"Familiarity breeds contempt", is the moral of an Aesops fable. "The Fox and the Lion".
It is story of a fox was terribly afraid. Then the more the fox crossed paths with the lion the less frightened he felt until eventually the fox came face to face with the lion and turned his tail to the beast and walked off without much ceremony.
The moral of that story is never more true when you are around a sports team for an entire season, in this case the San Jose Sharks.
I'm around the team more than I'm with my family. At practice, on the plane, in the hotel and of course watching and analyzing the games, I have over time become indifferent of the team.
Before you start to think this blog is a negative indictment of the team read on.
One way to turn the contempt to admiration is to talk and listen to the managers, coaches and players of the other teams in the NHL.
Listening to the opposition you will hear how tough it is to play against the big bodies in the Sharks line-up.
Before the last three games, including against the Detroit Red Wings I have heard glowing observations of how Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski are the "engines" that drive the Sharks.
If you think about it now that Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are getting a older, having Paveski and Couture taking the lead is what you want.
Speaking of Patrick Marleau, I had a several time Stanley Cup winner reprimand me for being critical of Patty because he hasn't been scoring lately.
The gentlemen told me he is always surprised that Patrick takes as much criticism as he does. "Marleau's big, he can still skate and he always produces."
Accurate insight to be sure.
Over this season I have heard how Dan Boyle is a gamer. "Gamer" is the ultimate compliment from a coach.
Matt Irwin looks to have some great tools to build on to be a very good NHL defenceman, is how a former distinguished player and now highly respected scout described the rookie blue liner.
Opposition personnel mention how Antti Niemi battles in net and how tough it is to beat him.
They ask about the steadiness of Marc Edouard Vlasic and what a terrific person and player Brad Stuart is.
This is not to say that the Sharks are a perfect team. Without a doubt they have their weaknesses, but so does every team. Every team has blemishes , every team wishes they had more scoring or were quicker. Every team continues to strive to get better.
The Sharks are no different, they have weaknesses, they need improvement and are still searching for that elusive path to a championship. That path at times has seemed direct and at other times it is a long and winding road.
However we must remember to enjoy the journey.
For in life "we count the miseries carefully, and accept our blessings without much thought."