This is not a preview. Andrew's gonna come by later with one for you guys. but hey, how's everyone doing today? Good? Not so much? Nervous? Yeah, I can see why.
It feels like the night before Christmas, but if there was a real possibility that Santa might shit in your stocking.
Granted, we're not quite in that territory yet, but as Chicago sports fans I do think there's two sides within us at war against each other-- on one hand, the part that's, well, a Chicago fan, and on the other, the part that's seen the Blackhawks through their renaissance.
I personally like to hope for the best but expect the worst, with a strong tendency to lean very heavily towards pessimism, but with this team it's just so hard to do that! And when I do, when I catch myself thinking "what if" and when people start asking me "IF [event name redacted] happens, when WOULD [event name redacted] happen?", I scramble to find some way to counteract this shamed "entitlement" (although it is never asked, um, entitledly) with some sort of offering to the hockey gods. (For the record, I have no idea what to do to appease them for what the Chicago media has decided to come up with. We're f*cked.)
Speaking of the hockey gods and superstitions-- can I just say that I wish I could be as "stitious" as Andrew is? This morning I woke up in a panic, because I had no idea where I would be watching the game, and the thing is, the haze of being in the Stanley Cup Finals has kicked in so much that I couldn't even remember where I was when I watched the sixth games of the first two rounds. All I remember was being in a bar with people, but everyone I knew had different ideas about where they wanted to go.
At least I knew what I was going to wear, regardless, but with the way I packed my red Toews jersey (hah, can you say 'bandwagon'?) and "Win it for the Ginger" shirt you'd have thought I was performing the tea ceremony or something. There were also five minutes spent agonizing on which "lucky" underwear to wear (Really wish I'd kept a chart of their win-loss records...) and another 2 minutes contemplating just wearing them all (I don't even know)-- but then, what about for the things that I don't normally have a set routine for on game days? Yeah, I nearly didn't eat breakfast because I didn't know what mini-cereal box was "Blackhawks-y" enough (settled on the box of Froot Loops because it was red...) and to think: it's only 9:06 am as I type this.
Before you call the funny house on me, here's my disclaimer: I know none of what I do will make one whit of difference on the outcome of tonight's game. I know that those of you with superstitions of your own (and feel free to share them!) know that too. Yet I can paralyze myself by thinking "Hey, what if this is bad luck?" just as easily as I can by conjuring the numerous statistical data that will tell me the Hawks won't win tonight-- just as easily, I'm sure, as I can do the opposite. And then there's that thing that's at the back of my head (what's the rule about jinxing things? Do you keep it from happening if you say it or does that only work if it's things like "SHUTOUT" and "HAT TRICK" and you're talking about your team? Should you say it if you don't want it to happen? Do you see what I mean now about paralyzing myself? What the hell, I'll just say it.) where since the revival of the franchise, the Blackhawks have never gone through a game 7. I've seen what the Hawks are like in game 6s (and their record is 4-0 since the 2009 postseason) but going into a seventh is unchartered territory, and quite frankly, territory I'd rather not charter for now.
Though really, when all is said and done, tonight is still unchartered territory for most of us. There's not much that we can do except watch the clock as it counts down to puck drop.
And remember to breathe.