Thursday, March 01, 2007

Distraught

This isn't about surviving abuse, it's about hurt and finally learning something...

I'm a major hockey fan. The stereotype of being Canadian and loving hockey is me. I ask that if you read this post, you respect me and my feelings. Please don't discount them or leave comments about how it's just a game. It may be a game, but the players, especially this one in particular are very important to me. Thank you!

My team is the Edmonton Oilers. Always has been, and even though it's a love / hate relationship, they always will be. I've been cheering for them before I was ever hurt. I remember the first Stanley Cup they won, it's one of the few memories I have of my childhood - good memories, that is.

I love the Oilers. I love the players. They are my heroes. They bring a smile to my face and this indescribable feeling in the pit of my stomach with each game I watch. It doesn't matter if they win or lose, they are my boys.

I lost interest in hockey after they traded Gretzky and then Messier. I was 11. It broke my heart and I couldn't handle it. I still have the Gretzky trade on tape although I have never watched it since, and probably never will. It crushed me.

I started watching hockey again when I was 15, there was nothing else on TV so I decided to just watch, although I promised myself I wouldn't get involved with the game or the Oilers. Well, the opposite happened. I fell in love with a player. He has heart and soul like no other player. He wore his heart on his sleeve. The passion he put into every game was amazing. He soon became the face of the franchise, every one's favorite player. I couldn't remember another player as awesome as him since the dynasty and The Boys On The Bus. The things he did for the community, the children, the Stollery Children's Hospital and the game of hockey can't be put into words. He was truly a nice guy. I had the incredible opportunity to meet him while standing in line at a Tim Horton's. It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life.

On February 27th the Oilers traded him to the New York Islanders.

When I read that on TSN my heart just broke. I was crushed. It hurt. And I was very angry. At that moment I hated the Oilers, I hated the organization and most of all I hated Kevin Lowe. I couldn't believe they had done it again, they gave up someone awesome and for next to nothing.

That same night, we celebrated Messier - the Moose! - by raising his number to the rafters, retiring number 11 forever. It was a hard night, with many mixed emotions. My respect for the player they just traded grew even more as he graciously stayed away and declined to speak with the media until the next day to avoid any overshadowing of the Moose's big night. Pure class.

The next day he spoke to the media, and as I watched him break down and cry on national television I also broke down and cried. Not just because he was traded, but because it's a major loss for the Edmonton Oilers, the fans, the city and especially his family and friends.

Tonight the Oilers are playing, I'm not watching the game. I have tickets to Saturday's game, but I don't want to go. My heart isn't in it anymore.

It's huge loss.

In a way, I'm thankful. Watching this tough man cry real tears, to show such deep emotion on TV for millions of people to see taught me something that no one has been successful in teaching me.

IT'S OK TO FEEL. IT'S OK TO CRY.

His name is RYAN SMYTH. NUMBER 94. FOREVER AN OILER IN MY HEART.

He is my hero. And it hurts.

5 comments:

Lynn said...

It's hard to lose a hero. It IS okay to cry. Isn't it strange how we sometimes discover certain things in unexpected and seemingly unrelated places? I had a similar revelation while reading a work of popular fiction. I was quite surprised and also grateful and relieved.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

He is here and many of us can't believe that the trade happened. It is TOTALLY acceptable and normal to grieve over his trade and the loss it touches within you. I so get that!

Holly said...

I am also fan of hockey, I have even been to see "Toronto Maple Leaf's" in the old Building. Years ago as a child. I also have been to the Hockey Hall of Fame...
I was born in the City of Champions...yes.. I truly enjoy the game. I can not skate lol...good one B.. anyway you are in my thoughts and prayers.
All the best to the hockey world fans.
Take care

Reverend Sumangali Tania Pink said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Tears are cleansing. Let them flow dear.

You are loved and held with your tears.
xx
Tania

Cheesemeister said...

I'm a hockey fan too but shamefully, I just haven't been able to get into it this year.
I wasn't crushed as you describe but was severely bummed when the Avalanche traded Peter Forsberg. He is one of my all-time favorites and I never get to see him play anymore because he was traded to an Eastern Conference team and we don't recieve the telecasts of those games where I live. He is getting close to retiring and it just SUCKS! I really do hate it when my favorites get traded. I still think back to the Avalanche as they were from about '95 to '98. Those were really the days!