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I'm okay with being excited about meaningless games

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Yes, the preseason is a non-competitive, meandering and often meaningless exercise. That doesn't mean I can't be excited to watch "hockey" again.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The preseason, for all intents and purposes, doesn't do much for most people. Sure, it's an opportunity to watch hockey players without creeping around some beer league, but in terms of the actual return of the NHL to your life, the preseason is like entering the restaurant. It's still gonna be a little while until you're actually eating.

But once you're in, you can smell what's coming, and unless you're eating at an Olive Garden (or rooting for the Hurricanes), that excitement is palpable. My father screamed a number of times at the television last night watching an all-important Bears-Jets Monday night game. I'll probably do the same thing tonight, but for a meaningless affair between the Blackhawks and Red Wings. That's just the kind of person I am, I suppose.

So don't be ashamed that you're totally jacked up for the preseason. Sure, it might be silly, but if you really want to get all existential and start thinking about things, basically everything about life is silly. Being a sports fan, no doubt, is pretty high on my personal silly list. And if you're a fan who can't excited about a team as good as the Blackhawks, well, we'll show you the door and have a good winter letting Jay Cutler destroy your soul.

Sean Gentile wasn't wrong when he said he "must create [his] own meaning" for the preseason, because mustering any substance from this whole thing can be a fruitless exercise in logic. But that's exactly what I've done; decided I will get excited about this because it's hockey, even if every part of my brain recognizes I'll go to bed tonight having watched something relatively worthless. It's not like that's radically different from most other nights, after all.

So go Hawks, and go "putting emotional effort into unimportant things." I'll be here all year.