Peter Smith on the Wildby Peter Smith, Minnesota Public Radio
The hockey season is over in Minnesota. On Saturday, the Wild lost the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs four games to two. Commentator and reluctant hockey fan Peter Smith says he should have known better.
St. Paul, Minn. — Well it happened again. We got hooked into the hockey playoffs and look what we got for it. Nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Zot-squat.
Stupid NHL. We never win it all. Never. Ever. And yet we dive head first into that testosterone-and-beer bath year after year.
It's Canadian kabuki is what it is. A morality play on ice where our highly virtuous everymen are defeated by a cunning and evil opponent who throws magic sand in the eyes and twists the minds of the officials, so that they only see the lesser, unintentional infractions of our players, and not the fundamental black-hearted villainy on the other side.
It's like professional wrestling back when wrestling was wrestling, with subplots and storylines that force you to unwillingly suspend disbelief.
The Wild versus the Avalanche or Vern Gagne versus the Sheik. It's all the same. The only difference is that when Vern wrestled the Sheik, you could count on Vern to win. Good triumphed over evil well into Vern's 50s and would probably still be triumphing if Vern still looked good in a pair of wrestling trunks.
Good never triumphs with Minnesota and the NHL. We've had two franchises and forty frustrating years and what do we have to show for it?
"I've been voting since women got the right to vote," my grandmother huffed at my grandfather after voting for Wendell Wilkie in 1940. "I haven't picked a winner yet."
If Gramma were still here, I would buy her a Wild jacket for her Wilkie button.
I've had it. I'm through. At least until next spring.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to adjourn to the couch to hyperventilate into a brown paper bag and study the sport pages. The National Football League draft starts Saturday and the Vikings have the 17th pick over all.
- All Things Considered, 04/21/2008, 6:26 p.m.
Peter Smith lives in Hopkins, Minn.