Hope: It's a Horrible Thing
The general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled.
This is the definition of hope and the general sentiment that most Calgary Flames fans have endured for quite some time now.
Yes, their mathematical chances are extremely miniscule, but it’s difficult to give up hope even for the biggest cynics like myself if there is still a fighting chance.
I find myself checking the standings nightly (not that this is uncommon) and analyzing every nuance of each team wondering if this happens, and then this happens, and then that happens, then the Flames would only have to win out and they would make it.
What am I on? Someone must have roofied me.
But it’s just that feeling that you hold on to. That feeling that things could happen and that things could actually work out the way you had always hoped.
This, I believe, is one key instance where sport imitates life. This is why it’s so relatable. This is why it’s so damn good.
A lot of people go through life with some sort of plan at some point in their life. And at any given moment, that plan can usually diverts off course due to some unforeseen event occurring. A death, a break-up, or maybe you ordered the soup when what you really wanted was the salad.
But it was too late.
It’s that wrench in the spokes where your whole life gets flipped on end. One day you’re sitting in 4th place in the Western Conference planning home ice advantage in the first round – the next week you’re thinking about which golf course to play in April and where to go on vacation.
But it’s that feeling of hope that keeps you coming back, that feeling that maybe, just maybe, despite all odds and everyone saying it can’t be done, things could work out for your team.
The Calgary Flames have inspired the city and its fans for the majority of 2011 that something more was attainable than a first round exit or a 9th place finish. They have played better hockey than most thought possible. There is a TEAM in there somewhere – it just sometimes has a hard time showing its face.
This could be said for a lot of teams though, and that’s maybe why the parity in the league is so high right now. Anyone can win on any given night – that’s why people watch.
I love this league, and I love the Flames. Yes, I can be extremely cynical of the moves they make or the way they play but in the end it simply shows how much it all means to me.
Inevitably, the Flames will most likely miss the playoffs by a mere couple points leading many Flames players and fans to think back on those couple of points that would have propelled their team into the postseason. It’s as predictable as Don Cherry saying something ridiculous or Pierre Maguire belting out “monster” or “point of attack.”
But there is hope for this franchise – believe me when I say this.
Why, you ask? December 28th.
December 28th will be marked as an important day in this team’s history. It was the day that Darryl Sutter came to this team in 2002, and it was the day he left the team in 2010.
Call it dumb luck, but if you believe in fate, then there might be something more to this.
I believe the positive vibe around the team is higher than it ever has been in years and the direction the team is slowly taking seems to one of speed and creativity.
Do the hockey gods have a similar fate in mind for the Flames come 2011-12 as they did in 03-04?
This summer will be the starting point of that journey and the true beginning of Feaster’s reign. There is a lot of hope riding on him. Let’s pray he knows what he is doing.
Unfortunately, hoping and praying never really get you very far in sports – unless, of course, you are Zach Johnson.