Sens fans relate to punk rockers

ERIN NICKS -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:04 PM ET

There were two pieces of audio I heard on Tuesday -- both for completely different reasons -- and both have stuck with me for the better part of the week.

The first was John Muckler's post-season wrap-up news conference, and the second was Blindfold, a song by SoCal punk rock band Pulley.

The majority of Muckler's news conference focused on the surprising revelation that there "wouldn't be a great deal of changes" to the Senators' current roster -- a statement that was ultimately reported and heavily criticized by some media.

After the conference, I gravitated towards my computer's music library. The Pulley song played, and I listened to the chorus: "It's only over when you've given up on me."

It was too bizarre. In the midst of drum fills and guitar riffs, a former MLB pitcher-turned-singer was providing the current mantra for the Senators and their fans.

I was left to wonder if one of the most important men in the Sens organization realized it himself, even if he likely didn't share my taste in music.

When you have a team forever on the brink and fans at their breaking point, something's got to give. Maybe it doesn't come down to a major overhaul, but it's got to be more than a tweak -- the daunting task of future contract negotiations alone would suggest that.

But standing pat, remaining idle, whatever you want to call it -- that's what Muckler appears to be doing. He wants all the cogs to stay in place. He even left the door open for Dominik Hasek. Frankly, most would've been less surprised with the return of Patrick Lalime to the capital.

At what point does common sense take over from loyalty? Hasek isn't going to approach Muckler and say, "It's only over when you've given up on me," but isn't it obvious that everyone else already has?

And what about Wade Redden? Does the team speak this same mantra to him as he continues to ponder his future? The nine seasons he's spent here undoubtedly have provided some perspective regarding the continuation of his career. The question remains of whether he can accomplish his ultimate goal with the Senators. Unrestricted free agency provides an out. So is it over for Redden? Has he given up on a Stanley Cup victory for Ottawa?

Then there are the long-suffering fans. They remain vocal, however, observers now paint them with the reputation of being abruptly fickle. Before last Thursday's game, a multitude of Senators' supporters chose to fling themselves off the bandwagon before the series was even finished. The mantra applied to these people, because although the series in actuality concluded on Saturday, a number of them had already given up. It was over.

But the rest -- the large group that remains overwhelmingly supportive of this franchise -- is growing impatient. The last thing they want to do is sit through another seven-month-long regular season, only to see the playoff moments fade too quickly. Their torment will only end when a) Ottawa finally brings home a championship or b) they switch their allegiance to another team.

"It's only over when you've given up on me." You can change the pronouns to fit the variables -- be it team, individual or otherwise -- but it's a painful slogan that fits the current state of the Senators. You can ultimately blame Scott Radinsky for writing it ... and Sens fans are still in a blaming mood, aren't they?

CZECH THIS OUT: On Wednesday night, TSN touted the world championship Czech Republic vs. Russia quarter-final as a battle between Jan Bulis and Alexander Ovechkin. It doesn't seem like an even matchup. Is it then ironic that the Czechs pulled off the OT victory?

BABY LEAFS: Throughout the playoffs, various drugstores in Ottawa were selling Senators fan gear. However at one location, I spotted a small cache of Leafs paraphernalia, all infant-oriented: Baby bottles, soothers, booties, etc. One of their merchandisers obviously has a keen sense of humour.

FAN-DEMONIUM: Edmonton fans are delirious over the Oilers' success, and rightfully so. But if the unruly behaviour keeps up after games, they may want to consider replacing the silver streamers that drop in the arena, with those zip-tie makeshift handcuffs that law enforcement uses.

erinnicks@yahoo.ca


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