(It took 4 days, but I was finally able to pull my depressed head out of my @$$ and write a final address to the players of the Toronto Marlies hockey club, who lost the AHL Western Conference Final earlier this week.)
Well, gentlemen, it has been a hell of a ride this season—one full of soaring highs and crushing lows—but throughout it, please know that your fans have been immensely proud of you and all that you have achieved.
We cheered when you soared. We hurt when you hurt. Our hearts broke at exactly the same moments yours did. And we did all this because you are a second family to each of us.
My friends are probably sick of hearing about you guys. My Facebook and Twitter connections will get a brief respite from the near-daily onslaught of things Marlies-related. But all of them know, I will be back to crow about my boys and the wonderful organization soon enough.
While I continue with the preoccupations of summer and hope you do the same, know that I am counting the days until I hear the first reports of training camp, the sewing of names onto jerseys, the irritated rumble of the Zamboni prepping that first sheet, the spine-chilling slice of metal blades into perfect ice.
For as much as I will enjoy the sun, sand and water of The Beaches, I cannot wait for the sweet embrace of the Ricoh’s front doors and the buzz of another Marlies season opener. When I peer once again into the South end of the ice and watch my boys start the dream yet again.
All the best, gentlemen. Be well. Rest up. And for God’s sake, stay hungry.