The sports teams that I have followed in my lifetime have never really, truly, been winners.
The Brewers have only been in a single World Series once in my lifetime.
The Bucks have never been beyond the conference finals since I was born.
Crystal Palace, the club that has become a massive part of my life, has only won a single trophy in my life… and that cup doesn’t even exist anymore.
The Islanders, while they won 4 Stanley Cups in a row between ’79 and ’83… haven’t been a good hockey team for the majority of my life. Outside of an amazing run to the Conference finals in 1993, the Isles have been a complete mess for nearly 30 years.
So, it’s easy to see why tonight’s loss for the Islanders was tough for so many fans. Sure I might have yelled out a few curse words at the end of the game, but everyone knows it’s always the hope that kills you, and when you love a team that has come up short every year, the pain is amplified when you feel like “THIS IS OUR YEAR.”
In the minutes after the game had concluded, I thought back to Sean Doolittle’s quote, “Sports are like the reward of a functioning society,” and I realized that we are so lucky to have any sort of distraction from the reality that we are living in right now.
The Islanders players spent months away from their families (and loved ones) to give me, and others, a bit of enjoyment so that we could watch people play hockey.
I truly wish that I could do or say something to each of the players on the team to let them know how much I appreciated everything that they gave up over these past few months. I hope they understand that their fans care for them and their families. I want them to be able to go home, with their heads up, and be proud of all that they did. At the very least, we owe them that for all that they gave to us.