A lot of you know me as an avid television watcher.
A lover of stories.
A connoisseur of drama.
I have spent a lot of the past few years of my life writing about TV.
I have traveled the world to meet other people who love TV as much as I do.
The craziest TV. The best TV. The most heart stopping TV.
This year, a lot of my friends and followers are confused about my current preoccupation with sports and the theater that surrounds them.
I am here to say that sports and TV shows and the fandoms that follow them have absolutely everything in common.
You want drama? We’ve got that. You want to sit at the edge of your seat? We have that too. You want confusion, heart break, devastating loss? We have that in spades.
Last year, after a disastrous loss for my football team in the NFL playoffs, hockey came back to me. To be honest, the football season had kept me from missing hockey as much as I would have during the lockout. Getting it back just in time to have something new to cheer for was only one thing it did to change my life.
A shortened, more intense season meant that every game counted. No game was to be missed and it was imperative to keep up on who was healthy and who was scoring, in order to better prepare for how each game might go. Which NHL team would make it into the playoffs and which would not, seemed to change every day. Even the mighty Bruins seemed questionable at times.
But the Bad Bruising Bruins did make it to the playoffs. Their game 7 win against Toronto will go into the history books. Not just for Boston but for the entire NHL. They proceeded to take out the unstoppable New York Rangers and then SWEPT the Eastern Darling Penguins, holding the best offense in the country to only two goals in four games.
But, making it far into the playoffs, to the final, and then losing on home ice is something, a pain, a loss that cannot be quantified.
Unless you are an avid television watcher.
There is something TV and hockey fans have in common!
You pick your favorite show. You find a connection. One reason alone that makes it your very favorite. It speaks to you. It means something to you. And then you build on that. You find a favorite character. And once you recognize that character, you fall in love with the team behind them. But you still connect with the first thing that made you fall for the show. They do all of the things you love. They move in a way that speaks to you. The words they say mean something more. Sometimes they are silently amazing at what they do. Sometimes they are obnoxious in how they flaunt their abilities. Sometimes they are a little bit of both. Maybe they love your favorite kind of music. Maybe they dance as awkwardly as you might. Maybe they help your city come back from a devastating tragedy. Either way, you connect. You follow.
Maybe someday your favorite character and their team of sidekicks get just this close to catching the culprit. But your lead detective gets hurt so badly he can hardly breathe. He fights on anyways, knowing that they have to catch the bad guy! Everyone is over worked and over tired and the bad guy is gaining on them every minute they don’t act. They try their best. Everyone is working toward the same goal. But maybe a few new detectives have shown up putting kinks in the workings. And maybe some of the old ones aren’t working as hard as they should. No matter how hard they try. They just can’t get the bad guy. He kills again right in front of you and then gets away. Everyone is left holding the pieces and wondering what went wrong.
That’s it. That is your season finale. Everything went bad. So what does this mean for all of the characters you have fallen in love with over the last 48 or 82 episodes? And what if your character is new? What if your character has only been on the show for 5? 10? 20 episodes? Will you get to see them again next season? They didn’t die in the season finale but that doesn’t mean anything. Their fate is still left up for grabs.
You pray and you hope. They are your favorite character. You cannot live if they will not be on your show. THEY MUST BE ON YOUR SHOW. Certainly nothing will keep them from being on your show! They play an integral part!!! They want to stay! The show means so much to them!
But they won’t be on your show. Things happen. New deals are done. They will be working for another show next year. They will be a different character. And they will have brand new sidekicks you have never even heard of. They will be wearing clothes you never would have imagined them in.
You can only hope that if they aren’t going to be on your show next year, they will be on a show you can learn to love! A show that will promote all of their amazing qualities.
But, this isn’t a show. The bad guy is never caught. Not really. These aren’t characters. They are people. Parts of teams. Members of families. Sometimes they choose to run away. Sometimes they are kicked out by parents who just don’t understand. Often it’s just time to move on.
Sometimes it works out for the best. Sometimes it doesn’t.
But it never makes the drama any less.
This is how things are, though. Business is business. No one cares about your feelings or character relationships or families. You have to do what makes the most sense for viewers! For ratings! For trophies!
Suck it up!! Cheer for your team! Watch your show! Hope for your player! Pray for the best!
Nothing is sacred.