Since the last NHL lockout, the only sports franchise I've really ever followed with much vigor (and it's been a lot of vigor) has been the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 2004 lockout didn't really have a big impact on me, because I was away in college, too busy with other things to watch the games, anyhow.
After the games returned, I was pretty busy studying for finals, and it was something of a relief that the Leafs weren't in the playoffs, because it would have been tremendously distracting - as you can imagine.
And, apparently, the last labour agreement was the worst thing to ever happen to the Toronto Maple Leafs. They've been absolutely unable to operate under its rules and regulations, and they've failed miserably.
That being said, I have been somewhat hopeful under the new terms in the upcoming agreement that they might be able to get that back on track but .... who am I kidding?
Sports is supposed to be an escapist reality full of drama and inspirational stories. They're modern-day war stories, where you watch these athletes "battle" and achieve victory, and ... basically, you can get caught up in what they're doing, probably forgetting the rest of your life during that time.
It gives you plenty to ponder, imagine and hope for. It's a story that unfolds in real-time and activates your imagination - but in all practicality, it's been a lesson in managing disappointment.
And therein lies the greatest flaw in following sports at all - unless you "win," what do you really get? You could say: Inspirational Stories. The flaw here is that too many stories are heavily focused on trying to rewrite being good at sports as "inspirational."
I've been thinking a lot about some of my dismays in giving two shits about sports, and I hope to explore those in the next few blog posts.
Part 2: Is being good at sports an "inspirational story"?
Part 3: Can other sports fill the void? Part 3
Part 4: Sept. 15 is MY lockout, but what am I waiting for?
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