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So Leighton has terrible handwriting and once wrote the word “putting” in a note about goal-tending, which was misread as “pudding.”  Bad handwriting and nothing more.  I still think  it should be re-appropriated to mean “Michael Leighton is sweet and smooth.”  Sounds like a plan.

From the endlessly repeated references to “proof is in the pudding” about his performance, I am inclined to think his rep has been permanently stamped with that word, even if many use it in this otherwise banal sense.  I wonder if such particular attention to grammar or spelling is given to athletes in other sports?  I think not, but I cannot be sure.

I have few words for tonight’s game.  I will probably have more tomorrow after I actually have a chance to watch it.  The shortcomings of technology again intervened.  I found myself watching only the score again, with those irritatingly incomplete little blurbs making vague reference to what was going on.  I slipped so far in my jinx recovery program that I posted well-wishes about Blackhawks players on the message board.  To wit:

During 2nd period, after Keith and Sopel scored for the Hawks :
“I’m starting to like Byf the Bird Man, I wish him all good things and much happiness in life. Also Mr. Keith, I hope he gets some nice shiny new teeth and sun shines on him for all his days, and Niemi is a beautiful person and I hope he finds a mask that fits and… (it’s a thing, sometimes it works…) Mr. Sopel, well, I’m not sure what he looks like since my “people” in central Europe are being raided as we speak by their version of the FCC… so, may good fortune find him everywhere.”
Did I miss anyone needing my well-wishes?

During 3rd period, during which Kane scored:
“…Kane displays a boyish charm, and I hope he doesn’t choke on his mouth guard (really, that would be gruesome) and Hossa is obviously a valiant asset to his team and I hope they appreciate him and… ”

During overtime, during which Versteeg was able to get a shot off very early on:
“I think Ride Like the Wind suits the Flyers….and Versteeg is a great guy, Bolland too, love ’em to pieces.  And I’m thinking of not finding out how this game ends until tomorrow… I can’t take this.  Happy thoughts to all the Blackhawks….”

While knowing full well that this is completely insane, I do follow some vague guidelines.  For one, it doesn’t work if I lie outright.  I may occasionally employ hyperbole but not falsehood.  I can’t say anything like “I hope they win.”  I can sincerely wish someone well in a general sense and still want them to lose.  Even the Kane comment is not patently untrue- I really don’t want him to choke on his mouth guard and it would be nice if he would put it back in his mouth.  And what effect “boyish charm” has on me is irrelevant to the veracity of  the statement.  Even Byf finally did some things to make me like him.  Aside from not scoring, he also took a couple of stupid penalties which were very helpful.  Maybe he feels badly about my dog?

It is bad to lie outright in writing, so I try not to do so.  Perhaps this exercise offsets the bad energy generated by what may be normal feelings of anger and hostility toward the opposition: willing myself to think of reasons not to loathe the enemy of the hour.

I don’t think anything will make me like that team, even if I don’t hate the players.  There is just something afoot there that needles me.  I really hate the fact that they seem to specialize in very close games.  I think there is a term for a race horse that does that, that lacks the will to get too far ahead of the pack.   It is not a nice quality, there is something taunting and petty and ignoble about it.  Maybe this is just the way playoffs are supposed to go- the best teams get to the end and squeak by with the win.  Six games in a row won by one goal (excluding empty netters which just don’t count for the purposes of gauging “heart”)?  It just isn’t normal.

That streak ended tonight, in yet another one-goal game.  I suppose this means NBC gets to televise another game this weekend.  Excellent.


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