Well, that's it, is it not?
You readers are all perceptive and knowledgeable hockey fans; you don't need us to tell you that everything about the Thrashers was bred in a Mediocrity Laboratory, that Don Waddell is a silly GM, that John Anderson should be told---via a dismissal---that he can't blame every loss on "bad bounces" and bad luck over and over through eternity.
This epic clusterfuckery is only possible through the patronage of the Atlanta Spirit, of course, so remember to thank them on your way out. C'mon y'all, give it up.
I've never left a game earlier than I did last night. Got myself a Jack-and-Coke at the Jack Daniels Bar, hung around in the concourse for a while talking to Big Shooter and Monsieur Catalogues, and just cold left the Gymnasium of Bullshit as the third period began. I did hear the goal horn and the roar of the crowd as I was crossing some street or other, but I figured it wouldn't mean anything. It didn't!
I used to think that, as awful as the Thrashers were, I could always enjoy going to the games and having a riotous old time watching NHL hockey and cheering on the hometown team. I often left the arena depressed, but that's just a part of being emotionally invested in something you really, really like. Like Neil Young and later Saint Etienne said, "Only love can break your heart."
These days though, I mostly feel numb. Immediately after the Olympics I said that the Thrashers may or may not make the playoffs, but that March would contain "ample opportunities for drama, brutality, romance, and pain." But it didn't do that. It didn't even offer stress. The Thrashers' losing ways are so predictable at this point, so lacking in any drama or just-missed-it/close-game intensity, that watching them play is just damned dull. Not stressful or heartbreaking, just dull.
And I have a horrible but clear sense that this dullness will be on endless loop until the team gets new owners who will do what's necessary to compete. I doubt they're going to fire Waddell. I can slightly imagine Waddell firing Anderson, even though that would be another admission of failure in huge blinking neon lights. Nothing is going to change until the current owners sell off the team. And more importantly, nothing is going to change until the current owners sell off the team.
ALSO: But hey! Springtime is coming, and now instead of going to mind-numbing hockey games we can all go fishing for sea beasts in the Outer Banks, or fight off drug-lords at a villa in Oaxaca. Or take a trip the Greek Isles; it must be cheap there these days, what with the collapsed economy and all...