Thursday, June 02, 2011

18 #%*@^#~!! Seconds



MY WIFE is not a hockey fan. She had spent the better part of the evening reading, listening to the radio, and making phone calls. Periodically, she would emerge from the bedroom, ask what the score was, then return to doing other things.

I, on the other hand, was glued to the television. For a person who loves great goaltending, this was a magnificent game. Neither Tim Thomas, of the Boston Bruins, nor Roberto Luongo, of the Vancouver Canucks, had let a single shot escape them. 67 saves made between the two of them, a 0 - 0 tie.

MY WIFE came out of the bedroom with 54 seconds remaining. She looked at the score, and proclaimed, "This game is going into overtime. I think a lot of these games will go into overtime."

I consider myself a rational human being. I will gladly walk under a ladder without giving it a second thought. I've been known to open umbrellas in the house, and I refuse to toss salt over my shoulder if I spill some. I don't break mirrors just to prove a point, but if one does break, I don't feel that shattered glass necessarily dooms me to seven years of bad luck. The number thirteen does not fill me with dread, and, insofar as black cats are concerned, if anything I consider them lucky more than I do unlucky. However, as soon as MY WIFE said what she did, my immediate thought was, "This game now has no chance whatsoever of going into overtime."

And, with eighteen seconds remaining, Vancouver scored.

I said, "Damn it..."

Then, two seconds later, what had been steadily building up inside of me during the past three hours of great hockey came exploding out. It was preordained to be either joyfully exultant or miserably painful. Since Vancouver scored...

"FUCK!", I yelled, with such force that it was probably audible three blocks away. Had an extremely sensitive seismograph been in the area, it might have registered a disturbance with an epicenter pinpointed as our living room.

MY WIFE said something to the effect of, "Why do you get so mad? It's just a game."

That did not help matters.

(I should point out here that I do not blame MY WIFE for the Bruins losing. I'm not that stupid. I expected a goal to be scored at some point. That's the way the game is played. Sooner or later, someone was going to score, there was going to be a winner and there was also going to be a loser. If she had said, for instance, "Vancouver is going to win", she would not have magically made the Bruins score the goal. Still, if she were more of a fan, she would have known that it was a breach of sports etiquette. You do not say such things at such a time.

I believe her intent was honorable. She is a nice woman, not inclined toward sadism. She was only trying to show an interest in something I like, and I appreciate that. However, it was somewhat like a person entering the theater during the third act of a play, one that has been unfolding on stage for three hours and is just about to reach the climax, with that person sitting down next to someone who has been there throughout the production, and saying... well, ANYTHING. It is not a time for those without an emotional investment to be offering opinions.)

I sat and watched the final 18 seconds, hoping for a miracle and knowing in my heart that one would not occur. The final horn sounded, I got up out of my La-Z-Boy, walked over to MY WIFE, handed her the remote control, and said, "Watch whatever you like. I'm going to bed."

And so I did, for about ten minutes. I sat on the edge of the bed, smoking a cigarette, and I realized I had been less than gracious upon my exit from the living room. I love MY WIFE, and I hope to spend many more years with her. The Bruins, on the other hand, don't even know I exist. So, I did the right thing. I went out, gave her a kiss, and apologized for seeming mad at her.

I then tried to explain my disappointment in the outcome of the game, by putting it into terms she might understand.

"It's like when you were watching The Royal Wedding. It's as though they got all the way to the part where the minister asks Prince William if he'll take this woman as his wife, and then Prince William said, "Nah, I don't think so.""

She said it wasn't like that at all. I know, however, that it was the perfect analogy. I absolutely nailed it. And I now give permission to every one of you to use it the next time you find yourself in a similar situation.

Soon, with more better stuff.




33 comments:

Apryl said...

The B's just want to win at home.

Kat said...

Does your wife bake at all?

It is like if someone was making a souffle, and just before they pulled it out of the oven you said, "That is the most perfect souffle I've ever seen!" And then they pulled it out of the oven and it fell flat. It is like that. Lots of time invested into something that was perfect. Then someone speaks some poorly timed words and it all turns to crap. Boo.

;)

Sorry 'bout the game.

Cricket said...

You reminded me of a Dave Barry column, though his was about b-ball, where he said something like you can't disturb a man watching sports because you'll interrupt the "concern rays" streaming from his head through the tv - which will determine the outcome of the game. You emanate mystical vibes that are essential to the win.

Or something like that. His version was funny.

IT (aka Ivan Toblog) said...

I'm pissed, too. But for entirely an entirely different reason. I tuned in to ESPN to watch the Giants @ Cards and found that my provider had blacked it out.
They shall be hearing from me because the main reason I switched to that provider was to receive ESPN.

Quirkyloon said...

LOL! Now we have to worry about sports etiquette?

Really?

So there is a certain time to adjust the crotch during baseball?

Ay, yi, yi.

That was good of you to overlook the obvious jinxing and give your wife a kissy-poo.

Cuz I'm sure you'll be needing your crotch readjusted with her help sometime....

Soon with more better....

hee hee hee

Fire Fox said...

Funny stuff Jim! This is going to be a tough series - but the B's are tough dudes! I loved watching the old Bobby Orr clips... thanks for that. Great memories.

Daryl said...

One of my favorite old shows was Sports Night. I was watching one of the earliest episodes on NetFlix yesterday ... seems the producer wanted a reference to a no-hitter being pitched but was warned that she would jinx it .. of course she insisted it be mentioned and of course the pitcher erred/missed/broke his no hitter record.

And seriously YOUR WIFE is right, there's no comparison of a hockey game to a royal wedding and I hope she makes you stop smoking in the house .. xo

Hilary said...

Oops.. we had a very similar exchange here, too. I left the room to get a drink at less than a minute of play, right after I muttered "overtime, again?" Frank was happy with the outcome. I was torn. I'm so not invested.

Suldog said...

Daryl - You're right, of course. Hockey is WAY more important.

Craig said...

Brutal. . . That was one of those moments where you're just sitting on the edge of your seat, and then, BOOM! And you just reflexively suck your breath in and say something like "Ohmygod!" 'cuz the moment is so huge. . . As a more-or-less uninvested observer, it was a thrilling moment. For a devoted fan of the B's, it was brutal.

And why is it, I wonder, that scoring the game-winner 18 seconds before the end of regulation is so brutal, but scoring 18 seconds into overtime would just be disappointing?

-----

Way back in '84, I was watching an early season game between my Tigers and the White Sox, and by the sixth inning or so, it started dawning that Jack Morris had a no-hitter going. The game was in Chicago, and it was about that time that an obnoxious Sox fan started leaning over the Tigers dugout, yelling, "Hey Morris - you got a no-hitter going!" thinking thereby to jinx it. But Morris just looked straight at the guy and yelled back, "Damn right I do, and I'm gonna finish it, too!" And he did. Only instance I've ever heard of, of the jinx actually failing. . .

Suldog said...

Craig - As I said, I don't really believe in jinxes. However, I would think that "jinx words" uttered with the express purpose of benefiting yourself would have the opposite effect, otherwise everybody would do what that White Sox fan tried to do.

DJ Big Mick said...

I had the same reaction!(There are some who are convinced he was offside as well, just to add salt to the wound.) Until last night, I hadn't actively watched a hockey game since the era of Orr and Esposito, but what a game! Right up until the part where it sucked. Here's hoping for more great hockey with more scoring from the B's

Craig said...

Well, of course, but by answering the guy, Morris was putting himself at considerable risk. . . ;)

(And truth to tell, I'd guess that the WSox fan was more like trying to get into Morris' head, than explicitly 'jinx' him; which is really where the whole 'jinx' thing comes from, I think. . .)

Still, rational person that I am, it's amazing to me how often I have a similar reflex - if I turn on a game and 'my team' is winning, but then, as soon as I start listening, their fortunes turn, and they end up losing, I'll think to myself, "Damn it, I shouldn't have turned it on!"

Clare Dunn said...

Ah, Sully...

No one in THIS house uttered any such jinxisms in the last 60 seconds, and yet, that 18 sec goal happened on our TV, too! Go figure!

The F-bomb was dropped so often here that it made dents on my hardwood floors.

Still a fan...xoxoxo, cd

Shrinky said...

I'm with your wifey here - I just don't get it (shrug).

I do get the analogy tho'.. 'cept, what a hoot it would've been if Kate had turned to have a look around her at the alter, and seeing all the millions she was being broadcast to, had had a sudden change of heart (I know I would have)!

haphazardlife said...

:-D - Jazz

Buck said...

MY WIFE said something to the effect of, "Why do you get so mad? It's just a game."

You demonstrated TRUE love and immense generosity by (a) tolerating such blather and (b) actually apologizing to YOUR WIFE for your pique afterward. My hat is off to you, speaking as a formerly married man. I won't mention what the hockey fan in me thinks.

Still. I know the outcome wasn't to your liking... but what a helluva game that was! It's also nice to watch hockey without stress... I was a TOTAL mess by the end of the 2008 & 2009 finals. I'm STILL not over 2009, either.

Jeni said...

With respect to analogies and whether they are fitting or not, my son is notorious for his analogies and the overwhelming majority of his link back to volkswagon bugs! Sometimes I understand enough about those cars or mechanical stuff and I can see his point but frequently, it's out of my realm a bit much and thus, the analogy he's reaching for is lost on me. I think that maybe what happened with your wife -hockey is just out of her realm of interest so the analogy doesn't fit to her. Now, Kat's comment -comparing things to the lovely souffle that falls flat -that one I understand completely! Just a matter of some crossed communication there but you did make things right in the end and for that move, I admire you muchly! Even though it is "just a game" and she's right about that but being one who DOES occasionally follow certain sports on TV, and who DOES sometimes get really wrapped up in those games too, well sometimes those things may be just a game and yet, they are much more than that to some of us at certain time too!

Anonymous said...

boring 67 between two goal keepers yawn how about a street hockey game where the shots 83-3 and we lost 2-0 this guy right here

44

long live the bombers

Suldog said...

44 - If I was the goalie in a game where the shots were 83 - 3 against me, I'd have to whack my own guys over the head with my stick. Couldn't hurt...

Michelle H. said...

Your wife watches sports with you, not something she normally watches or has an interest in. Perhaps she felt the need to just say something at that intense moment, to let you know she's showing an interest. Can't fault her for that.

Sorry, the analogy doesn't fly with me. Unless the groom high-sticks the ring bearer for the ring and the best man is hip-checking the maid of honor to get in line for a piece of the wedding cake, they are so not the same thing.

Crazed Nitwit said...

You're such a sweet spouse! Sorry about the game. I myself try hard not to "jinx" any sporting event my men care about....

Pat - Arkansas said...

You did the right thing - apologizing to YOUR WIFE, I mean, not your *&(^% outburst. :)

I agree, your analogy was perfect.

Suldog said...

Michelle - Damn it, woman, they ARE the same thing!

(And I mean that in the nicest way.)

They are both entertainments that have nothing whatsoever to do with the real lives of either MY WIFE or me, no matter how much either one of us may like to think that they are more than that. And we both invested time and emotion in them that makes them NOT ground for others to make light of them (and I think I invested more emotion in the hockey game than she did in the wedding, if it gets down to that, although she invested more time in the wedding.)

So very much the same thing. So there!

Skip said...

Can't say I see the analogy. Weddings, royal or not, are mostly co-ed. The SCF are not.

Suldog said...

Skip - Has nothing to do with gender, at all. See above reply to Michelle.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Now see I didn't hear or feel you scream at that moment because I was yelling the exact same thing at the exact same moment. Matt on the other hand was researching good pizza shops in Phoenix and only when my explative escaped my lips did his head pop up for him to sigh. It was all for my benefit. He hates hockey. I won't blame your WIFE, I blame the announcers who literally said with 1:20 left there was no score and that the Bruins looked so good. It was that moment that I knew.

You'll like my post today...

i beati said...

it was a nailbiter!!

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

Aw, man, she's gotta know better than that by now, Jim.

I think YOUR WIFE needs to write a heart-felt apology letter to Tim Thomas, saying how sorry she is for allowing Vancouver to score.

Same sort of think happened with me and Theresa last year. We were watching a Yankee game and the Bombers were holding a lead late. Rivera was in the game. She said, and I quote, "Two run lead with Mo on the mound, this one's over."

I looked her in the eye, and said. "You know what you just did, right?"

"No, what?"

"Watch. Three . . . two . . . one . . . "

"FLY BALL TO RIGHT FIELD AND DEEP! SWISHER TO THE TRACK, TO THE WALL . . . GONE! HOME RUN FOR (whoever the fuck it was) AND THE (whatever fucking team it was) WIN 5-4!"

Why don't people understand that jinxes are for real?

Joan said...

Not commenting on hockey. :) I looked through your Windy City posts. My daughter who lives in Somerville is going this Sunday. It is for work, but they do have a bit of time for themselves. Millennium Park and the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Tour sounds good to me. :) I will let her know.

Jeshka said...

I just don't like that Vancouver won. I hate them with a passion since they knocked the Sharks out :( There was no joy in San Jose that day...

It should be pointed out that I don't spend much attention on hockey...just the Sharks. Yea, I'm one of those fans :) But you can bet your life I will never NOT be a Sharks fan...loyal through and through!

messymimi said...

When i saw the score, i thought about writing you an email, but my ailing computer didn't want to cooperate at that moment.

It's great to have an exciting tied game like that when you win in the end. When you don't, well, it's anything but exciting, and i hope your Bruins win from here out.

lime said...

ok i admit it i am giggling. i'd have made the same comment YOUR WIFE did. then again i didn't care a whole lot about the royla wedding either.