No Madness, Only Hockey (pt 1: the West)

It’s a liminal time of year. A young man wakes up on March 18th, bleary-eyed and barely remembering his last two days. He fumbles for his phone, checking texts and e-mail and—

Wow, that’s a lot of messages. Each one seems to implore him to complete something known as the Almighty Bracket. The only messages that don’t require his thoughts on the Bracket are messages telling him what to think about the Bracket. BRACKET. This rite of passage has signaled that spring is merely days away. It’s time for Bracketology. It’s time for the Final Four.

It’s time for March Madness.

Or not.

Watch out, corporate sponsors! March Madness is destroying the floor, with gravity and lens flare! RUN! SAVE YOURSELVES, CORPORATE SPONSORS!

Thankfully, the message I bring you today has nothing to do with the hype machine that is the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. I’ve never been keen on following college athletics – and don’t get me started on the bullshittery of NCAA’s “amateurism” – so I’ve got nothing to offer on the Madness.

Maybe you’re of a similar mindset. Or maybe you’re really tired of seeing FINAL FOUR plastered over the same bar banners that, only days ago, excoriated us to make other poor life choices – choices that somehow celebrated an Irish saint. Or maybe you’re a sports fan, but aren’t buying the Madness (or that other basketball thing… y’know, that NBA thing). Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is still a few weeks away, and America forgot about the World Baseball Classic (SPOILER ALERT: Dominican Republic won), so… what can one do other than succumb to the Madness?

Well, I’m here to tell you what – you don’t mind if I grab a seat, do you? I’m here to introduce you to a world of ice and vulcanized rubber. If you have not been baptized in the church of the NHL, I would like to offer you a glimpse into what you’ve missed. There’s been sport a-plenty happening on the ice since October erm, since the start of this year. Why succumb to Madness, when you can follow the wisdom of our Lourd and saviour, the Almighty Hockey Puck? [Read more…]