They didn't understand.
I've talked before about what being a fan means and tried to figure out why we do it.
This morning I was reminded of the purest simplest reason.
Its a diversion, an escape, a way to pass a few hours and forget about life.
This past Monday morning my father in law had a massive heart attack out of the blue. He was choppered from PEI to Halifax immediately and underwent three surgeries, one Monday, one Tuesday, one Wednesday.
My wife flew out immediately with the baby, figuring she would be back in a few days. Wednesday night when she called me it was pretty grim.
Since then he has improved and is stable. He's not out of the woods yet and the road to recovery is going to be a long hard bastard but things look brighter.
I've always been lucky when it comes to this sort of thing but this has been a lesson in how life can suddenly turn upside down, scattering your plans and notions of what lies ahead like a whole lot of nothingness. It has also shown us, strangely enough, how lucky we are as our friends and families have rallied around us, stepping in to help with the kids, giving us food and shelter, helping to keep us going in these tough days.
What does this have to do with the Edmonton Oilers? Why does a hockey team matter right now?
In bed at 10:30, urged to do so by my parents who are taking care of my kids while I try and work, at 1am I woke up. Tossed and turned with worry for an hour and finally gave up. Got up and grabbed the laptop and turned it on and checked out the sports page.
And for a minute I forgot my troubles. I smiled as I read about Gagner's game and Kotalik and Nilsson and Gilbert with another assist, my God he's terrific, and Souray defying us naysayers with another and my favourites, Horcoff and Pisani, each scoring.
Guaranteed to still be in a playoff spot come Saturday morning.
Hanging around. Hanging around.
For a moment (well, more then a moment) I forgot.
That's the beauty of being a fan. Thank you, you Oilers.