So despite the fact that at times I feel like a pathetically obsessed fan of the Charlotte Checkers, right now, after missing games one and two of the Eastern conference finals, I feel like some kind of fair weather fan, despite the fact that could not be any further from the truth. It absolutely killed me to be away from the games over the weekend, but as much as I love to support my team, I’ve known my brother for 30 years and couldn’t very well skip out on his graduation from seminary because of a team I have actually only known for a little over a year.
So now, my vacation is nearly over. I’m sitting in a bar in Dubuque, IA drinking a pint of Goose Island 312 as I write this. ( it’s a fantastic microbrewery out of Chicago) and my writing thoughts keep getting interrupted by the Canucks/Sharks game that’s showing on one screen, and the NBA Eastern conference finals game on the other. I love a good sports bar… To me, sports bars are these incredibly unifying places that create an opportunity for sharing between different people. In Iowa, a land of farming… both pigs and corn… I can talk hockey, and cheer for the Canucks with perfect strangers. It’s a pretty amazing phenomenon!
I hope that one day, the Checkers can bring that same bond between myself and other fans. It’s starting, more an more, and its a great feeling. I’ve noticed that more and more in Charlotte, especially with the playoffs, wearing a Checkers tee shirt or jersey out in public, I find myself involved in more and more conversations with perfect strangers about the Checkers. Some are diehard fans like myself, and others are with casual fans who missed the fact our team rocks and is going strong in the post season. As an aside, I can’t even begin to count the number of people I’ve coerced into using tickets to post season games… because I educated them on how awesome the Checkers are these days!
I guess what I was trying to say when I sat down to write this (last night…. and it’s now morning and still unfinished…) is that no matter how close or how far away from Charlotte we are, we are all fans of the Checkers. We are all linked by this great team and organization, even when work or family or whatever takes us away from them. I’m glad I will be home for the rest of the series, but until then, GO CHECKERS!
P.S. Congrats to FINLAND… and our resident Fins in Oscar Osala and Rasmus Rissanen on their IIHF World Championship gold medal yesterday!