Earlier this year, I referred to this as “The Lost Season.” I was wrong. We’re not celebrating another Stanley Cup in Hart Plaza, so you could call this season a failure, but we gained much, much more than we lost. In this season of stress and anxiety and agony, a great big community came together like never before. We’ve made a family that I never would have thought possible. Looking at all of the things gained, it’s hard to use the word “lost” in association with this season.
Sure, the trip to Sweden was a bust.
Sure, the first half of the season was a disaster.
Sure, it seemed like this team was being held together with bubblegum and paperclips for the better part of the year.
Sure, most of us were bald by Christmas from pulling out our hair.
Sure, we got called conspiracy theorists and the Tin Foil Hat Brigade by national media and bloggers.
Sure, we saw some of the most absurd calls and non-calls in recent memory go against the Wings.
Sure, the playoffs didn’t end the way we wanted them to, and today’s a day of mourning in Red Wings nation.
We still brought Herm to Hockeytown.
We still raised over $5,000 for Children’s Hospital.
We still started The Obstructed View, which has been one of the more fun projects I’ve been a part of.
We still created a #redwingscommune and an entire lexicon of “communisms:” DrunkLebda, SoberLebda, donut goalies, RAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHH, DinosaurLebda, PirateLebda, and Homerbait, just to name a few.
We still organized a flash mob to dance outside of the Joe wearing tin foil hats, and even ended up getting the mob’s headwear of choice banned from the arena.
We still turned a bunch of fake internet friends into a community of real life friends.
We still had a support group to hug and cry with at the Post last night, and there is no group of people I would rather have been with in that moment.
I still got to see and do some amazingly awesome things with some equally awesome people.
And maybe, just maybe, we learned to appreciate how blessed we’ve been here in Hockeytown for the last nineteen years.
I’m a Red Wings fan today, and I’ll be one tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. I’ll be a Red Wings fan in June when we watch another team take home our Cup, and I’ll be a Red Wings fan in July when I’m desperately trolling the internet for a shred of hockey news. I’ll be a Red Wings fan in August when I’m bored out of my mind, and I’ll be a Red Wings fan in September when I’m anxiously gearing up for the season. And I will most definitely be a Red Wings fan in October when the season starts up again. And yeah, you’d better believe I’m proud.