It's disheartening for me to see negative stories on the Thrashers, because so many of them unfounded. They're written by people who don't bother to pay attention to the team, who don't bother to watch the team. They have no right to say what they do about us, but they do anyway, because they're "experts." You know, the experts who predict Kovalchuk bolting... after he's built a huge house here, or since his agent is flying in week after next for a specific reason (from what I have gathered). I always enjoy getting to prove those people wrong, and we will this season.
My other team, my original team, and still my favorite team, the Blues, had to deal with much of the same thing for three years. No one paid attention to the storied history of the franchise. They had a bad owner, bad team... no one cared. And then Dave Checketts and John Davidson came along. They started rebuilding brick by brick, drafting excellent young talent and getting skilled forwards to guide the team. But still, everyone at the beginning of the last season picked them for, or close to, the bottom of the standings for the Western Conference.
Well, all I have to say to that is "Hey experts. Yeah. Good job. You really used all of the 'evidence' you found to prove the Blues'd suck to good use, huh?" Yeah. Sixth in the West, third in the Central. Sorry, everyone. We were good.
So, it stands to reason that this season all I have seen have been glowing team previews, like this one from The Hockey News that I found in my inbox this AM (and yes, I did kind of go *squee* when I saw Paul Kariya. What?). Praise for last season, praise for the young kids like Oshie, Perron, and Berglund, who before the hockey pundits only felt were going to try to grow into roles on the team, not assume them this year. Admiration for the vets like Walt and McDonald who people had just cast off as broken and old. Talking about adding parts without having to do anything since we have Kariya and Johnson back this season. So on and so forth. The vibe is positive, both inside St. Louis and out. I absolutely adore seeing my team in the press, and every time I read a positive prediction I grin ear to ear.
But there's still something disingenuous about it. Where were these people, both media and fans, when the Blues struggled after the lockout? Where were they last season at the start, and the season before last, when we had solid building blocks and we were actually showing that we could succeed in the future? Fawning over the Red Wings. Or, really, fawning over the Blackhawks, who were probably a year ahead of the Blues in development.
Hm. You know, it's delicious when people collectively realize that sometimes what's said to be the best really isn't. That trendy new expensive restaurant? The food's underwhelming. That's happened to everyone at some time. You would think that they would realize that it can apply to other things as well. Teams like the Blackhawks are that. They hype is awesome. The team (or food) when you look at it is amazing. You just can't wait to dig in. And then, after a few first pretty good bites, you realize that something is kinda off. You eat it to be polite, and then you make a decision to probably not come back unless you have a coupon.
The Blues are that awesome hole in the wall place that's spread around by word of mouth... great food, great service, of course - great drinks. Fun atmosphere, and really good people.
And I guarantee you that the Thrashers will be the same this season. Little... Bogosian... Enstrom... Peverley. So many people either don't know, or don't notice these names. You will. You'll notice them and the rest of the roster. You'll notice how well they're starting to learn to play together.
Word of mouth'll spread. Apparently Kovy's gotten a hold of it. Consider him the food critic. The review'll be out soon, and I'm pretty sure that it's going to be to his liking.