It is really, really hard to watch a professional sports team full of grown men at the peak of their careers all simultaneously shit the bed in a championship game. I get the feeling that is what is happening as I watch this Canucks-Bruins game. Vancouver is down 4-0 and the first period isn't even over yet. It is the twisted inverse of a Horatio Alger story: if you work hard enough and want it bad enough, you too can blow it when it counts the most.
I feel bad for Roberto Luongo, the goalie. I was Roberto Luongo. For one season in high school, I played goalie for the Youngstown Daredevils. We lost every game. All 27 of them. We would drive an hour to get beaten by the likes of Cleveland Heights, Brooklyn and Euclid, the last of whom we would mock for playing in a rink that looked like it had been constructed, without aid of a sharp saw or tape measure, in a high school wood shop. They beat us hard for that.
And yet we kept playing. I would like to say it made us better and stronger. I'd like to say it was a learning experience. Really though, it just made us tired. I was hit by a lot of pucks that season. I once made 48 saves. In 36 minutes. We lost 9-0. I wanted to give up. I couldn't. My parents had already paid for the whole season in advance.
Sometimes things are like that. You just know, no matter how much you believe in that never-say-die sports dogma, that you are going to lose. I could be wrong about this. There are two more periods to go. I only offer the Canucks this once piece of advice: don't make fun of Boston's rink. That never works.