For the next few weeks there will be a recurring theme and topic of discussion in the City of Winnipeg. Even conversations about weather and bad roads will be eclipsed by one pervasive topic. Hockey! Playoff Hockey!
I have not always been a Jets fan. I had only a casual interest in hockey as I watched the die hard Jets fans suffer through the earlier version; Jets 1.0. A team that would bring so many conversations that involve "woulda"..."coulda"..."shoulda". A team that showed a few flashes of promise only to have their expectations crushed.
The 2017/18 season has been a lot of fun. This team has talent and it shows. At times they are not just good; but really good. Winnipeggers deserve this. Whatever happens in the next few weeks I hope Winnipeggers, and Manitobans enjoy this. This is fun and its a welcome distraction from the challenges and pitfalls of every day life.
In early December I traveled to Ottawa, for work. I walked into one of our corporate boardrooms and deviously asked if anyone had heard the score of the hockey game last night. All I heard was moans and groans as our Jets had crushed the Ottawa Senators the night before. That was worth the price of a flight to Ottawa. Yes, being a Jets fan has now become a lot of fun.
I'm proud of the work that the Jets do in the community to provide many people with a much needed boost. In fact most NHL teams are very good at supporting their communities. I enjoy seeing the Jets players go to schools, hospitals and help out in the community. It means a lot to us.
We have a bit of a joke in our house. In spite of our time in Edmonton we would never be Oiler fans. It was just never meant to be. When we were in hospital in Edmonton, with Russell, members of the Edmonton Oilers and the Edmonton Eskimos would routinely stop by the hospital and greet the kids. In 6 months and several visits Russell never met one of these players. We were always busy with a procedure or some test going that meant we were absent when the players would stop by.
Regardless of our scheduling conflicts we appreciated the attempts these players made to brighten the day of patients. It's been encouraging to see the Winnipeg Jets players continue this practice of supporting the community. It means a lot to everyone. I think everyone deserves a distraction as we all go through some very challenging times. Sports provides us an outlet where people who have very little in common can come together to support our team. I don't think we have seen any better example of this than the outpouring of support that we have seen, this past week, for the Humboldt Broncos. The amount of support for the team and their families has been awe inspiring.
So for the next few days and hopefully weeks we can set aside our differences and be distracted for a while. A very welcome change for a community that really deserves it.
Will the Jets make a deep run into the playoffs? Will they crash and burn in the first round?
Who knows. This is sports and anyone who is a sports fan knows you should expect the unexpected.
No matter how this season ends...this has been a lot of fun. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.