Sixteen years is a long time to wait for anything. Babies born 16-years ago are now sharing the road with me; no doubt texting while driving. In those 16 years Law & Order went from one show, to four shows, and back to one show. And 16 years ago the Toronto Maple Leafs were suffering through a painful 29-year Stanley Cup drought; now they’re suffering through a pathetic 45-year Cup drought.
I had not seen a Winnipeg Jets game in the flesh since 1995. Seeing as I struck out in my mission for season tickets, I didn’t really know when I’d get to go to my first game. I knew at some point I would; but when? Then my brother, a life-long Jets die-hard, called me up the other night and said he had an extra ticket and was wondering if I wanted to go. So, not only was I getting to see the Jets on only their second outing, but I was going see the Jets with my brother, who took me to my last Jets game way back when.
I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it would be loud and I knew there was going to be a lot of energy in the building; but once I was there, it exceeded all expectations. Everything was very surreal, I found I was reminding or assuring myself more than a few times during the game that: This was here to stay. This is ours. Steadily, throughout the game, the surreal turned into the lucid. I went from being in awe of the event to immersing myself in it; cheering, screaming, booing and chanting.
In the end I had my Jets cake and ate it too. It took two and a half periods to see my first Jets goal, but eventually it came. The Jets came from behind and pulled off the win. And I got to see it all with my brother and cousin, the two biggest Jets fans I know.
Sixteen years is a long time to wait, but it was well worth it.