Amidst another vicious Cartel attack, it’s tempting to write about something somber.
I have been told I am a tad fatalistic, at times turning readers off. However, I have never taken “literary license,” as a student, sell-side analyst, or blogger. What makes my work popular is my frank language and no-nonsense approach, which I cannot sacrifice if I am to remain true to myself. Believe me, I’ll be the first to report “good news” when I see it. However, as pertains to economic matters, I have seen NOTHING positive for a decade, and sadly, do not anticipate the “return” of good news in this generation. I believe the ENTIRE GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM will COLLAPSE – starting with Europe – and when it does, only those that PROTECTED themselves with PHYSICAL GOLD and SILVER, FOOD, ENERGY, and other ITEMS OF REAL VALUE will survive – and not just financially.
That said, today’s RANT does not relate to the “SUDDEN DEATH” of markets, the economy, or any of my usual “doom and gloom” topics, but Ice Hockey.
From recent writings, you probably realize I’m a diehard New York Rangers fan, although why I’ll never know, given that I grew up 10 miles from Nassau Coliseum, home of the rival New York Islanders. Not only that, the upstart Islanders won the Stanley Cup four years a row when I was ages 9-12, my most formidable hockey-rooting years. Consequently, I took A LOT of ribbing for rooting for the Rangers – who hadn’t won a Cup since 1940 – and put my heart and soul into them, experiencing the same frustration Chicago Cubs fans have endured for decades.
Thankfully, the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994, taking a load off my back that made my life much easier. The glow of victory lasted a few years, but in time burnt out, as the team hasn’t been close to winning since. That is, until this year, when it had the top record in the Eastern Conference. For the first time in years, they were actually a favorite to advance in the playoffs!
In their first round matchup with the gritty Ottawa Senators, it took a one-goal win in the seventh game to finish them off. Throughout the series, I felt the old passions resurface, and by Game 7, the old “RANTING RANGER FAN” was back, scrutinizing each possession, cheering the players, and booing the refs – although frankly, there was little to boo, as the refs were fantastic, “letting the players play.”
In the second round, the Rangers are playing one of their oldest rivals, the Washington Capitals – quite ironic, as the series pits the twin capitals of American evil. Still, I have watched these teams fight many an epic battle, and with the Cup getting closer, no doubt this match-up would be great, too. The first two games were split – both by tight margins – setting up yesterday’s all-important Game 3, in Washington. It started the same as the others, a tightly defended game featuring great goaltending and precious few scoring opportunities. Both teams scored in the second period, but who would believe 85 minutes would pass before the next – and final – goal?
Per the article below, the hand of fate always plays some part in Overtime games – where pucks make strange bounces, goalies tragic mistakes, and “sure goals” find ways of missing the net. However, the Capitals were working harder than the Rangers during the first Overtime period, which I viewed as an omen not only for this game, but the entire series. The Rangers had lost seven straight playoff Overtime games – including two more this year – so the stigma of another such loss could be fatal.
But then something strange happened, starting in the second Overtime period. The Rangers picked up their game, summoning an inner strength more common in fiction than the real world. Their defenseman started blocking every shot, and their forwards pushed harder and harder into the offensive zone. Both teams had fluky attempts to win – per the hand of fate described above – but the Rangers were clearly the better team, throughout the second Overtime and the third, which went nearly the whole 20 minutes before ending.
One Ranger took a stick to the face early in the second Overtime, drenching the ice with blood. Amazingly, he was in and out of the locker room with sutures within ten minutes – just in time for a Capital to accidentally be cut, also requiring in-game stitching. Better yet, a Ranger that had missed the past three games with a concussion – suffered by a head-jarring check – blocked a shot with the side of his face, again covering the ice with blood. Incredibly, he returned for his next shift, with nothing but a bandage on his chin.
I watched each possession hungrily, like delving into the human soul. Hockey is one of the most physically grueling sports, and to see such grit and determination for the equivalent of two games – in a “do-or-die” situation, to boot – was quite inspiring. Given how hard I pursue my own interests – be they blog-writing, bike riding, or soccer – I am drawn to human drama, when people find inner strength to face daunting tasks. Fighting the Cartel for ten years may not be the same physical experience as playing hockey for six periods, but it certainly is an equivalent mental war, which also describes much of what the players fought last night.
Finally, with just five minutes left in the third Overtime period – they’d have played all night if need be – the Rangers scored, a highly emotional moment after five hours of watching, aided by an equal or greater number of glasses of wine.
The Rangers had won in “SUDDEN DEATH,” a rare moment of pure adrenalin and ecstasy, a tribute to the human spirit!