It was game seven for the Bruins against the Canadiens.
And we hate the Canadiens.
It also happens to be the longest running rivalry in professional sports history. So you can imagine the excitement in each game of this series between the two teams. And here it was. Game 7! Every last one of us at the local sports bar was wearing our jerseys, pulling out our “lucky charms” and screaming over the crowd (and TV) in hopes of getting the “W”. And right when we felt our teams morale was up and we had a fighting chance? We lost. This was the end. There were no more games to be played. We had just been defeated by our arch nemesis. The team we’ve had a deep, bloody hatred with for 90 years ended up beating us in our own city, just adding salt to the wound.
I sunk in my chair and put my head down in defeat. All of that hard work the team had put in only to get us to this point. A loss. And as I hung my head in disbelief, my buddy, Isaac patted me on the shoulder and said “Hey man, we’ll get the cup next year. Don’t sweat it. I had to wait 32 years to see the Bruins get the cup in 2010.”
Isaac has been watching the Bruins his entire life and he had to wait 32 years to see them win the cup JUST once!
I began to think of all that goes into the teams battling it out for the Stanley Cup. The coaches think up tactics and strategies. The players get personal training and spend their lives on strict eating schedules. I thought of all the money, the fans who come to game after game, cheering “WE WANT THE CUP, WE WANT THE CUP”. The blood, sweat and tears that come with each and every game. And then just like that……it’s over. You lose one game, and you’ve lost your shot at the Stanley Cup.
But every team that’s been defeated goes back and gathers their thoughts and questions how they could have done more. They think up new strategies, new systems of playing. They pick up and drop players from their team. Some have new coaches coming in and old ones get fired. They do their best so that next season they have a better chance of winning and getting to that prized possession. The Stanley Cup.[hr]
I’ve found this to be true in so many ways in life. We all have a Stanley Cup. Every one of us has certain expectations and standards. Some of us are wanting to lose weight, and that’s our Stanley Cup. Some of us want to be lawyers or touring musicians. That’s our Stanley Cup. A lot of us desire stability, or a family and a house. And each of these are all Stanley Cups.
And here my friend has waited 32 years to see the Bruins win a Stanley Cup. And he’s a die hard fan! Even a bigger fan than me and I’d say a bigger fan than most anyone else I’ve met. But he didn’t walk away from the Bruins when they were at their worst. He never stopped having faith and still continues to have it, even when the other night I was the one who sunk my head between my shoulders in defeat. He was encouraging for next year and always says, “You’ve got to keep the faith.”
So what is your Stanley Cup?
How will you work on winning that Stanley Cup and are you going to be a fan of yourself, encourage yourself, and have faith in yourself to get it even in the midst of defeat? It may take a while, but if you’ve got the faith in who you are then when the world tells you that you’ve lost, you can hang your head high and say, “There’s always next season.”