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Doctor- I Don’t Think I Can Handle Another Game #7

Capital's Netminder, Braden Holtby (Photo by Patrick McDermott - Getty Images)


Actually, I didn’t do so well through game #6 between the Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals. It’s just so excruciating. And with hockey, there’s no time for rest- for the players or for the fans. A mad rush on goal is the next second’s defensive collapse. And vice versa. For three friggin’ hours.

And these teams are so evenly matched, it’s ridiculous. Never before in the entire history of the National Hockey League have six playoff games in a single series each been decided by one goal.

I do think Cap’s coach, Dale Hunter, has the right attitude and maybe that’s what really matters. He says “you have to enjoy it.” “It” being the opportunity to even be in a game #7. Certainly, the Caps have exceeded all expectations already.

So…yeah…you players…go on and enjoy this. As for me, I’ll be sitting on the edge of the couch either screaming or crying, hyperventilating as I pace around the living room, biting my nails, or answering phone calls in a totally unfriendly manner (the audacity of anyone ringing or texting me during playoff hockey is more than I can fathom).

I don’t know what you call all that….but I don’t classify it, technically, as fun. There is, however, an intriguing possibility. What if they win? It could happen, you know.

There is a victory dance I have developed in recent weeks after Caps and Nationals wins. It frightens my pets and simultaneously startles and amuses my girlfriend, but I have danced this dance many times in the month of April already. It’s a combination of the Twist and the Mashed Potato, and involves a lot of gyrating arm and wrist action with considerable doses of White Man Overbite.

It’ll be that or sitting in my chair in the bedroom/office. In the dark. Shaking my head. Don’t make me go there, Caps. Please. I would respectfully ask that you ignore any past histories, omens, jinxes and victim mentalities and jam that little black puck in the Bruin net early and often.

Go. Red.

My Excellent Man-Cave Weekend


My genetic male predisposition toward sports-oriented isolationism was rewarded handsomely over the weekend.

It started Thursday, actually, when the girlfriend took a trip to New York to visit family and friends. Suki, the dog, of course, needed her walks and attention so I took Friday off to take care of the friendly little canine over the weekend. So not only was this the perfect opportunity for a man-cave weekend- but a three-day man-cave weekend- with a Thursday night bonus.

Perhaps you looked up at the night sky recently when a rare alignment of Saturn, Venus and a crescent moon provided an unusual opportunity to revel in the mysteries of the universe and our home solar system. Well, that’s what my man-cave weekend was like. Instead of planets, there was the incredibly rare alignment of the start of the baseball season, the end of hockey’s regular season and the Masters golf tournament.

But not only were my favorite teams playing and available for viewing- they were also…winning. Opening day on Thursday at Wrigley field, featured a thrilling come-from-behind win by the Washington Nationals. Thursday night, the Washington Capitals completed their improbable return for the fifth straight year to the Stanley Cup playoffs with a tense win over Florida while the Buffalo Sabres were losing, clinching the Caps post-season appearance.

The Masters, of course, started on Thursday and so between those three events, Man-Cave weekend got off to a raucous start. Friday was all Masters, but then it all repeated Saturday as the Nationals notched another come-from-behind win over the Cubs in the afternoon and in the evening, the Caps stunned the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. After the hockey it was off to Saturday’s Masters highlights.

The Nationals finally lost a game on Sunday, but, really, who cares—it was Sunday at The Masters. Some people celebrate Easter Sunday by making an appearance at church, hiding Easter eggs for small children or generally contemplating and celebrating the changing of the seasons and the irrevocable end to Winter darkness.

I, however, was reveling in the Church of Golf at the Cathedral of St. Augusta watching mortal men battle the twin challenges of one of the most beautiful and diabolical golf courses ever designed and their own frayed nerves.

I watched in hushed amazement as South African Louis Oosthuizen holed a double eagle at Augusta’s 575 yard par-5 second hole. I’ve never seen anything like it before and never will again in my lifetime. The guy hits the green on his second shot and the ball literally takes a sharp, right turn and travels 60 feet at the perfect angle and velocity to just drop gingerly into the cup in one, final, slow, glorious rotation.

Do you know how ridiculous that was? That one golfer, with one shot, picks up three strokes at the final round of the Masters on Sunday? There have only been 4 double-eagles in Masters history- and I believe this was the only one of them that was ever televised.

The playoff ending that ultimately crowned Bubba Watson Masters champion was wonderful too. Even though I don’t particularly follow them, I capped off my magical weekend watching the Texas Rangers on ESPN Sunday night baseball- for no particular reason except I could.

I think it was Saturday night (not sure- the whole weekend was one large blur) I talked to Millie in New York. I believe she asked me if I missed her and, of course, I said, I missed her tremendously. She knew better. “You’re having the friggin’ time of your life, aren’t you? Nationals, Caps, golf. You can watch whatever you want, eat whatever you want- no interruptions. You have walked the dog haven’t you?”

I had. Honest. Only takes 15 or 20 minutes. In fact, if it weren’t for Suki’s two daily walks, I seriously doubt I would have seen the light of day. I hear the weather was great this weekend. Except for a few short ventures to the great outdoors- I would not have known because- as he intended- when God created light- he purposely made sure hardly any of it would seep into the man-cave.