Everything Else

This was our guest column last night in the gameday program, sent to us by Cyndi B., @spintheiryarns on Twitter. 

The last time I saw Patrick Kane play live was on December 3, 2014. It was a great night, a rivalry game against the Blues. St. Louis had just signed Brodeur, and I was hoping extra hard for Jake Allen to get pulled, so I could say I’d seen Marty Brodeur in net just once. Allen didn’t get pulled, but the PBK line chewed him up and spat him out anyway–three goals in five minutes. Kane had two in under three. The guy sitting next to me was a patronizing tool and insisted on hugging me after every Chicago goal, but it was worth it. There was no feeling quite like being there on a night when Kane was really on, when the crowd was already halfway to its feet every time he touched the puck.

On October 7 this year, when the Blackhawks opened against the Rangers, I was working late and watching a shitty livestream from my desk–nothing new there. Sure, Chicago fell down early and couldn’t make it back up, but it was fun hockey. Clean, evenly matched, fast-paced. I was pleased–except every time the crowd cheered a goal I started crying instead, because I remembered what that felt like and I don’t know how to ever get it back.

I think we can guess what happened in between.

Everything Else

We said this is how it would end the day it started, because it’s how these things almost always go. And everyone’s going to see what they want in the ending of the Patrick Kane rape investigation, because we’re at that point. Some will see the crumbling of an extortion of a famous hockey player. Some will see an accuser bullied into silence by an uncaring police or the frothing masses protective of a hockey player they’ll never meet. Never the twain shall meet, which I suppose it part of the problem. At least there’s time there’s not a Shecky Greene of a Tallahassee prosecutor cracking jokes after saving the Noles’ QB’s ass.

As most logical minded have said, no matter where they side, we’ll never know what happened that night for sure. For some, that cloud of uncertainty provides enough shelter to go on about fandom in the normal way. “Hey, I don’t know for sure, so why should I have to give up this thing I love?” I don’t know that that’s evil or wrong, we’re all trying to figure this out and lord knows it’s hard enough to find things in this world that make you happy. Some will have that cloud of uncertainty still cause an ill feeling in the stomach when watching the Hawks and/or Kane, which is still where I am. “How can I commit fully when I don’t know for sure?”

Obviously, I know there are plenty feeling like they won something today and gloating, as if this was just another contest for Kane and the Hawks to take on and conquer. That’s not what these things are, but it’s how they are treated.