September is a month that I am almost always looking forward to. Each year, when August rolls around I start counting down the days to my favorite month of the year. Historically September has been exciting for me because of two reasons; two things that came around each September without fail (barring exceptional circumstances such as a strike or lockout - hint hint).
The first has usually been the coming of the school semester. In high school, by the end of August I had always been ready to go back to school and start a new school year. Don't get me wrong, I was a big fan of school and I didn't have my books wrapped and packed in my bag weeks before classes started...it was more like the night before. Nevertheless, I was always excited when the fall rolled around the corner, the leaves began to fall and familiar faces came together again at school after a summer of friends going their own ways. I knew that there would be work ahead of me, but I was ready to take the bad with the good of seeing friends, food fights and skipping class. Well, I never really have been in a food fight, and as far as my parents know and for the sake of this post, I've never skipped class.
The second reason why I was so excited and the reason which I believe will outlast the former is the coming of the hockey season, the Canucks in specific. While growing up, with each year that passed I became a bigger Canucks fan. With each year that passed I started to pay attention to the Canucks even earlier in the Summer. It went from getting back into the groove in the last weeks of August, to mid August, to the start of August and now has turned in to never stopping the groove at all. So what specifically is exciting about September if I'm thinking Canucks hockey all the time? The sound of the new season is what gets me back into it.
As hard as it may be to believe, there was a time when not all the Canucks games were televised. There was also a time when I had a bed time. Put two and two together and you realize that there were a lot of times in which I followed my beloved Canucks on the radio. The first couple weeks of September meant the beginning of the NHL preseason. Rookies were trying to make impressions on the coach staff and find a roster spot on the big club or in the AHL while veterans were trying to get in shape. The preseason also meant hockey back on the radio. This was the most exciting part.
When you're following voices of the likes of Jim Robson, Jim Hughson and now John Shorthouse throughout a season, you begin to associate the sounds of their voices with your favorite team. No wonder play-by-play commentators are called 'the voices' of their respective teams. Consciously I was always looking forward to the hockey season starting, my deepest desire was to see my team make it to the playoffs and make a run for the cup, however, unconsciously, I was always craving hearing the voices of the Canucks play-by-play guys because that meant hockey was back and my season along with theirs had started.