How to Get Through Six Hours of Playoffs


One year after the dream Stanley Cup season, the Blackhawks are on the brink of extinction from the first round of the playoffs tonight in Vancouver. Add to that the Bulls trying to add to their lead against the Pacers, the White Sox in Tampa Bay and the Bears talking about their draft plans, and today is a harrowing day for Chicago sports fans. (Thank you, Cubs, for taking today off. We couldn't endure your heart-attack inducing games on this day.)

Chicagoans, we can make it through this. It will be difficult to sit through two playoff games, but we can do it with the right techniques.

Meditate: Clear your mind of Packers, Pacers, Canucks or other evil. Start with a deep breath, then focus on a single word that brings you comfort and joy, and repeat it with every breath. I suggest Ditka, Jordan, Toews or Sweetness. Try it now. "Ditka ... Ditka ... Ditka ..." Look at that. Your blood pressure is already down 10 points.

Yoga: Try these poses.
-- The Kane-Cup Hoist: Bend over at your waist. Pretend to pick up something large and shiny and hold it over your head. Repeat.
-- The Rose: Nah, don't even try the Rose. It's only the kind of pose an MVP can do.
-- The Crawford: Stand in a doorway. Have a friend throw things at you. It's a very soothing exercise.

Emotionally eat: Is this the healthiest of responses to stress? No, but it's two playoff games in one day. We're all allowed to slip up sometimes. So go ahead and order the pizza. Get the wings, too, and hot dogs and beefs and french fries and tacos and burgers. For six hours of playoff-watching, you'll need sustenance. There's no judgment here, unless you order the salad.

Take a walk: Bulls tip off at 6 and the puck drops for the Blackhawks at 9, so you won't have much time to take a mind-clearing walk in between games. Try pacing around your home. You may wear a hole into your carpet and drive your family crazy, but there has to be a way to expend that nervous energy.

We can get through tonight, Chicago. On the other side of six hours of playoffs on Comcast Sports Net, we can have two teams steps closer to a championship. Or it could be the end of the Blackhawks season ... I better start meditating. Jordan ... Jordan ... Jordan ...

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