22 March, 2006


Friend of mine IMed me a little bit ago with the following (in reference to a bunch of Chicken Littling on the scout.com message boards):

I think it's time you pull out the these-are-the-times-that-try-mens'-souls blog entry from a few years ago for use on Fanhome.


What the hell--this seems like as good a time as any to trot out this old chestnut, which I posted in my personal livejournal back in January of 2003 (feel free to make the appropriate substitutions for folks that are no longer with the Hurricanes' org--that being Mike Gilsenan and Paul Maurice):

I was hoping I'd be able to get through an entire season without posting a rant. But no, folks on fanhome and other boards just had to set me off by calling themselves fans of the team even while declaring that they're never getting season tickets again and that the team is a loser and that grass is frickin' green.

All I have to say to those people is this:

You all knew damn well what you were getting into when you signed on for this gig.

Don't tell me you didn't know, because either you've been in a Skinner Box your whole life or you're a bald-faced liar. You knew when you signed on that this is a bipolar team--they win, and they lose. They rock, and they suck. The Carolina Hurricanes are a dichotomy on skates, probably more so than any other team. They always have been that way, and who knows--they might always be that way, especially if Coach-for-Life Paul I keeps coaching them (He's honking me off too--but that's another story).

Don't fraggin' tell me that you had no clue what you were getting into, people. Don't sit there and tell me that you're a fan while you're booing the team and saying that you'll never get tickets again and burning your car flags and putting your jersey in a box in the closet to never be seen again. Either you're on the bus or you're off the bus--pick a lane and drive in it.

You don't want to be an STH anymore? You don't want to come to games anymore? You don't want to support a "loser" team anymore? Fine! Go. Leave. Don't let the door hit you. The Red Wings board is down the hall, third door on your left--I'm sure they'd love to have you hop on their bus, just like all the other people that hopped on their bandwagon after 1997, because it's clear to me that you don't have the stones to be a 'Canes fan.

If you don't want to be a STH anymore just because we're on a Schneid From Hell, do what others have suggested and turn your damn tickets in--right now, today. Go to the box office, look Mike Gilsenan straight in the eye as you hand him your ticket book, and tell him that you're abandoning the team because you can't deal with adversity. Then turn your butt around and leave and don't ever let me hear you calling yourself a fan of the Carolina Hurricanes again, because as far as I'm concerned you stopped being a fan the moment you decided to quit on the team.

When the true fans--the people that stick by this team through thick and thin and refuse to quit on the team even though the team might quit on them--finally get on the karma train as it stops at our station, we'll all smile and blow you kisses and hold up signs saying "Having a great time, too bad you're not here."

Or at least I'll be doing it. Just because I'm irritating like that.

Do you people (posters and lurkers alike) that are quitting on the team think that the rest of us LIKE it when the 'Canes lose? Do you think we LIKE it when the Canes act like they don't give a rat's arse? If you do, then I've got a bridge and some swampland to sell you--and if you act now, I'll toss in a large copper-plated sculpture and a nice obelisk too. Of course we don't like it! Of course we don't like seeing the team get into train wreck after train wreck! Of course we don't like reading excuses in the paper and feeling frustrated and reaching for the TUMS every night! DUH, we're fans! We want the best for our team! We want them to come out belching hellfire and brimstone and lay the smack down upon the opponents' candy a$$es every night, because we're fans.

These are the times that try fans' souls, folks. This is the time where the wheat is separated from the chaff, and the true mettle of a fan is determined--and I don't know about the rest of y'all, but I'd really like to think that our fans are the kind of people that will stay true to their team no matter what.

It takes a very special kind of person to cheer for a struggling team, and I mean that in a very good way--you can't buy the sense of loyalty and devotion that fans of hard-luck teams have. I'd much rather have a Cubs fan or a Tigers fan at my side in a fight than a Yankees fan. I'd much rather have a Vikings fan or a Buccaneers fan at my side than a Packers fan. It's time to take a look at how you really feel about this team and decide whether or not you have what it takes to be a fan of the Carolina Hurricanes.

The team needs us, friends and neighbors. Now, more than ever, they need us. They may give up after the first goal, they may play like they're asleep, they may not know which friggin' end is up--but they need every last one of us fans, and by Thunder we should damn well be there for them.

Go 'Canes, to the bloody bitter end!

Wow. It's so strange that, even though the Hurricanes are doing so well now, this rant is still applicable in some ways.

21 March, 2006

The Condor Comes In From The Cold

According to a story in this morning's N&O, Josef Vasicek is skating hard in practice and working to get the rust off in preparation for a return to the ice after missing almost the entire season with a blown ACL.

It'll be interesting to see how Joe, Lord of Evil will fit into the Hurricanes' lineup when he's ready to return to the ice. I've a feeling that he'll wind up being a spare part in the Hurricanes' playoff run, but is that really so bad? I can see him pulling fourth-line minutes with occasional duty on the third line, unless he really clicks with somebody.

In other injury news, Andrew Hutchinson is almost ready to start practicing again, after surgery back in December to repair torn tendons in his left wrist. Aaron Ward is questionable for tonight's game after a hit from Travis Green in Saturday's tilt v. Boston that apparently did more than just ring his bell--Nicky Wallin is expected to take his spot in the lineup if Wardo's unable to play.

Puck drops in Hogtown at 7:30 tonight. Go Canes.

20 March, 2006

I can't believe I'm doing this.

But (of ALL things) the Redskins fan in me demands it because Dallas is involved.

There's a headline in the sports section of the DaMN (Dallas Morning News, for those of you who never worked at Nortel--and therefore got to read nortel.talk before TPTB shut it down) talking about Detroit's "patsy of a schedule"--as if there's some sort of conspiracy to get the Red Wings the President's Trophy. One of the gems is this line:

If the Stars pass Detroit, they will have also overturned the handiwork of the NHL's Board of Governors.

When the league returned to an unbalanced schedule this season, it gave Detroit a ridiculously easy path. It is difficult to judge how good the Red Wings are, because they have had a season full of cupcakes.

You gotta be kidding me--Gerry Fraley (the dumbass who spewed that garbage) clearly needs his dosage upped, if he seriously believes what he wrote. Otherwise, he just needs a good swift kick in the ass.

The Central Division may be the weakest in the NHL (the three worst teams in the League not named Pittsburgh are there), but I'm sorry--aren't you supposed to try to beat your division rivals? I must have missed a memo somewhere, because last I checked those division games were supposed to be ones that you wanted to....oh, I don't know, try to win if you wanted to get a decent playoff seed (or make the playoffs, period). Wow, what a shocker.

I can honestly tell you, as somebody who loathes Detroit and every single stinkin' team in it, that there is no Vast Red Wing Conspiracy. Nothing of the sort. Nada. ничего. The schedule is pretty much randomly generated, with game dates set to take into account arena scheduling and special requests from individual teams (The Hurricanes going on a road trip during the NC State Fair and the ACC Tournament, the Maple Leafs asking the NHL to push back the start time of a road game to accomodate Sportsnet East's telecast of a NASCAR race in the GTMA, etc.) How the teams do is entirely up to them, really. I mean, how many people predicted that the Blues would free-fall like they did? For that matter, how many people predicted that the Hurricanes would be at or near the top of the standings....or that Dallas would fatten themselves up on the shootout?