The blog ideas are swirling in my head but I have been super busy with work, and well, life so I haven't had the time to sit down and write them. But worry not, SparkFriends, the blogs will come because if I let these ideas fester any longer in my head, I think my brain will explode. Even I, the biologist, find explode-y brains kind of gross. Today's blog is not the one I had originally intended to post for today but so be it.
I am a HUGE (ice) hockey fan and a die-hard New York Rangers fan (I hope I haven't turned any of you off with that). I have been a fan since I was a kid, not because my family was into it but because my friends were. I then turned my family into fans. No, I never played hockey and I totally suck at skating but I know and love the game. I can see myself becoming a pee wee hockey coach in the future though when I have kids.
The Eastern Conference finals started last night. You can call it the Battle of the Hudson: the New York Rangers versus their cross-river (and divisional) rivals the New Jersey Devils. It's a bitter rivalry between these two teams. In 6 meetings this season, there were 11 fights on the ice. I went to a regular season game between these two teams and witnessed 2 fights in the crowd (which I don't condone, the fighting should stay on the ice). Their last meeting in the Eastern Conference finals in 1994 was epic. It was a legendary battle. The Rangers went on to win that series with a thrilling double-overtime victory in Game 7. They eventually went on to win the Stanley Cup (their first in 54 years).
But I can't think like that this time. I am too superstitious to allow myself to think that way. Isn't it funny how sports can turn otherwise intelligent and rational people into the most superstitious irrational blabbering idiots? I am a scientist and my entire life is governed by reason and logic. And yet, when my team plays, I have to follow certain "rules" so that I don't jinx them. I have to wear my Winter Classic scarf during the playoffs since they've won every time I've worn it. It was 80 on Saturday and I was still wearing this thing. Yes, I know I am crazy.
I think I would have enjoyed Game 1 more if I hadn't been a Rangers fan. It was a great hockey game. It was fast. It was physical. There was skill displayed by both teams. And phenomenal goaltending on both sides. Through 2 periods of play there was no scoring but it was still thrilling to watch nonetheless. But, of course, since I had a vested interest in the outcome, I was watching the game on pins and needles.
You would think having survived two Game 7s in this playoffs already that I would be less nervous for Game 1. Nope. I was in fact, more nervous than I have been since the playoffs started. During the second period (when the Devils were dominating), I really, really wanted to eat something. Munch on something, anything. I needed food in my mouth to distract me from the game. I am not normally a nervous eater but the game was driving me insane. It's so silly to talk about how a game stressed me out to the point that I wanted to shove food into my mouth to deal with it. It was so hard to resist the temptation to shove an entire bag of chips into my mouth (I don't even like chips!) or eat the entire pint of ice cream I have in the freezer. It took every ounce of willpower I owned not to do that. I have come so far and done so well, I was not going to let this game unravel me. I was bad enough as it was this weekend food-wise (a topic for the future) so why continue the streak when I didn't have to?
So instead of using food to deal with my anxiety, I decided to pace the living room. I watched the remainder of the game walking back and forth. For some reason, I found this soothing.
Well, the game finally ended (the Rangers won 3-0) and I managed to survive my intense desire to eat copious amounts of junk. I managed. Somehow. In this game called weight loss, it's all about the small victories. Tomorrow night for Game 2, I'll be back to pacing the living room.
For those of you who are avid sports fans, how do you deal with a "stressful" game?
P.S. As an example of how insane I am about the Rangers, I have a story to tell you. When my husband and I first started dating, I found out that he grew up in NJ. I knew that some people from north Jersey are Rangers fans whereas others are Devils fans. So I had to ask him the all important question: Was he a Rangers or a Devils fan? I don't think we would be married today if he hadn't answered "Rangers."
My husband and I at this year's Winter Classic (New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA)