Dear followers, I have seen the proverbial "light". Some say that the "light" is a beacon of the way forward in one's life, showing them the path to salvation, fulfillment, or perhaps a jelly doughnut with sprinkles.
For me, the light was none of those things. In fact, my "light" was not a sign from a deity or anything of that nature. No, mine was a .gif file. In fact, it was this .gif file:
You see, I stared at this image for a solid five minutes.
I didn't move.
I didn't blink.
I didn't speak, breathe, laugh, cry, mumble, yell, or even exist.
You see, this .gif became everything, and everything became it. I needed neither food, nor shelter, nor water, for as long as Marc Andre Fleury's face morphed shapes without ever changing, the complexities of how this was possible became so overwhelming that all other questions or thoughts became insignificant to the point of me completely forgetting them.
All hail shape shifting but not shifting Marc Andre Fleury .gif, for it has shown us the light.
Oh, also, he was freaking amazing tonight. Out of three games I've been to this season, Flower has been the first star in two of them. Not half bad, huh? But you know who wasn't amazing?
Penguins fans, of the lower bowl variety. Specifically, the Captain Morgan club.
In the upper bowl, you are never more than a few feet from someone who is certifiably insane. The kind of person who watches "Zodiac," while sharpening a knife that they have lovingly (and hatefully) named "Jaromir". On the negative side of things, this person probably fantasizes about beheading Alexander Daigle. On the positive side of things, they care. And that's what's missing in the lower bowl.
My associate, whom we shall refer to henceforth as Heisenberg (because that's his bowling name), and I sat in a row of about 20 seats. For 50 minutes of the 60 minute game, there were four people in the row. But it's a complete, standing-room-only sell out, right? Sure it is. I believe it. But half of the people in the Captain Morgan Club are empty because their occupants are drinking at the bar and watching the game on tv.
Some day, perhaps I shall know and understand the joy that comes with being in the presence of something, but watching it on a television. Maybe I will travel to....nay, make a pilgrimage to the Grand Canyon, for the sake of attaining the spiritual onenness necessary to understand the people who watch a hockey game on tv from within the very arena whence came said hockey game. And when I get to the canyon, I shall walk to the edge. I shall pay a little Mexican child a dollar, and I shall say "un burro, por favor". Then the child will provide me with the donkey I have requested, and I shall sit on that donkey. And I will hold up a picture of the grand canyon, shielding the view of the real thing from my eyes, and I shall stare at this picture. And then I will turn around and go home, complaining that "the real thing didn't live up to my expectations".
Because every time I hear "SHOOT THE PUCK," "NICE CALL, REF," or "FUCK YOU, JAGR," I die a little bit inside. I want "SHOOT THE PUCK" guy to realize that in doing so, the puck would bounce off a defender's shin pads, causing a breakaway against us. I want "NICE CALL, REF" to realize that the "ref" is actually a linesman, and that the puck did, in fact, cross the blue line, causing a whistle for a legitimate offsides. And I want "FUCK YOU, JAGR" guy to take off his "Tap Out" hat, tuck his head into his O'Crosby St Patrick's Day themed jersey, and keep pushing his head down and around until it's up his ass, because Jaromir Jagr is one of the ten best hockey players of all time, and deserved nothing but cheers on what could have been his last game in Pittsburgh.
Those people care. And I like that. Give me "SHOOT THE PUCK" guy over the girl who's been on her phone the entire game, mumbling "when is this going to be over", any time. Give up your seats, princess, I'll take them.
The New Jersey Devils suck. Go Flower, go Penguins, go Penguins fans.