Old habits don't necessarily die hard, but they take time

Old habits don't necessarily die hard, but they take time

I’ve had trouble getting to sleep in recent weeks. I know why — it’s because I don’t have my habit from so many previous winters, going to sleep at the end of a Chicago Blackhawks game.

Oh, no, I’m not going back to them — not after the way managers treated a case of alleged sexual abuse, hiding it so that it wouldn’t damage “team chemistry” on the way to a championship, then covering that up for 11 years.

But I do look at replay programs sometimes, including two from a Canadian network that still show up on my YouTube lists. Last night, I did that, but watching goal replays just didn’t give me that old “game over, good night” feeling.

Then I saw it: The familiar face of the Soviet Union’s hockey coach in 1980, looking stunned.

It was a recording of a game I could still enjoy: U-S-A vs. USSR at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics in February 1980.

I listened to a documentary ahead of the game with the half-awake feeling I used to get in the back seat of Mom and Dad’s car. Reruns of TV shows will have to do now for “back seat of the car” relaxing on my own sofa — I’m glad I can still run tapes as well as DVDs.

Then the game started — apparently. I slept through nearly all of the most famous game in U.S. sports in the 20th century, even the immortal call with five seconds left. (“Do you believe in miracles? YES!”)

I woke up around 3 a.m. with another game being broadcast between two teams I cared nothing about, so I staggered over and shut it off. But I slept like a rock, just as if it had been a “live” game I’d missed. (When I was hearing them from the back seat, I’d argue about missing them — changing the radio would always make me insist I was listening, until a family member asked, “What’s the score?”)

So that expression, “Old habits die hard,” has a different tinge today. The habit of listening to the Hawks is dead — I was and am so disgusted by their treatment of players, particularly around the 2010 scandal, that I can’t follow games anymore. But the habit of relaxing and listening to hockey is taking longer to get rid of.

Knowing me, I’ll get rid of it by February… right around the time of the next Winter Olympics. Speaking of sleeping through hockey games, those Olympics will be in China, so there’s a huge time difference to cope with.

Oh well. I won’t know which players are playing for which countries, anyway. The habit can keep on withering.

Filed under: Expressions

Tags: Chicago Blackhawks


Leave a comment
  • Very well expressed, Margaret.

  • In reply to Grundoon:

    Thanks, Grundoon. It's still enough of a raw topic that I wasn't sure.

  • On your last point, the NHL will be back in the 2022 Olympics, so, as usual, it will be the NHL scrambled with a few KHL players mixed in. The usual rule was that the national team with the most players from a certain Chicago team won, but that probably won't hold this time.

    If you are still into hockey, the Chicago Wolves are on Channel 50. If you want something to put you to sleep, try baseball videos.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks, Jack. I wonder who I'll recognize by February 2022. The KHL (Russia's Kontinental Hockey League) may make up part of the Russian team, and Artemi Panarin (ex-Blackhawk, now in New York) might be there. But I noticed in my diary the other day that I was just enjoying the start of last season in January 2021... so I've done this in December very recently. Music and reading will do. I've never quite adapted to the Chicago Wolves, even when Pat Foley was calling the games. Of course, the last time I tried, I would say that nothing would draw me away from the Hawks.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    The main problem with the AHL, and especially the Wolves, is that the affiliations keep changing. I watched them when they were affiliated with Las Vegas, and both teams were surprisingly good, and several Wolves were in the Stanley Cup finals. Then Las Vegas moved the affiliate and the Carolina Hurricanes now provides the players.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yes, that's weird about the AHL. I remember that the Blackhawks' affiliate has been in Rockford for several years -- the IceHogs, despite the negative expression "as graceful as a hog on ice." *(Hint.) Trying to decide who to root for in a Rockford-Chicago game used to be too difficult. (These days, GO WOLVES!)

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    I was looking for what Ice Hog stood for, and yours was the only explanation I saw.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks. I'm here to serve when it comes to strange expressions.

  • Maybe Jack is right about the Wolves. It might be worth a try.
    I can't listen to baseball, anymore, but the Field of Dreams Game reminded me how much I used to love the game of baseball.

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Yes, I might try them (see my reply to Jack above). Meanwhile, the "Dang-Its" and "Hat Picks" (bloopers and highlight reels, in Canadian) replays once a week on YouTube are enough.

Leave a comment