The feeling of a fan before Game 6by Eric Schwartz
A bowl of cereal did not work. Neither did a glass of juice. I know when lunch rolls around that won’t help either.
That feeling in the pit of my stomach is going to be around until about 8:15 tonight. Even then it might last another three hours.
It’s do-or-die time for the Flyers as they take on the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight. The Blackhawks lead the series 3-2 and will be looking to celebrate tonight at the Wachovia Center.
That’s the cause of the disturbing feeling in my stomach, not indigestion or the flue.
It’s a feeling of fear and trepidation; excitement and anticipation; confidence and worry.
It’s all there, every bit of it.
I’m sure I’m not alone today. Any fan that has invested much of the past few moths following the Flyers has that same feeling today — and is hoping to have that feeling again on Friday for Game 7.
In fact, any fan of any team in any sport who has been in the same situation knows the how unbearable the wait can be for a game. The work day seems to last forever, yet your work output hits an all-time low.
Clouds have covered the Delaware Valley and we have been assured that storms are on the way. Maybe it’s a symbol of bad things to come. Maybe not. The sun will return tomorrow, but whether Flyers fans will be able to notice it is another issue entirely.
After winning the Eastern Conference Finals Flyers Chairman Ed Snyder said ‘Anything past here is gravy’.
I wonder if Flyers fans will feel that way at 11 p.m. if it’s all over. I don’t want to think like that, yet my stomach forces me to.
At the same time my gut is telling me that tonight will be cause for celebration of an extended series. The celebration of the knowledge that Game 7 is coming, where anything can and will happen.
The Flyers can win tonight. The Flyers should win tonight. They are 9-1 at home and despite his shortcomings this series, Michael Leighton has been a rock at the Wachovia Center.
The first goal will be huge. As will the second and third. And the stomach will feel the impact of every one of them.
It’s the curse that myself and all other full-time sports fans have to live with. And it’s a curse I am longing to suffer through for one more game.