Despite the Devils success so far, this has been a hard season for us to write about. We felt they were some kind of parallel-universe Devils for four months. We were upset about the Pando situation. We were upset about Holik situation. We couldn’t connect with the team. And more importantly, it’s been a year where real life has reminded us more than ever that hockey is just a distraction.
But last night’s record-breaking extravaganza at The Rawk transcended all of that. Sure, we’ve already made our peace with a lot of the personnel decisions we haven’t liked this year, and we’ve finally found our way with the team, and, well, Marty’s been back. But last night’s game, and all the atmosphere and celebration around it, reminded us why sports do matter.
Devils fans are probably the last fanbase to ever project much of anything about their favorite team into some kind of statement about their lives; we’re probably the last fans to ever measure our self-worth in terms of our team’s failures or successes… We just are. We’re cool and confident in our fandom. We’re sarcastic and bitter, sure, but we’re also used to being slighted, used to being disrespected, but tough enough that we’re not about to cry about it everywhere. There might not be tons of us, but there are enough. And Marty’s career was shared with us. Marty’s wins were for us. Marty wanted to be in New Jersey in part because of us. A sports record – particularly an individual one — is ridiculous, it’s artificial, it’s meaningless. But it’s also ours. It’s New Jersey’s, along with Marty’s.
Last night was a night we – and all our fellow Devils fans – were just well and truly happy. And there’s a lot of value in that.
It was such an awesome night of hockey that it prompted us to write some poetry. (And we, um, might have gotten distracted along the way by one of Marty’s legacies in the game — the stupid fucking trapezoid. Couldn’t the league just take the trapezoid out now, to apologize to Marty in celebration of his accomplishments?)
Devils wear red, and donuts are rarely blue,
Marty — you’re the best and we love you.
Marty, Marty, burning bright, like a Sprite, in the night.
D is for donut, round and sweet.
O is for oustanding goalie.
N is for not appreciated.
U is for we love you.
T is for FUCKING TRAPEZOID!
I think that I shall never see a thing as lovely as a Marty save.
I shot a trapezoid into the air.
Where it landed was behind the net, where it ruined the game.
The trapezoid is the thing with slimy dragon scales that perches in my soul.
[Note: It being Wednesday, we’ll be on tivo delay tonight. Let’s hope this game isn’t a giant letdown!]