So there’s no way to deny it, I am definitely a sports fan(atic).
Case in point; Tuesday, May 25 was Game 7 of the NHL Western Conference Semifinals pitting the San Jose Sharks against the defending Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings.
Coming from cold, snowy upstate New York where frozen ponds are playgrounds in the winter, I love hockey. I was a Rangers fan while living there and then pledged allegiance to the Sharks about a year after I got here to the West Coast.
While they have yet to win Lord Stanley’s Cup, the Sharks gave us some thrills this season, battling back against the Kings and pushing it to a Game 7 after losing the first two in the best of seven series. So there was nowhere else I wanted to be for Game 7 but sitting at my friend Michelle’s house with her rowdy family, screaming at the TV with them, just as I had for the previous six games in the series.
But… duty called. Tuesday was also the budget workshop put on by the City of Escalon, followed shortly thereafter by the Spring Sports Awards Night. How could I miss both those events? But it was tough.
After the budget hearing, I stopped in at the Escalon Library and logged on to the Sharks website to catch up. It was 0-0 and the screen refreshed every 30 seconds. Sitting there for two minutes, just watching the 0-0 flash at me and not much more information than that being provided, I couldn’t take it anymore.
My new (to me) car didn’t have an antennae when I got it and that hasn’t been high on the ‘to do’ list since we have a CD player and a handful of FM stations that come in. So I couldn’t just tune in the Sharks on the AM dial like usual but I did come up with a plan. A quick stop at a local store for a combination AM-FM radio set me back 20-plus dollars (batteries extra) but that didn’t matter. I had time to listen to at least part of the second period before sports night started. I bought the handheld electronic radio, put in the batteries, settled into the car to listen, and knew where to tune it to get the Sharks playoff game.
Except … the only station on the AM dial I could get to come in was a local religious station, the Christian broadcast apparently with a strong enough signal to block out anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I know God loves me. But I really wanted to hear the Sharks.
Plan B – text Michelle for an update. She replied, it was still 0-0 after one period. Then it was off to the Sports Awards and the taking of multiple photos. Plus a couple of occasional updates via text. Did I really want to know what was going on? Michelle asked. Because L.A. had scored. Not once. But twice, in somewhat rapid succession.
I knew it just wasn’t good. You can’t change it up that late in the game. Six second round contests, all watched at Michelle’s house (dinner included) and this time, the routine was different. Not saying that had anything to do with the loss and the end of the season for the Sharks but who’s to know for sure? Sports fan(atics) can be a bit superstitious.
After my photo duties were finished and I headed back from Escalon, the little radio – if I held it just the right way –could pick up the Sharks station through some static and the occasional ‘Hallelujah, Amen!’
So there I was, one hand on the wheel, one hand holding the radio, the game coming in just enough for me to agonize with the team through the last couple of minutes as they fought furiously to prolong their postseason run.
What a bummer when the buzzer sounded and we were out, falling 2-1 in the finale. Do I care now who wins the Stanley Cup this season? Not really.
But at least God still loves me.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.