A Sharks fan's response to the backlash - and Puck Daddy
Don't get me wrong: I love Puck Daddy (aka Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports). I find myself mindlessly clicking away on the hour, every hour, to see what he and his army of trolls have dug up for the mutual benefit of puckheads everywhere. Usually I'm amused... but today I felt a tad belittled. But more on that in a second - first, I have something to get off my chest... a battle cry of sorts, if you will. Read on for more.
I probably don't need to do this introduction, but I feel inspired under the circumstances - so here goes my diatribe.
The Sharks are my team, from my town - I root for them through thick and thin, and I don't need excuses. I don't ever consider booing my own player, no matter how awful he is (nope, not even Alexei Semenov... because a groan is not the same as a boo). San Jose did not collectively boo Patrick Marleau when his plus/minus hit negative 20 last season. Wish I could say the same for Flyers fans - I was on hand to witness Philadelphia booing their own Daniel Briere (who had a plus/minus worse than Marleau at one point) every time he touched the puck.
Yes, I'm digressing slightly - but I bring this up to say that no matter how rough it gets, or how jaw-droppingly awesome it might be (like, um, now), I'm a Sharks fan through thick and thin. And I know I've got impressive company, in this most impressive of years.
Maybe it's just me, but I'm feeling a bit annoyed at the inevitable backlash that the Sharks fans have faced for their team's meteoric rise. "Second-round choke artists" - yeah, heard that one already. "The Stanley Cup isn't won in December" - thanks for the reminder, PPP. "Wait until the post-season" - can't hardly!
Sharks fans, though the season is far from over, be content to live it up now, because we'll inevitably have some lean years down the pipe, as in the past, and maybe even sooner than we'd like to think. And that's fine - the Bay Area has experience with this sort of thing already (see - 49ers, Raiders, Giants and A's). The lean years are meant to test the mettle of fans' hearts, to speak nothing of the loyalty of our pocketbooks. This year, thank heavens, is not a lean year.
There - that's off my chest. Now, on to business.
Wysh's post today needlessly couples an analysis of the modern points system (originally written in the New York Times, and specifically in reference to the NY Rangers) with the San Jose Sharks. Heck, Wysh even put in the obligatory Nabokov picture, despite the fact that his article was mostly about the Rangers and the virtue of a 3-point system (read the second to last paragraph of the original NY Times post to understand more about that "solution" to the NHL's point-woes).
Perhaps it's a case of editorial mismanagement (sorry, Greg), but he inexplicably puts the following phrase in the middle of all the hubbub:
Take the San Jose Sharks march to regular season history: with last night's shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings, they're now 5-2 in overtime and 3-0 in the shootout. That's certainly a footnote to history, no?
First of all, is Greg complimenting our guys, or denigrating them? Even a look at the original context didn't help me much, but feel free to try.
Secondly, that's all he mentions about the Sharks. Now, I love a good non-sequitor as much as the next ADHD fellow, but c'mon - this is backlash season, and everyone's a-hunting. "25-3-2? Silly Sharks fan - don't you realize that doesn't mean what it used to pre-Bettman? Your totals are obviously inflated due to the O.T. wins! Yadda yadda yadda."
I need to give credit where credit is due: a certain "Sobu" (Sharks fan, naturally) left a nice comment that mathematically indicates how awesome the Sharks have been doing, in any NHL era:
If this were 1995, the Sharks would be 22-5-3 for a total of 47 points in 30 games. That's a projected 128.5 point total for the end of the season. Now, I'm no mathematician, but 128.5 is a big number.
Where are you, Sobu? Can we hug you? Er, um, do a teal-colored-chest bump?
The bigger point at hand - the Sharks would still have a "legitimate" 47 points in 30 games, instead of 52. Now, I'M no mathematician, but that's pretty darn spiffy, in any age of hockey.
So, be it 52 or 47 points in 30 games, I'm unabashedly going to sing the praises of my our Sharks, without arrogance (because we will get our arses handed to us eventually, if not ultimately), but also without false modesty.
Who's (not "whose") with me?