Sharks Woes: Suicide Is Painless, Losing Hurts Like a Mo Fo

Heather KingCorrespondent IApril 21, 2008

I don't want to encourage the masses of sports fans who have witnessed the demise of their beloved teams to consider opting for the suicide way out. No matter what the theme from M*A*S*H tells us, I don't want to carry the blood of a mass suicide on my hands.

Speaking of blood on the hands, what's up with the Sharks and their sucky play of late? Isn't the entire idea of hockey to pummel the opponent until we all see blood on the ice and somewhere in between someone manages to force a little puck into a net?  

Look, I'm no expert. I don't know what exactly constitutes a line change, who needs to make it, or when they need to make it. I don't know what icing is (besides the stuff on top of a cake) or why a scrum looks like girls fighting in front of their lockers after someone dissed the other's boyfriend.

However, I do know that the Sharks loss yesterday in game 6 when they could have put the whole thing away was more than a little annoying: it hurt like hell.

In the grander scheme of things what with the world in bad shape and all that, one should try to put these things in perspective. 1) It wasn't game seven, 2) it probably won't worsen global warming, 3) it won't make any nation starve more than it already is, and 4) it isn't the end of the world (so they tell me).

But as any sports fan who neurotically assigns the grandness of life to winning can attest, coming close to reaching the next pinnacle only to be delayed causes the level of stress that encourages strokes and heart attacks, not to mention heart break and despair.

Sure, in this case there's a game seven. But I'm a realist. I've been burned before. (Giants vs. Angels in the World Series some years back. Ask my therapist, he'll remember when exactly.) To this day, I still feel the horrible pain. I still wince when I think of coming so close only to watch my Giants allow it to slip away. I still feel the pain of having to wait for the next day (game 7) as well-meaning friends and family tried to assure me that they'd still make it.

Sure, yeah, right. I knew better. I saw the momentum shift. I saw the balloon deflate. And Sunday night, that's exactly what happened: the Angels held tight to the momentum and we saw the day come to a close as losers. Not runners up—just losers. The days following that night are still a blur since a blur is a lot easier to experience.

So as I write this it's less than 24 hours before the Sharks come back to the Shark Tank to try to do what they couldn't or wouldn't last night.

If they win, great. It's on to Dallas where a different team will attempt to stop San Jose's pursuit of the cup. And after Dallas another and then another. This hockey thing is the worst as far as I'm concerned. But I'm a fan now and have to suffer like the rest of the fans hoping and praying that when the game's over tomorrow the players are the only ones in pain—the physical kind.