How come I end up where I started?
How come I end up where I went wrong?
Won’t take my eyes off the ball again
You reel me out then you cut the string
Radiohead, “15 Step”
Much like a Radiohead song, there is something hauntingly beautiful about Deadline Day. Sure at the time everything is frantic and mixed together, seemingly no rhyme or rhythm to the entire day. If you get too deeply involved you will only come out of it with a headache and more questions then you started with.
But even so, there is an excitement about today that is unmatched by any single event during the season. Today is the day you can get something new, players, picks, hopes and expectations. While we may say goodbye to a player or two, we could see a new wave of players come in, or even a distinct message that a run will be made this season. Right now. Who knows what will happen before 3pm? Isn’t that why we lock on to radio stations, websites, and rumor blogs all day?
The great thing about today is that no matter what happens at the end of the day nothing is decided. The team that makes the big splash doesn’t win the Stanley Cup at 3:01 pm EST, and only time will tell who wins and loses after all. Trades that look great in the immediate have been awful deals the next year, and when draft picks are involved, it could be almost a decade until the real value of things is decided upon.
Just like that Radiohead song you don’t understand until one day it just hits you, every line and lyric clicks and suddenly everything is right with the world. Trade deadline day may be the first time you hear that song, but winning down the road is when it all clicks. That feeling of euphoria is built on days like today when the air is full of potential and the uneven sounds of piano and bass.
So while we all anxiously watch the clock and track the deals, keep in mind that hindsight is the ultimate decider of today’s proceedings. If you can, try to keep a straight head, sit back, and have fun on one of the most nerve wracking days of the year. I’m not saying I can follow my own advice, but I’d rather attempt to do so and be mentally stable enough to discuss the day’s events then not try at all.
Let’s hope Darcy doesn’t take his eyes off the ball.