This past week was full of highs and lows for me on one level or another. A lot of little stuff that doesn't make a damned bit of difference in the Big Wide World got to me. There's a Thing or two lurking in the background that might be a Big Deal down the road(and not in a good way), but I'll have to wait to see what happens. Yargh.
And then there's the game last Saturday. The apparently-now-annual-and-inaugural Fight Crew vs. Tough Cookies matchup. At least we weren't the Very First Game of the season, which happened the previous two seasons. But every damn year Fight Crew's first game is against the Tough Cookies. I'm kinda bored with it, but whatever. It's one of those Little Things that doesn't make a damned bit of difference in the Big Wide World.
Anyway, my team went into the game strong. I mean, REALLY strong. They were kicking ass and taking names. I was very comfortable with my packmates...we seemed to be working well together. We were doing our jobs, and most importantly, WE HAD FUN.
Then Something happened. I'm not quite sure what. Tough Cookies started rallying, but it wasn't anything Fight Crew couldn't handle. No, that Something was internal. A loss of faith. A growth of fear. We smothered our success over a fear that we could definitely contain. Which has happened before, but I thought we were over that after last season. However, seeing some of the expressions on my teammates' faces just before the end of the half showed that I was wrong.
The peptalk at halftime didn't do much, as our 3rd quarter was not impressive. 3 of us were on the verge of getting kicked out for too many penalties. We were still giving fear breathing room. I think we were behind by around 30 points at the end of the 3rd quarter.
But in the 4th quarter, we rallied. We rallied like hell. The fear was suffocated and killed. We went forth and did what I always knew this team could do when they smothered the fear and insecurity and overthinking. By the end, Fight Crew came back...not enough to win, but enough to make the crowd go completely nuts and actually like our team for once.
Also, Tough Soles and I got ejected for too many penalties. BOO. LA photographer Stalkerazzi got our spiral fly-down:
Argh. But we weren't the only ones in the game to face that fate...it happened to a couple of key Cookie skaters as well.
So this game was fun and all, but I now know what I gotta work on for myself and the team this season. Some old stuff, some new stuff, but mostly on our way of thinking. Or overthinking. We'll see how that goes!