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I now live with Joe Pavelski

Few things in life are less logically justified than rooting for a particular sports franchise. They are designed to steal your money, stomp on your heart, and spit on your soul, although the second two are optional and feed back into the first. Your team usually isn’t going to win a championship and will occasionally demand your tax dollars, threaten to move if you don’t pay, actually move when you don’t pay, or show significant incompetence when they do. threatens and then doesn’t. But without rooting interest (and yes, rooting interest includes gambling, America’s new heroin), it’s basically just gym class.

For your intrepid but inert typist, rooting interests have long evolved as a function of the old sports journalism dynamic of “Creating the story with no interest in it except for a fast-paced game or a bunch of extras that blow at the end of a deadline. “Not caring who wins makes life so much easier, although I understand why most people need it. It offers a brief respite from the last political, social or cultural dignity in this wretched star-studded dump, and if you know a guy who will take up your act, it can even be marginally lucrative.

This, however, does not apply to the author family, which has two specific rooting interests, starting with the Golden State Warriors. The bride wants them to win because they are close. the daughter wants them to win because it means a treat at the local pub; The son wants them to win while complaining that the refs are going to cheat on them. They all look at the author as a dead brute who is really only interested in the game without worrying about the winner or loser, because knowing how the sausage is ground spoils much of the fun of bratwurst.

Another family rooting interest is Joe Pavelski, the hero of the Dallas Stars’ still ongoing pursuit of the Stanley Cup Finals. Pavelski, who scored the game-winning goal in overtime Thursday night to beat Vegas and extend the Western Conference finals, has all the makings of a casual but intense rooting interest; the vandalized graveyard that is his underbite, his advanced age (he’s 38, a point endlessly mentioned every time he plays by every announcer who references him), and a desperate chase to win one championship before he retires :

He’s all about work ethic (he works every shift), guile (he finds empty ice near the goal with almost uncanny consistency), and wizardry (he might be the best puck of the last quarter-century, and that’s if you count take Detroit’s Thomas Holmstrom and his goalie-face tactics). He also has a veteran player’s gift for answering every question with the polite and traditional nothingness that says, He has no known legal quirks (a polite way of saying police work), so he comes in ethically clean, or at least as ethically clean as the sport of hockey allows.

This is Pavelski’s moment. His concussion in the first game of the Minnesota series didn’t hurt that streak, but his comeback in Game 1 of the Seattle series was a four-goal performance that cemented him as the team’s breakout star. Rupe Hintz, Jason Robertson, Jamie Benn (when he’s not checking his frustrations), and Jake Oettinger. In the 11 games since his return, he’s been the Western Conference’s answer to Matthew Tkachuk (ask your friend from Miami who became a lifelong Panthers fan eight days ago).

His game-winner last night also inspired the author’s significant other to bark and clap with delight, a rare occurrence in a house where he has been bombarded with too many games of microscopic consequence. Pavelski is his rookie art object the logical inheritor of the favorite-player-never-to-win-a-Cup burden that his true favorite player of all time, Joe Thornton, carried to no avail. Thornton is now doing a promotion for Just For Men, which is a terrible fate.

So we are now home with rooting interests, as alien as that may seem. The daughter has her own quixotic relationship with Tottenham (she likes the chicken logo), and the son will still spend endless hours developing a nationally based NBA that’s inherently dishonest. bete noire Scott Foster, but there is unanimous agreement on Joe Pavelski, if for no other reason that He Who Controls the Voting Shares should get the support of his affiliations without dissent. In other words, the awkward lump in the other chair should shut up and come out on Saturday when Game 5 is in full swing. This is Joe Pavelski’s home until further notice, or until the Golden Knights pick up their antics.

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