May 14, 2015

A Wild Perspective

If you are a Minnesota Wild fan, this was truly a wild season; pun intended. At the beginning of the year, hopes were high as new players were added to the team and dreams were uttered that this could be the year….
 
At mid-season; all hopes seemed to be dashed (at least to the fair-weather fans) as cries for a new coach and new goalies were splashed across the sports pages in the Twin Cities. The Wild had discovered a new low as they sat at the bottom of the standings.
 
And yet, with the second half came new elated hope that this could be the year….as the team rose to the top as a new goalie seemed to turn the team around as they won themselves into the playoffs.
 
And then; as John Madden (the NFL legend, not the hockey player) said; “It’s a shame someone has to lose”…the Minnesota Wild lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round of the playoffs. And all hopes seemed to be dashed.
 
As the sour taste of the final loss lingered in the air, Jason Stern, Senior Manager, Group & Inside Sales of the Minnesota Wild, wrote this post right after the game.
 
I share with his permission and to give you perspective as you sort through your own heartbreaks today.
 
“My Dear Friends & Family,
 
Losing sucks. Losing on your birthday really sucks.
 
And only my fellow coworkers or those who have experienced a playoff loss by working for a sports team full-time can fully & truly relate to the deep frustrating pain that the end of a Minnesota Wild season creates for us devote employees.
 
Hard work, long hours, social and personal sacrifices, and much beyond should be highly rewarded, right? My fellow sports professionals ride the roller coaster of a season, deal with all the on the band wagon, off the band wagon, on the band wagon, off the band wagon fans and in the end we all fully well know only ONE team will head into the summer truly happy as a result One.
 
After 15 seasons across 4 leagues why do I do this???? Because I care. Because of the passion. Because of the love. Because of the journey. Because sports have been my life for exactly 37 years…today.
 
Because hundreds of thousands of sports fans across the world pay hard earned money to see what I am paid to lead ...to do...to help others experience. This is my career ...and I LOVE IT. My sales team. My contacts. My life.
 
No matter how many times my heart breaks. No matter how many up and down moments a season gives to us. Good and bad.
 
Some who don't understand will say "it's just a game". That will boil the blood of any employee that has the team logo on their pay checks.
 
Because to us, it is much more than a game. It pays the bills. It supports our families. It is our career. Our way of life.
 
HOWEVER, there are times like tonight…on my 37th blessed birthday on this earth …I come home too late to a sleeping house of my beautiful family…and I see these pictures on the kitchen counter that my 3 year old has drawn for me for my birthday ...because she loves me…and I realize it IS just a game.
 
I am a Dad. I AM A DAD!