All Apologies

I’m sorry baby.

I know I said I didn’t need you. I know I said that I’d find someone else to replace you and never look back. I know I taunted you when I’d found that someone who was a bit more exotic than you ever were.

What was I thinking?! Who was I kidding?!

Hockey – I’m sorry for all those mean things I said. I turned my back on you with a smile. I said I could replace you with European “ice hockey” … a product so uninspired at times that I often forgot finishing your check was a thing!

I’m ready to take you back, hockey, if you’ll have me. That whole fling with the young Russian stand-in, she meant nothing, honest! She was just some youthful experimentation, my heart was never in it. Not like it’s been with you. I now know that the grass just seems greener on the other side. But, when you jump over the fence, you’re just left with crowds that whistle when their upset with something. I like the way your crowds Boo! when they’re ticked off, baby. It makes sense to me.

I can’t wait to see a proper four-line game on the ice. I can’t wait to see big hits and hear talking heads sit at a desk and ramble on and on and on about something seemingly irrelevant while I eat breakfast. I missed that, more than I’d let on.

I know I said you were a burden – how I criticized the way your schedule messed up my life. I know I told you over and over that she was so much better – how, with her in my life, I could go to sleep whenever I wanted. But, baby, the truth is I will wait up ‘till 2am to see you any night.

You make me excited to get back to a life of ad-free sweaters and fans who think that scarves are for keeping warm while you shovel the driveway, not for waving in the air when your team scores a goal.

I thought I could do it without you, I really did. But six months later I’m welcoming you back with open arms. I literally scoured the world for a replacement and, for a few months this autumn, I even tricked myself into thinking that I’d found one. That was a tough time of year to be without you. That used to be our time.

My friends keep saying that I should stay away from you, that you treated me wrong one too many times and I need to simply cut you out of my life. I just don’t have the will power to do that. I love you too much, hockey.

You could do this to me every year for the rest of my life and I’d still keep crawling back. That’s how sick and twisted this spell is that you’ve cast.

The most disturbing thing? All of us with maple coursing through our veins, the ones with red and white in our hearts … we’re just too hooked on you to ever stay away, no matter how you treat us.

It’s a sickness, yes, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Welcome back.

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