Every year I have to deal with the same phenomenon. Whenever the Blues' season ends, it takes me a couple weeks to adjust to moving on with my non-hockey controlled life. It's not a sadness or anger or anything more interesting, in fact this season ended on a high note if you ask me, it's just more of a long exhale.
Most seasons, between doing the game-day paper and maintaining the website all of us who work on the two get pretty tired around the end of the season. It's basically a marathon that starts in September as we get ready for the new season and doesn't end until April (recently, anyway). The problem with this marathon is that it seems to keep speeding up as we go.
This year, with the amazing second-half run and the incredible amount of Blues news and stories and issues to comment on, the pace was more hectic than ever. Between keeping a steady diet of stories on the site and producing our first-ever playoff issues of the paper, our lives paid the price.
Brad Lee and I were discussing the end of the season after the Blues lost game four and we got around to comparing notes on how badly we've treated ourselves over the last couple months. Too little sleep. Screwed up scheduling that made us eat meals at completely inappropriate times. Too much beer. Too little exercize.
It's been brutal. But we're hockey fans, so it was totally worth it.
After the playoffs ended, though, came the crash. As mentioned, it comes every year when the Blues exit the playoffs. Personally, it takes me about a round of playoff games to get back into hockey. I haven't watched a complete game since leaving the DrinkScotch last Sunday night. I tried to watch the Blackhawks and Flames the other day and couldn't get into it. Same with Philly and Pittsburgh.
And I'm one of those maniac hockey fans who can flip through the NHL Center Ice channels on any given night and find a game worth watching. I love the sport and the storylines and I like watching other teams battle, even if I couldn't care less who wins. You never know what you're going to see.
So it's been better than a week that I've lived with this hockey hangover. It's taken that long to get back into a normal pattern of sleep and awake at appropriate times (an adjustment that caused my wife to hand me an article about people who don't have normal sleep patterns). I've grown accustomed to eating regular food at regular times again. Hell, I might just find a way to watch a hockey game here in the next day or two.
It's taken a little over a week this time, but I think I've gotten over The Hangover for the year. My guess is that many of you have had a similar experience over the last few days. The Blues took us on a pretty great ride in 2009, but it required more than just casual viewing to really be part of how amazing it was. I'm willing to bet that a lot of you are finally pulling out of your own hockey hangovers, too.
And people say that we're 'just' fans, right? Well that may be so, but 'fan' is just short for fanatic, after all.