Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The House of Blueshirts

I have no idea whether the Rangers or the Devils shall be the last team standing when their Eastern Conference Final series comes to an end. Thus far, this year's border war has made the rivalry between the Hatfields and the McKoys seem like a minor misunderstanding. I have enjoyed hockey my entire life and have watched a great deal of it. I am at a loss to recall ever seeing two coaches spend as much time engaging one another directly as John Tortorella of the Rangers and Peter DeBoer of the Devils have done throughout this series. I root like hell for my beloved Blueshirts but as hostilities resume tonight at the Garden in Game Five, with the series all square at 2 and 2, I cannot help but think that the not-to-be-missed moment of this series shall be the traditional handshake line. It just might be the first time that a security checkpoint is installed on the ice on either side of the red line to check the players for weapons before they pass by on their way to shaking the hands of their opponents.

In the interests of full disclosure, I was more in than out of Game Four on Monday night. In other words, my commitment to the televised version of events matched that of the Rangers' on-ice commitment. The Missus and I were watching the farewell to "House" on Fox. Kudos to Hugh Laurie and the powers that be on that show for doing what they did Monday night as a lead-up to the series finale, which was create a one-hour program that was equal parts documentary and retrospective and which served to introduce those of us who watched the show to the people responsible for putting it on the air from caterers to construction workers, from stylists to production designers and everyone in between. As the show prepared for its final moment in the sun, its on-air talent made certain that those folks whose names we do not know and whose faces we do not see got their well-deserved moment.

And for whatever it is worth - and I posit that question knowing that its answer is "nothing more or less than that of any other person" - in my opinion the end of the series was pitch-perfect. As the show had wound down to its final few episodes, focus had shifted away from House and his medical puzzles to House and his friendship with Wilson. I grinned ear to ear when House's penultimate line - spoken to Wilson - was, "I'm dead. How do you want to spend your last five months?" And off they rode into the sunset, two banditos on their motorcycles. One presumed dead, the other marked for death. And neither giving a flying rat's ass about it but simply motoring off on their next great adventure.

Life is a journey, not a destination. On Monday night, courtesy of the unscripted drama that is sport and the scripted drama that was House I was reminded yet again that what we sign up for is the journey itself....

....what happens along the way has yet to be written.


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