Monday, February 11, 2008

Time For Some (Non-Sarcastic) Optimism

Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you staggered into the office this morning, read Sally Jenkins' latest regarding Head Coach James A. Zorn, saw the headline “The Power of Positive Thinking”, read the phrase “the only choice now is optimism”, and were uplifted. Maybe you thought Sally had again shunned optimism-hating and might soon issue retractions for recent anti-optimism columns. Maybe you almost excitedly forwarded the article to a co-worker and fellow blogger, reveling in another turn to the bright side, a la Mike Wise.

Hopefully, like me, you first paused to read the rest of the article. Clearly, the wise thing for me to do was read the entire column for complete context, instead of basing a perception of Sally’s ‘tism levels on this one line. It’s similar to the way in which one should not compile hockey power rankings based merely on standings alone (or preconceived notions of a team’s greatness. Hello, Rangers), and not, say, ridiculous two-month streaks of dominance with exactly zero back-to-back regulation losses.

While at first it looked like we were being treated to a lovingly optimistic welcome letter to the new Coach, what we were really in store for was paragraph after paragraph of backhanded “compliments”, smarm, stealthy ‘Skins-bashing and detriment that would have found welcome homes in the prose of Redskins Insider. Ha ha! another Tom-Cruise-has-some-sort-of-ill-defined-relationship-with-Dan-Snyer-and-is-a-wacky-Scientologist joke! Funny, Sally. So timely. Maybe Jay Leno can work that never-tired joke and reference into his never-tired monologue.

No matter. Let Sally (and certain like-minded co-workers of ours) revel in their Philly-like negativity (we could also, possibly more accurately, call it New-York-like negativity). We’ll sit back and continue to support our team, hoping (optimistically, sans smarm) Jim Zorn is another Gibbs-like riser from obscurity to championship-winning.

Speaking of championship-winning, those Caps ended the weekend just as they started it: in the driver’s seat for the Southeast Division championship, intervening Friday night speed bumps aside.

Olie Kolzig reverted to 1998 should-have-won-the Conn-Smythe form and baffled the Rangers on Sunday in the way point-producing has recently baffled Jaromir Jagr. Mike Green in overtime was, well, Mike Green in overtime, which is to say he beat New York. Alex Ovechkin notched three points and spared us all a gluttonous influx of “Evegeni Malkin Ties For Scoring Lead, Saves Universe” stories. That alone is reason to feel good today.

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