I’m A Fan, Are You?


With my eyes momentarily diverted from politics with the end of the drama of a potential government shutdown, thanks to some honest to J.R.  “Bob” Dobbs concessions on each side of the political fence, my mind turned to sports today.  It will turn back to government again soon enough, with the potential of the debt ceiling not being raised, but for today,  it was all sports.

Well, mostly sports.  I went food shopping and washed clothes, neither one of those are 5 minute operations.  But I was able to watch The Yankees beat up on Red Sox, heard about the New York Rangers game that was played at the same time, and have been watching both the Lightning – Hurricanes game and a slew of baseball games on both MLB and the MLB eatra innings free preview, which is still going on, on Time Warner Cable.

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In a nutshell, the Yankee – Red Sox game was a back and forth struggle until the fifth inning, when Felix Doubrount gave up a 2 run homer around  pesky’s pole.    Read the reports on this one and you come away with the feeling that the game was about the Yankees hitting 4 home runs in the game.  That was nice and all, but 4 2/3  innings worth of 3 hit ball after a shaky start from Yankee starting pitcher Ivan Nova made all the difference.  This is a different game if  David Robertson doesn’t come in and put out the fire in the bottom of the fifth, when he came in with two on and 1 out in the 5th.

So you can talk about Russell Martin hitting 2 blasts bringing the Yankees to Victory, but without Dave Robertson and the bullpen, it isn’t quite so easy.

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The Rangers game went on at the same time as the Yankee game, and as a consequence I missed it.  Not that I wasn’t following it, I was, I just didn’t watch.  I had the cell phone and I checked out the score as often as I could.   Yer probably saying to yourself  “why didn’t you just turn the game on?”  I was not at home.  Not my house, not my remote, not my call.  ‘Nuff said. 

I was with my brother and father talking about the Rangers.  My dad hates Marian Gaborik, thinks he’s about as useful as legs on a fish.  I think he’s better than that.  He isn’t the great player ownership tried to tell us he was, but he isn’t bad.  My brother James seems to think Brandon Prust is one of the best players on the team.  Won’t disagree he is a catalyst, but he said that Prust lead the team in points.  I had to check that out.  He is actually 9th in points on the team, on a team that has no real flashy point a night players on it. 

Prust is good, but be doesn’t lead the team, points-wise. 

T’was a happy thing though, to find that My Rangers had won their game, and did their part to insure they made the playoffs, even if I didn’t get to watch the game.  Now all they needed was for the Canes to lose later on…

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The hockey game I watched with the most interest was the Lightning –  Hurricanes game.  If the Canes won, they would take 8th place and a playoff birth and knock out the New York Rangers.  I am a fan.  Love my team, not crazy enough to…I dunno… pray for my team to win, or for the other team to lose.  Prayer is more for important things, like loved ones in trouble and the like.  So I wasn’t praying for the Canes to lose. Or for Tampa to win.  Or for the Rangers to make the playoffs.

What I did was watch the game and hope things went my way.  I saw the opening line up, and was unhappy to see that Mike Smith was the starting goalie for the Lightning.  Roloson has been a damn fine goalie for the Lightning, and thought that starting Smith was a step down, and thought that signaled that the Lightning weren’t gonna push in this game.

Then I saw the first few minutes of the game, and liked what I saw.  That Hurricanes team was playing tight, they were making mistakes on the ice that they haven’t made recently, the kind of mistakes that kill chances to win.  First goal was by former Ranger Dominic Moore, then the Lightning scored 2 goals in just under 2 minutes. 

The striking thing for me was that they weren’t great chances, they were shots, and that’s all they have to be, but still, to give up relatively easy goals in a game this important made it look like they were just too tight, too tense to get back in the game. They tried, they really did, They pulled within 2, but then gave up 2 empty net goals.  The game might have been over in the first period, but the first empty netter by former Flyer winger Simon Gagne was the final nail in the Canes coffin.

The Final score was Lightning 6, Hurricanes 2.  Rangers are the 8 seed in the Playoffs.  It was rough but they made it!

I did not celebrate the Rangers making the playoffs until the final horn sounded.  I did not raise my arms in victory until the game was over, no matter how much it looked like it was over 2 periods prior.  And the celebration was a simple YES! and a fist pump.  Enough celebrating, now I look forward to the first round playoff matchup between the Rangers and the Capitals.

Should be fun.

LET’S GO RANGERS!!!

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That’s it America.  Go to sleep.

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