Is a hockey team nothing more than the collection of players, sticks, pucks, stats records and so forth that got thrown into a U-haul and driven up to Winnipeg from Atlanta? Mr. Lambert seems to take this position.
Is a hockey team more than that?
Is it a little more abstract. Is part of a hockey team the memories that team leaves with you. Is it the experience of being dressed in white and cheering. Do you see the team as a important symbol of your city that was lost, as if someone came in the night and whisked the Golden Boy off the top of the Manitoba Legislature. How do you describe what is happening when a young boy sits wide-eyed as his father tells him the story of the night Teemu Selanne broke Mike Bossy's rookie record or the times the Jets beat the Flames in the playoffs. The old history of the Jets is relevant to fans in Winnipeg because they were a part of it, in a way it is theirs. Those people living today and even those who were not born yet or were too young to remember have had the Jets stories and memories passed from one generation to another. The Jets of today are the heirs to that legacy. All that left Winnipeg was the sticks, the pucks, Shane Doan and a couple of rolls of hockey tape. That is all that went to Phoenix. The hundreds of thousands of hockey fans never went, they stayed. In their minds the memories of the Jets never dimmed, the love of the team never wavered, the old jerseys faded after a thousand washes but were held tightly, the grip on them never lessened an iota. You see Mr. Lambert, in a sense the most important part of the Jets never really left Winnipeg.
I sympathize with that argument. And it brings to mind an email I received recently, from a reader asking for advice on a personal matter.
I hope you can help me with my problem. Thirty years ago, I married Betty. After about ten years of marital bliss, the economy went into the toilet, Betty's job transferred her to another town, and, though we tried to make it work, eventually we got a divorce. Betty soon remarried, her career took off, and, though I was initially crushed by all of this, eventually I got over it. Over the years, I dated occasionally, but never remarried.
Now I have met someone new. Amanda. In many ways, she's a lot like Betty was around the time of our split. She's new in town. She's just divorced. She even looks like Betty and acts like Betty in many superficial ways; roughly the same physical type, similar sporty personalities, same sorts of interests, she and Betty even have the same favorite movie (now that I made her watch it about a hundred times). :) There were some differences, of course. I still had a bunch of Betty's old clothes in the garage and Amanda refused to wear them at first. But eventually she gave in. If it was that important to me, she said, she didn't mind.
Recently, we became engaged. And now, just a month before the big day, we've had our first big fight and she's threatening to call off the wedding! The fight was over whether or not she would change her name after we were married. I know a lot of modern couples go through this. She actually was okay with changing her last name, but she has drawn the line at changing her first name to Betty.
I have explained to her that I put a lot of time and work into my marriage to Betty, and that it would just seem strange to be married again, to go through all those emotions, but with someone not named Betty -- especially in the same house, and with her wearing the same clothes and favorite movie and hair color. (The hair dye fight was another barn-burner.) It would just be so much easier for me, if we could stick to one name. I was used to it, my friends and family were used to it. I could still use the old stories. Everyone has such fond memories of Betty and me as a couple, and I really want to tap into that sense of history!
But she will not listen to reason. Seriously, Quisp, I don't know who she is anymore. Can I be married to someone who is so unwilling to compromise?
No, especially since you were big enough to forgive her for leaving you the first time.