Friday, April 13, 2007

Completely and Totally Off-Topic: My Guys are in the Playoffs

That's how I think of the New Jersey Devils ice hockey team: as "my guys". It's very weird because I've never felt that way about any other professional team of any kind. Frighteningly enough, I kind of understand my husband's obssession with the Yankees now. I don't share it but I understand it.

At any rate, I decided that I'm going to share my own obssession with my friends here at RTY because frankly, knitting an all-black sweater doesn't make for fascinating blogging. The Devils do...at least in my opinion.

Also because last night the Devils won the first game in the long road to the Holy Grail of hockey, the Stanley Cup. Wahoo! Below is a fabulously eloquent photo of the Devils celebrating while a lone Tampa Bay Lightning player skates by with shoulders slumped in the agony of defeat.



Now I want to introduce you some of "my guys".



The guy on the left is Zach Parise. He scored TWO goals last night! He's only 22, a rookie last year, and I love him because he always skates his heart out, mostly because he's too young to know any better.

The fellow in the middle is Scott Gomez. He's incredibly fast and agile; watching him blow past the opposition's entire defense while totally controlling the puck gives me a thrill every time I see it. He's from Alaska, a state I fell in love with a couple of years ago on one of the great family vacations of our lives. ( You can see my Alaska photos at http://www.nancyherkness.com/fromthegarret/garret_archives13.shtml)
Last night Scott racked up three assists (helping the guy who scores the goal).

On the right is Brian Gionta who scored the fifth Devils' goal last night. He's quite small for a hockey player but absolutely fearless. (I identify with him because I'm a bit vertically-challenged myself.) He'll get slammed into the boards by a defenseman twice his size and bounce back like a rubber ball before he goes on to steal the puck and score.

I'll introduce you to some more of "my guys" as the playoff series goes on but I want to explain something I love about the Devils: they are truly a team. No one superstar carries the team (although they do have Martin Brodeur, arguably the best goalie playing hockey in the world right now, but he's homegrown and always downplays his status). It's truly an ensemble effort and I've always been a sucker for those, in books, in movies, and evidently in hockey teams.

So are there any other sports fans out there? Which team do you adore and why do they grab you?

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10 Comments:

Blogger monica said...

I understand you completely. I had the same feelings when the Colts won the the Playoffs and then the Super Bowl. I love that the coach is openly Christian and that the team is often shown huddled together in prayer before the game at half time and after the game whether they win or lose. And I really love it that the team members aren't in the news every other week, like our Pacers, getting into the trouble for some reason or other... I do not consider them "my guys." I feel the Colts, the majority of them anyway, are good role models for our youth ... I hope they don't disappoint me now that I have bragged about them. Sorry it is not Hockey, that is not a huge sport here in the cornfields of Indiana, but I do like to watch it occasionally. I like the movie Mystic Alaska....does that count?

5:00 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I am from Pittsburgh - so I'm a big Steelers fan. Every football season I get excited for every game (and do my best to see as many as I can while living in NYC). I just love that city, I love the fans, I love the players and I love the stories of the glory days - it just pumps me up when they're on a streak and it's a long winter if they're out of the playoffs.

We've got all kinds of songs about the team, everyone loves the owners of the team and there is just a feeling of togetherness when Pittsburghers come together over a Steelers game and an Iron City.

Go Steelers!

5:01 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Monica, you don't have to apologize for liking football instead of hockey. The only sport I really cannot watch with any enthusiasm is baseball. (Okay, now I'm expecting arguments about this since I know there are some baseball lovers on this blog but that's what makes a blog fun, right?)

Mystic Alaska? Tell me more about it--I haven't seen that one.

Kristin, have you checked out the Pittsburgh Penguins? Now there's a hockey team that's going to be great in a couple of years, as long as they keep going the way they have been. I seriously expect them to be in Stanley Cup contention sometime soon. They're really fun to watch.

11:42 AM  
Blogger monica said...

OOOps, that was supposed to Mystery Alaska not Mystic Alaska

12:14 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Nancy, I love the Pens! But for some reason, I've never been bitten by the Hockey bug...no idea why. I'll pull for any Pittsburgh team - that city has a lot of sports loyalty - even to our somewhat sad Pirates. But I'm with Monica too - football is fantastic!

3:20 PM  
Blogger Cindi Myers said...

I'm a devoted fan of the Colorado Mammoth, who play the somewhat obscure sport of indoor lacrosse. All the players have regular day jobs, so they're not getting rich as professional lacrosse players, but they play their hearts out. That's one of the things I love about the game -- also, it's very fast-paced and exciting. The Mammoth won the NLL West Division Championship and are in the playoffs now. (They won the NLL Champions Cup last year.)

And Nancy -- I also love baseball, and follow the Colorado Rockies, though I can't say I'm an avid fan anymore, since the owners keep trading away players just when I get to know them.

And to keep this sort of about knitting -- one of my favorite times to knit is when watching sports on TV!

6:29 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Indoor lacrosse? Now that's a sport I've never heard of, Cindi. I think I could get to like it though, based on your description. Speed and intensity are why I like hockey. Do they ever show the NLL games on television?

I knit during games too, either during the commercials or when things are going so badly that I need something to soothe my nerves. Of course, during tonight's Devils game (which they lost 3-2, boo hoo!) I lost count of my decreases and had to frog a couple of rows.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Ginny said...

Hey - the Devs are my guys, too! I was there last night - boohoo. Here's hoping they bounce right back tomorrow.

I'll break out my lucky Devilbilia to help them win.

Ginny T in NJ

1:28 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Wahoo, Ginny! Great to have a fellow Devils fan on board!

I made the ultimate sacrifice last night and let my son go to the game in my place. Now that's being a good mother, right? :-)

However, I watched the game last night on television--and cursed a bit since no one was home to hear me.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Knitterary said...

I follow my college teams, and I loosely follow the teams from cities I've lived in. It made for an interesting super bowl this year because I've lived in both Indy and Chicago.

Sports on tv is little more than an excuse to knit. But I do love March Madness.

10:47 AM  

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