When I’m able to watch a Redwings playoff game at home, I have a few patterns I follow. IBC, my hockey stick, wearing a jersey, and oh yes….the playoff beard. Mine is coming in nicely.
Do I actually believe these small rituals are contributing to the win of my team? Probably not. But it’s called being a fan. A fanatic. It’s a connection to my team. It’s part of following and experiencing it all. There is a respect and long built reverence for ritual that is not akin to worship, but more along the lines of having something “worth” value in today’s anything goes mentality. To some, it may be silly. But to a hockey fan…you nod, understanding exactly what I’m talking about.
Last night, that respect and reverence was thrown aside as if it were simply an old snake skin, no longer necessary or valuable. Sidney Crosby led the charge against such reverence and superstition, as his team won the Eastern Conference Finals. When awarded the Prince of Wales trophy, every hockey player knows….
You smile. You take pictures near it. You shake hands with the man presenting it. You do NOT touch it. Lord Stanley’s Cup is the only trophy you’re anticipating, and desiring to celebrate. All other awards and trophies on the way to the Cup will be celebrated in it’s wake.
But no. Sidney Crosby did that last year. He respected tradition, only to realize that by not winning the cup, he missed out on his only opportunity to hoist this trophy when the cameras were watching, and get some press.
This year, he knew the same would happen. He knows that as they face the Wings in the finals, he will not get anymore opportunities to bask in the glory of any trophy hoisting. So, stomping on years of tradition and the reverence built up for generations….he grabbed the Prince of Wales Trophy, desperate for any press and media attention he could get. Many of his team followed suit, after all…he is the captain.
Watch a real hockey team tonight. As the Detroit Redwings finish their round against Chicago. As they are presented the Clarence Campbell Bowl for the Western Conference. As they smile, and shake hands, and look forward to the REAL celebration that is to come.
ps. It’s been pointed out that Yzerman always touched the Clarence Campbell Bowl, and I’m fine with that. Yzerman was in a league of his own…both transcending and creating tradition with his very life. 🙂 Crosby is the new kid….and until he learns how to contribute more to the team than his own stats….he ought to show more respect to those who came before him.