Watching the score progress on the Flyers game today made me realize I am way to impatient with hockey teams. For me to enjoy the game, I need to not expect so much. I’m not on the team. I don’t pay them, I don’t sell their tickets, I just want to enjoy observing the game. So I need to lighten up. Besides, inconsistency is human. I get it.
Later, reading the angry posts on the Sharks board made me want to say something like this: “players are not machine parts. Even if they were, swapping them out is not an obvious answer. If you are stuck in the mud, you do not change the tire that is down in the hole. You find a way to get the whole thing rolling. Sometimes it takes a mule, which is not like a rock star or a superhero. A metaphorical mule (since Franzen is not available) would be someone who unexpectedly has a good day and startles everyone into remembering how it is supposed to work.”
Then I tried to figure out who the Sharks’ “mule” might be tomorrow, or the next day. Not Thornton. Even if he has surprises up his sleeve, he is most definitely in the stuck vehicle, not on the outside where a mule would have to be.
So I wondered what about Ferriero? Since he got called back up, he has been kicking… and kicking… apparently not hard enough.
And I thought back to the Zip Line, who are all Tigers and have kicked the game up a few times. Again, not enough to keep The Thing That Wins breathing for long.
And the Pick-Up Line, now scavenged for parts to mix and match with the Big Three.
It started to look like there have been a whole parade of mules hitched to this cart, and they’ve moved it but little.
It all sounds fairly dismal but then I think back to last Spring when the team was mired in a six game losing streak and, as now, their Captain had little to say to the public that would inspire anyone. It was just common sense: “give us time.” There were no fighting words. No “this is unacceptable” or angry looks. No fire.
Still, the team did turn around the next day and win like 3 in a row.
I hope we are not hearing or seeing the whole story. Terms like “individual responsibility” are well and good, but … no, they really are not well and good. This is a team. It needs to not think like a bunch of individuals. That each player has his own brain and personality goes without saying. To suggest that the team is waiting for each person to conclude his own investigation into personal motives and meaning and the origins of hockey and life…. No! Move now!
So, the team has leadership issues. A strong team with a lot of strong personalities in the room, a lot of talent, a lot of B.S. Democracy is slow and cumbersome. It is lousy at sports. Someone needs to start talking, and not softly and not democratically. If the designated speaker is not going to do it, will the real leader please stand up?
So much for lightening up.