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How To Be a Fan Of The San Jose Sharks - or - Embracing The Choke

Brian WinettCorrespondent IIIMarch 22, 2010

DALLAS - MARCH 16:  Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov #20 of the San Jose Sharks walks off the ice at American Airlines Center on March 16, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Choking is an art. 

To choke year after year after year with the highest of expectations is an experience in suffering.  An experience that can be turned into joy.

Remember when we were the up and coming team...our first playoff birth and how we rejoiced in knocking off the #1 Detroit Red Wings?  We had a string of these playoff upsets in the beginning and we all rejoiced.

Now it seems as though it has all come full circle. 

We've been the #1 seed, setting the stage for euphoric underdog victories for other fans of other teams.

All the Sharks fans heading out to the parking lot in Anaheim for an early exit from game six last year were left with their ears ringing from a fog horn as the Ducks tacked on another tally.

Remember getting beat by the goalie we traded away to Calgary?

Losing four straight to Detroit?

We can now relate to both sides of the spectrum.  Maybe a fourth seed is the best thing for us to come back into balance.

It is Nature's way, the law of the Universe, to seek to balance all things.  And we just have to accept it and embrace it.

What our team needs now is a hug.  We know how the suffering of our team as we have suffered with you.

We need to look our team lovingly in the eyes and say...you're a bunch of chokers...and we are still going to love you no matter what. 

We need to celebrate our unique brand of choke that is currently, at this very moment, unrivaled in the sport of hockey.

For the rest of the regular season...whenever we get a lead, we need to start a chant of, "Choke.  Choke.  Choke."

To start the playoffs, we need to be chanting the choke.

Teenage girls in teal face paint need to be holding up signs of SJ Sharkie grasping his own throat.

There's an old saying of, "What you resist persists."

If the Sharks embrace what everyone in the league is already expecting of them, then at least we can go down in flaming glory as supposed to just flames.

Who knows, maybe if we lovingly embrace the choke, we may just choke our way to a Stanley Cup Final.

Either way, at least we'll be having fun.

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