As sports fans, we are guided by both our heart and our head. We root for our favorite teams and players with all our hearts. Our teams can make our hearts race with excitement, and they can break them with disappointment. We use our heads to analyze stats, plays, trades, signings, and the standings.
Sometimes the heart wins over the head. Sometimes the head outwits the heart.
Sometimes the heart and the head just don’t get along.
My heart and my head were engaged in a battle royale yesterday afternoon as I watched Martin Brodeur play what could have been his last game in a New Jersey Devils uniform. Actually, it was probably more like mortal combat.
I’ve been a Devils fan since 1994, which mean Marty is the only goaltender I’ve ever known. He came to play every night (or practically every night), making jaw-dropping saves, handling pucks (and scoring a goal or two), and breaking NHL records along the way. My heart never wants him to go.
But my head knows that Marty is almost 42 years old and that he can’t play forever. The Devils traded last year for Corey Schneider, who this year proved he can be the goaltender of the present, and not just the goaltender of the future. Marty wants to be a starting goaltender, but my head keeps reminding me that won’t happen here.
My heart doesn’t want to see Marty in another uniform. My head knows there’s a possibility that’s going to happen.
So now we wait until free agency in July to find out where Marty will end up next year. And to see whether the heart or the head prevails.
After 20 years of being a fan, I finally got to meet Marty about a month ago at a season ticket holder event. As Marty signed our items I said, “I have to thank you for converting my husband from Boston into a Devils fan.”
Marty looked up from what he was doing, smiled, and said, “That’s kind of hard to do, huh?”
Here’s one thing my heart and my head can agree on — if anyone was going to convert Matt into a Devils fan, it’s Marty.
So thank you, Marty. Thank you for everything.