New Years Eve is an odd date in the hockey calendar. It's just when things are heating up. It's about mid-season and the teams are battling for positions in the post season and then here come the Holidays! They throw some off days into the regular schedule to remind us that all in life does NOT take place at an ice rink, even though we may want it to.
This New Years, like every other one before it, also has me reflecting what has passed during these 365 days. It's been a remarkable year.
Every one of us Bulls fans are extremely thankful of course, for this new, wonderful team we have! I remember meeting Coach Curcio and Rawhide at a sportsbar in Park Merced last January. They were promoting the Bulls during the Forty Niners-Giants playoff game. The game didn't turn out so well, but the Pat Curcio's plan and vision of a San Francisco hockey team certainly did. Since then, the large amazing staff has worked endlessly to promote the team, smooth out any wrinkles and do everything they can to make the experience the best it can be for the fans. And the public is getting it, slowly, slowly to be sure, but they are understanding that there is hockey right now, and it is not the Sharks!
Of course, the lockout is the pink elephant sitting in the middle of the room no one wants to talk about. Too controversial! Everyone's sick of hearing about it! They need to just get back to work! Fire Bettman! We're heard them all before, haven't we? Did the lockout help the minor league teams? Yes, it did. It helped to make many people aware that there are other leagues and teams still playing hockey. So, even though it is detrimental to the NHL brand, and drove fans away from the majors, the lockout created a niche where there may not have been one before or where the timing to start a new team may not have been right earlier.
Outside of hockey, we San Franciscans were also blessed with an incredible baseball team. The Giants took their second World Series title in three years. I was so happy, probably more so than the first time because that win was more stressful than this sweep of Detroit.
On a personal level, it was a year of great personal growth. I continued my running through most of it, even though there were a few times I had to stop due to illness or injury. Even with those unplanned interruptions, I feel stronger in every way now than I did 12 months earlier.
For 2013, I am looking ahead towards:
- The Bulls in the playoffs for the Kelly Cup
- Seeing my SF Giants also making another World Series run
- Is it the 49ers year finally?
- Continue my running, increase my mileage and eventually complete a marathon
And most importantly, improve, improve, improve. No matter what we do, we continue to get better, be positive and look forwards. I see great things on the horizon for 2013. It will not be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. Happy New Year!