Tag: Florida Panthers

Monday, January 27th, 2014

360 Games: The Queen is Dead

There is a light that never goes out…

Buffalo, NY We love to throw the term “die-hard” around when we talk about our passion for a particular sport or team, but when it comes down to it, can any of us really say we are willing to die for a hockey game? According to my drama queen of a mother, the Panthers/Sabres game last week was the game I was willing to risk it all for…

Umm… not quite.

“So I guess you could say you would die for hockey” she texted me without being facetious. My mother, although young and much less clingy when I was born, is growing progressively more protective as she gets older. No lie, she texts me personal questions every time I get off a plane in the Middle East to determine whether or not I’ve been kidnapped (seriously). If I respond to her questions in a hostile manner and with no less than one F-bomb, then she knows I’m safe.

Anyway, during my brutally extensive visa medicals last year, my doctor uncovered some unpleasant things. Some things weren’t serious, like when my liver function test came back with startling results the first time around. Apparently, as I would learn, torn muscles from a reckless beer league game followed by immediate golf tournament will yield the same results as those of a failing liver. However, some things were not so excusable.

So I went to the Middle East knowing I should probably do something about it, but doing something like that in a country like this was more than a little complicated. I wasn’t all that motivated either. Deep down I felt like nothing was wrong. I convinced myself that the move had stressed me out to the point of affecting my health. But, for the first time in my life, I have NO stress. Living here is surprisingly easy, so I figured my sudden stress-free life was enough to fix me. Plus I lost 24 lbs from all those 3AM puck drops at the gym, so I figured that must have been good for something, too.

I hope it’s a little more clear why I was so quick to call the whole thing off once the hospital revealed that the ONLY day they could see me was game day in Buffalo. It’s not like I was trying to bring new meaning to the term “die-hard,” I just thought the whole thing was ridiculous. If it was a Leafs game day, then maybe, but on a game day that requires travel, and dickheaded border guards (Yep, had another one of those, “WHY DO YOU TRAVEL SO MUCH?!!!!!!”), well, let’s just say I’d rather not get hacked up to pieces that morning.

Alas, I agreed to be sliced and diced under the one condition that I was waltzing out of that hospital at 11AM whether they were done with me or not. Luckily, I was out of there long before that, but the whole experience definitely ruined my game day. I looked like shit, I felt like shit, and I had to go to Buffalo.

The game wasn’t all bad despite the fact that the tickets I ordered weren’t the tickets I received, so I was sitting in the wrong place! One thing that amazed me was that Steve Ott scored his 100th NHL goal that night. You see, from my anti-social oasis in the desert that I mentioned in another post, I was under the impression that NHL players only score goals when they are showing off for the models they are trying to stick their dicks into. I can’t imagine any model going to Buffalo, so *gasp* can some hockey players still do their jobs without the incentive of trying to get a stick insect into bed?

Maybe this is just a “thing” in those beach markets where bikini models are plentiful. And, I suppose, if you aren’t a real professional and DO require a token dime-a-dozen bl-odel (blonde model pronounced blahhhh-del) or two to be in attendance at your games, then an easy solution is to ensure that the local model population eats up all the free tickets the players have available. Surely, there aren’t any underprivileged children or “wounded warriors,” or what have you that are deserving of a free ticket surplus. And, yeah, models definitely don’t get enough free shit in their lives… “Thaaaaaaaaaanksssss #SOBLESSED.”

Anyway, thank you, Steve Ott, for reminding me that the NHL isn’t officially the National Modelizer League just yet. There’s just one thing I don’t understand. If the modelizers of the league can just switch on their talent whenever a model comes to watch, why the fuck don’t they bother to turn it on all the time?! They clearly know how. But, yeah, don’t mind me, I’m just bitter because nobody scores goals for me #NOTBLESSED.

As you can see I was in no mood for superficial bullshit that night (or now). And did I mention I was still jet-lagged? But I suppose I should have been happy. The doctors seemed to think my little problem was a false alarm. “It’s like when the alarm goes off at the airport, it doesn’t always mean you have a gun.” (I wish I did, so I could shoot myself re: modelizers) So, I guess cheating death yet again is a good thing. Or is it?

Before attempting to relay this story to you, I tried to put myself in your shoes. For some reason, I have it in my head that you are all sane, rational people, who come to this site to marvel at the train wreck, but perhaps some of you are just as fucked up as I am. I’ll never know. But, anyway, I tried to imagine what you would do if you were told you have a serious health problem. I feel like many of you would drop everything and do something about it because everyone seems to think that long life is a good thing. For people like me, however, long life seems more like a curse. How do I picture myself old? Uhh… not good. Alone for one. If you didn’t get married, have children, grandchildren, then what happens to you at the end? The outlook is bleak. So, yeah, a hockey game is a lot more fun than actually giving a fuck.

Blazing through the world is great, really, but one day you will wake up and you’ll be old, and nobody will want to fuck you anymore. Wouldn’t it be so much better if it didn’t get to that? That’s what people like me secretly hope for – an early death just as we start to slow down or, the alternative, some miraculous lightning bolt that jolts us into finding our place in the mundane. But, even if I was to give up the world and settle into one place, it still doesn’t solve the lineage issue.

It’s easy to be alone when you aren’t lonely, but it’s not hard for that aloneness to become habitual, especially when you’re the type of person who would never settle for anything or anyone. It’s even harder when you’re in your little anti-social oasis and basically view 99% of the male population as modelizers and neanderthals due to the internet. Plus, most of us have outlasted our friends, and have seen them get chained to some questionable or hasty decisions made in their youth. We tell ourselves that we’ll never let that happen to us, but deep down the cynic in us tells us that eventually we will all suffer the same unfortunate fate if we take that path to the altar.

I suppose there is always the fantasy, though. The idea that someday, somehow, somewhere my path will cross with a guy slightly less insane than I, who is man enough to want to follow me through the perilous mists of my lonely planet. I have even convinced myself that this time will be different, and I will be intelligent enough to recognize his one-in-a-billion-ness and not simply use him up as yet another one of my many “for nows.” And if by some miracle, a girl like me really can change her ways, I might actually be moved to extend my hand to his – not to pull him into the fog, but rather to let him pull me out.

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Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Here comes the guilt & my return to BB&T Center…

Why do you come here when you know it makes things hard for me?

Sunrise, FL It was the morning after a crazy night in Vancouver. I was hurriedly throwing my clothes back on as I attempted to slip out of the strange hotel room and return to my own without alarming the token worn out male. Unfortunately, my stealth was no match for his spidey sense, and he immediately bolted upright in bed.

Take Down: Why are you running away like some kind of wild animal? (Yes, he really said that!)

Me: Umm… What?

TD: Don’t you like to sleep in a man’s arms? (Yes, he really said that!)

Me: … Sometimes…???…????

For the record, it wasn’t like I ran for the door 15 minutes after the encore. I mean, it was the morning, it was just very, very, very early! There was just something off about the whole situation. Something that told me I needed to run for my life. I can’t explain why I felt that way. I’m never ashamed of any of my indiscretions. If I thought them to be an embarrassment, then they wouldn’t have gotten the pass (no matter the circumstance) in the first place. Granted I am currently in Sex Camel Mode – that is, I’m trying to get my reserves up so I can survive my move to the Arabian Desert. I mean, what are the chances an acceptable man will be neighbours with me on the compound? Not high, so you can understand what needs to be done here.

As for this guy, he was attractive, built, and, well, loaded (if you’re into that kind of thing). There was no reason for me to be so put off by the whole thing, and yet I was. Anyway, despite my burning desire to run away like a wild animal, I succumbed to the guilt trip, disrobed, and gave him another pity hour. It was definitely a bad call on my part, though. By the time I got back to my room, I had reached complete and total revulsion. I couldn’t explain it. I was instantly bedridden and queasy as I began running through the events of the night in my head. Finally, I was able to stomach taking a shower, and then another shower, and then a bubble bath, but the physical disgust I was feeling stayed with me for a long time. As a last resort, I called the hotel spa and booked myself in for the entire morning. However, the magic fingers of my massage therapist weren’t potent enough to make me completely forget how creeped out and disturbed I was feeling. Little did I know that, once I got to Florida, things were going to get a lot creepier.

My night with Sir Creepalot was the first instance that the ugly face of guilt showed itself on my hockey trip. As a true hockey addict, guilt is a common component to the road trip experience. Whether it’s buyer’s remorse or guilt for neglecting your responsibilities to take said trip, that guilty feeling is always there. In Florida I actually had to remind myself that I was no longer in university, and I actually wasn’t slacking off on anything I had going on at home. The first time I visited Pantherland, I had a major essay due, and I hadn’t even read the books! Naturally, the illness I experienced on my doomed inaugural trip to BB&T Center back in 2007-08 put a stop to my plans to be productive on that vacation. Luckily, I was able to do some serious damage during my overnight stay at the Baltimore airport on the return trip to Toronto, which may be the only travel day I have had that could rival the hellish experience I had getting to Florida this time around. Coincidence? Anyway, I thought it was funny that I was instantly transformed in the South Florida sun to that irresponsible university student I once was. I was also amused to learn that the bathroom stall in the women’s washroom was really, really, really familiar. I did spend a lot of time on my knees in there, though! (Vomiting)

I did experience buyer’s remorse on the Florida portion of the trip, too. Florida was an afterthought, but there were soooo many things tempting me to go there, like the sun, for example. Of course, when I noticed that the Rangers were the Panthers‘ opponent, it was pretty much a done deal. I DID have that dream that I was at a Cats/Rangers game the night before the Lockout ended. Who knew that I’d actually end up seeing that game!? Sadly, nothing mysterious or dreamlike ended up occurring at the game, but it was still a bizarre coincidence.

BB&T Center also made me feel guilty for being a Torontonian! Despite the fact that I was actually heading home on Leafs game day in South Florida, I decided to switch my flight and stick around for another showdown in the home of the Panthers. Naturally, there was a large showing of blue and white jerseys. Unfortunately, it was also an obnoxious showing of blue and white jerseys.

I’m sorry, but the Air Canada Centre is one of the quietest arenas in the League, and yet here (in Florida) was a handful of Leafs Loyal screaming their heads off and waving around Canadian flags like Canada was somehow benefiting from a Leafs victory on American soil. That pisses me off on two levels. The first is that, if Leaf fans actually know how to be that loud, I’d like to see them show up on game day at the ACC once in awhile. Secondly, this sudden “patriotism” at an NHL game really irritates me, but that’s the same reason I hate things like the Olympics. Supporting sporting events doesn’t make anyone a patriot, and quite frankly, I was embarrassed to be a Leafs Nation native that night. Plus, I didn’t approve of the obvious smug superiority the Leafs fans were exuding over the hometown fans. It’s like the Leafs finally make the playoffs, and the last nine years didn’t happen. Now, I should also point out that there were other fan bases in attendance that night that were also giving the local fans shit. I saw quite a few Wings fans talking shit in the parking lot after the game, too. Anyway, needless to say, I was an honourary Panthers fan Thursday night.

Anyway, the last thing I felt guilty about on this trip (oh, other than the fact that the Leafs/Cats game was on my mother’s birthday) was for being a cold, hard bitch. You see, I didn’t really know how to deal with my mistake in Vancouver, so I just didn’t. What do you say in a situation like that? “I’m sorry, but the very thought of you makes sick to my stomach?” Yeah, I made the mistake of letting him have my number. I thought it would just be a formality, but sure enough the texts started pouring in within minutes of me shutting his hotel room door behind me as I fled. Of course, they were getting progressively more desperate the more I ignored them until I was in my seat for my first game on the Florida leg of this NHL tour. At that point they were getting obsessive, bipolar, and really fucking creepy. That was also when I noticed that a Twitter account had been made to follow me (and only me), too. I’m not sure what kind of witchcraft he used to track me down like that. I mean, A) I didn’t tell him my full name, and B) my Twitter account isn’t even associated with my real name.  Now, I’m not the type of person to throw the word “stalker” around to make myself feel important, so I won’t do that here. All I will say is that it was more than a little disturbing, but, to put a more positive spin on it, I will say, once again, YES, I am THAT good! ;)

I guess this guy made me realize that I’m guilty of making the assumption that all men are as hard as society portrays them to be. I also think that many of us are guilty of viewing athletes the same way. Hey, I was the first to think the players were being princesses during the lockout! It’s hard to get our heads around the fact that a hefty paycheck doesn’t automatically make them immune to stress, pressure, depression, and all sorts of other aspects of being human. When a player is struggling and possibly dealing with personal issues, we shit all over him, and assume he’ll magically start performing. That’s like treating your boyfriend like garbage, and then expecting him to still be able to get it up for you. People can only take so much, and I think that’s something the Southern Market fans have that we don’t. They have that unwavering almost maternal support for their players, and I think, in the long run, that may actually be the right way to encourage hockey players of any age.

Anyway, I shall close this post off by saying I’m pleased to announce that I haven’t heard from my least favourite mistake since Leafs game day in Sunrise. Here’s hoping he actually deleted my number this time!

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