I live in a Joe Pavelski house now

Few things in life are less logically justifiable than a deep interest in a particular sports franchise. They’re designed to steal your money, tread on your heart, and spit on your soul, though the latter two are optional and come back in the former. Your team is generally not going to win a championship and from time to time will demand your tax money, threaten to move if you don’t pay, move when you don’t, or show essential incompetence when threatening and then don’t. But without rooting interest (and yes, rooting interest includes gambling, America’s New Heroine), it’s mostly just gym class.

For your fearless but inert typist, rooting interests have long since developed according to the old dynamics of sports journalism, namely: “Covering the story without inserting any desire, except either a quickly played game or multiple overtimes that go past the deadline.” Not worrying about who wins makes life so much easier, although I understand why most people need it. It offers a brief respite from the latest political, social, or cultural indignity in this miserable star-studded dumpster, and if you know a guy who will take your action, it may even prove unprofitable.

This, however, does not apply to the author family, who has two specific interests, starting with the Golden State Warriors. The bride wants them to win because they are nearby; the girl wants them to win because it means partying at the local diner; the son wants them to win while complaining that the referees are there to screw them up. They all see the author as the dead brute inside who is really only interested in the game itself without caring about winner or loser because knowing how the sausage is ground ruins most of the fun of the bratwurst.

The other family interest is Joe Pavelski, the hero of the Dallas Stars’ ever-chimerical pursuit of the Stanley Cup Finals. Pavelski, who scored the game-winning goal in overtime Thursday night to beat Vegas and extend the Western Conference Finals, has all the elements for a laid-back but fervent rooting interest — a long association with a home team, a normal physical stature which includes several missing teeth in the vandalized graveyard that is his lower bite, his advancing age (he’s 38, a point made endlessly every time he plays by every streamer that references him), and a desperate pursuit for win a championship before retirement.

He’s all about work ethic (he works every shift), trickery (he finds empty ice near goal with almost uncanny consistency) and sorcery (he may be the best puck deflector of the last quarter century, and that’s if you consider Detroit’s Tomas Holmstrom and his ass-face tactics in goaltending). He also has the veteran player’s knack for answering all questions with a polite, traditional nothingness that says, “I know what you asked but I’m only giving you that answer no matter what.” He has no known legal quirks (a polite way of saying a police record), so he’s ethically clean – or at least as ethically clean as the sport of hockey allows.

This is Pavelski’s moment. His concussion in Minnesota’s Game 1 opener didn’t put a dent in that streak, but his return in Game 1 of Seattle’s series was a four-goal Pavs-terpiece that set him up as can -being the most important star on a team with Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson, Jamie Benn (when he’s not covering his frustrations) and Jake Oettinger. In the 11 games since returning, he’s been the Western Conference’s answer to Matthew Tkachuk (ask your friend from Miami who became a lifelong Panthers fan eight days ago).

Her winning match last night also inspired the author’s larger half to bark in delight and clap her hands, a rarity in a house where she’s been bombarded with too many games with microscopic consequences. Pavelski is his new piece of art, the logical heir to the player-favorite-ever-to-win-the-cup burden carried in vain by his true favorite player of all time, Joe Thornton. Thornton is now doing Just For Men commercials, a scary fate to consider.

So we are now a house with a rooting interest, as foreign as that may seem. The daughter has her chimerical affiliation with Tottenham (she likes the chicken logo), and the son will still spend endless hours complaining about the inherently dishonest NBA based on national stats. black beast Scott Foster, but there is unanimous consent on Joe Pavelski, if for no other reason than who controls the voting shares should have his affiliations supported without dissent. In other words, the shy hunk in the other chair needs to shut up and lie down on Saturday as Game 5 blossoms. It’s a Joe Pavelski home until further notice, or until the Golden Knights get their act together.

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