No Stanley

Just when you finally take the time to watch the early rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, your team loses. Tonight I watched the Detroit Red Wings end their season by losing to Colorado. The interesting thing about sports is the consistent focus on winning. I suppose that’s probably the point. I just think it’s funny how obsessive you can be about it. All through the nineties the Red Wings were building a championship team. They kept coming closer and closer but they never quite made it. Something was always missing. In 1996 they almost had it and set a record for the most games won in the regular season. The playoffs came and something fell apart. Then in 1997 they got it right. Stanley Cup Championship. The winning formula continued in 1998 with a few changes, and they won again. In 1999 the formula wasn’t working so well and they didn’t even make it to the finals. And now in 2000 it’s the same story. As the final minutes ticked away in tonight’s game the announcer made the comment that this Red Wings team would face a lot of questions in the off season. The winning formula isn’t so winning anymore, and changes will be made. Never mind that they’re one of the best teams in the league and made it through one round of the playoffs. But if it’s not a Stanley Cup, it’s not good enough.

I know it’s the very nature of sports, and maybe this is why I only played T-ball and soccer as a kid. I played in the minorest league you could, and in that league it didn’t matter if you won, it didn’t matter if you scored. All that mattered was that you played. Even if you were just the catcher for your T-ball team (and I was), you were playing. It just seems kind of silly that it’s not enough to go out there and have fun, let the fans go crazy for a pretty good team. Pretty good isn’t enough. Now the Wings will start making major changes in the elusive search for another Championship. Of course changes break the team unity and things won’t be the same. Finding that perfect formula could take another forty plus years, the last dry spell between Stanley Cup Championships for Detroit. But I suppose that’s just the way things are. Change is a part life.

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