The days are long. Strenuous. Agonizing.
Today would have been the third day of Panthers' Training Camp. The first day of the NHL preseason. The Florida Panthers would have played their infamous doubleheader against the Nashville Predators today.
I can barely remember the last NHL lockout. 2004-2005. Seems so long ago, really. I was seven, I think. I didn't care too much about hockey back then. I wasn't suffering as much as I am now. Turning on ESPN is such a stretch for NHL fans, we absolutely despise it. They give us no airtime, and when they do, it's only a minute or so.
I can now say to you that I've officially caved.
I turned on ESPN this morning. I watched the highlights of last night's Ravens-Patriots game. And you know what? I still felt empty. I listened to them go on and on about Saturday's college football. Emptiness.
I'm hollow inside.
Each day, I come home from school, thinking that "OH! Hockey's on tonight!" Sadly, I come home to a hockey-less TV. Sure, there are other teams. The Dolphins. The Marlins. And soon even the Heat. But there is nothing that can fill my void. There is nothing that can replace the pure glee I feel when I turn on the TV, waiting for puck drop.
It's only Day Nine. Imagine me on Day 100. That is if I can make it that long. Who knows?
Players are jetting off to Europe, signing deals that will last them until the end of the lockout. Dream teams are being creating, even with some league restrictions of only three NHL players. Highlights that we NHL fans can only dream of now are being made, in Russia, in Switzerland, in the Czech Republic.
Alas, we are left to wait it out. Unlike the players who have signed deals, we must find time to busy ourselves with other things. Trivial things. Things like...that English paper due Monday.
Speaking of which, now is probably the time to get on it. Seeing that I have so much time.
Too much time.