Friends just tell me to stay away from anything hockey -- don't visit the Web, don't watch the NHL Network, don't listen to NHL Home Ice. Go on vacation, go to the beach or go fly a kite.
If only they knew it is much easier said than done! Believe me, I have tried -- tried laying in bed in the morning, tried not visiting hockey Web sites and tried to distance myself from the game.
But I am hooked and have come to realize that is the way it is going to be. I am a hockey guy, someone who actually needs hockey in his life. Without it, I don't know where I would be and I don't even want to think about it.
Every morning I still visit my favorite hockey Web sites, tune the computer into radio shows that are most likely talking about hockey and still read my RSS hockey feeds numerous times a day.
I can't get away, although I do have time to eat lunch at the table, instead of in front of my computer like I do during the season. Perhaps my hockey day starts later a half-hour later than I am used to and I put my search for hockey news to bed about an hour earlier at night, knowing west coast games do not exist in July.
Even TV doesn't excite me these days. Instead of watching baseball's All-Star Game Home Run Derby from St. Louis Monday night, I was watching replays of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. If I do find some free time, I pop in a DVD of the many hockey-related events I have. I don't know why, but I am in a comfort zone when I am attached to the game, even in mid-July when the weather outside is great for anything but hockey.
I recently attended a Detroit Tigers baseball game, accepting an invitation from a friend who had access to a suite at Comerica Park. What did we do there? How about talk hockey, all kinds of hockey, from trivia to the state of the game. You see, no matter what I do, who I associate with or where I am, hockey is always around.
That is why I am just going with the flow these days. Wherever my day takes me, I am there, but it always ends up attached to hockey. Hockey is everywhere for me, hockey cannot be put in the back of my mind, even if I try to do so.
Am I normal? Is this how it is supposed to be? Since you are reading this, you must be a hockey fan, but do you have a non-hockey life? Do you do normal things, like going to a movie, enjoying a nice dinner or just relaxing during this down-time of any hockey action?
I would like to think there are others just like me, but do hope most people lead a hockey-free life during the summer months. Leave me a comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.