(Disclaimer: I wrote this during the week of 11/5/12, if the zombie apocalypse has happened in the weeks following, to the survivor reading this, best of luck to you and the rest of humanity.)
Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 Election and winter storm Athena. I’m fully expecting a zombie outbreak next week. Lots of communities all over the tri-state area and beyond are still currently trying to recover from Sandy. I would like to ask each and every one of you do what you can to help, donating food, money, letting people charge their electronic devices. Anything that can help in some small way will mean a lot to someone else that needs it badly.
New York City has seen its fair share of natural and man-made disasters over the years. But it doesn’t matter what knocks us down, the city will always get back on its feet and soldier on. We’re a resilient bunch of people and not much will stun us for too long. In times like these, sports plays an enormous role in the healing process and making everyone feel that life can, and will get back to normal.
Professional sporting events afford a well-needed distraction in the aftermath of catastrophes. It allows fans everywhere to take their minds off their problems for a few hours and not have to worry about a thing. A lot of people will argue that when major events happen, such as the hurricane or even 9/11, that there are more important things to worry about than a bunch of overpaid grown men playing a sport for no apparent purpose other than fame, fortune and glory. I’m sure everyone has will have that picture of Messier wearing the FDNY helmet seared into their memories for as long as they live.
To a certain extent, that is true. But I believe we can find a good balance that can be a positive distraction, while helping recovery efforts as well. New York City area sports teams have always been in the forefront of charity work, raising funds and helping others in need. No other city that I’ve lived in has such a big presence of charitable work outside of their sporting events. Players going out of their way outside of the arena to volunteer, visit hospitals or do charity work is a very common occurrence here in the tri-state area.
We’ve all heard the word “resilient” used a lot while describing the New York Rangers. It is a very fitting moniker given where they play and what they stand for in this city. No one will ever accuse them of being soft (except Joe Thornton) or wanting to take a day off, just like the city that they play in and just like the residents that they play for everyday.
Right now, hockey would be a welcome distraction to many countless people still attempting to pick up the pieces of their lives in the wake of Sandy. Sadly enough, all they have to console them right now are replays of last year’s season, or the handful of KHL games on MSG or NHL network. Which is why these last couple days of CBA negotiations have been a very welcome development in restoring some semblance of an NHL season (edit: not so much anymore). If all else fails, I suppose we all just go back to watching AHL/ECHL/NCAA hockey.
I won’t go on about the lockout because frankly I’m pretty sick and tired of all their bullsh*t from both sides. I would just like to be informed when they both come to an agreement and I can go watch my Rangers play.
But for the sake of this city’s healing process and psyche, I hope that we do get to see some NHL hockey soon. Sports play a very important role in a lot of people’s lives, we’ve already had to suffer through more than one lockout, the current season in jeopardy, and now it seems that Mother Nature herself is against the entire East Coast as well.
Incidentally, as I’m finishing up writing this, Brad Richards is hosting a charity game in Atlantic City this Friday and MSG is hosting the Michigan/Cornell hockey game on Saturday. So there’s some NHL talent you could go see, I believe Lundqvist/Brodeur will be the goalie tandem for Richards’ team, along w/Halpern, Boyle, Girardi, Staal and Eminger. I heard rumors that Callahan might be attending, but it was unconfirmed.
I unfortunately won’t be able to attend Friday’s festivities in Atlantic City, but will do my best to go to the Michigan/Cornell game at MSG. If anything it will let me tour the newly renovated Phase II of MSG.