres to advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since the team joined the National Hockey League in 1992.

They may well end this season with a loss, too. But today's game kind of makes up for the missing get-well card.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So glad you're back on your blog, minus some intestine, humor restored. Hugs to Gretchen & Sylvi.
Downtown Flag has a creperie.