In any case, at the beginning of the season I decided that it might have finally been time to put a name on the back of my Sharks jersey. At the end of last season, I had leaned towards getting a Steve Bernier jersey, but I decided to wait until a few months into the next season just in case Bernier, you know, decided that all of the awesomeness that he showed us at the end of the 2005-2006 season was a total and complete fluke.
Then the Sharks traded for Mark Bell. Again, longtime readers of my blog will know that I grew up a Chicago Blackhawks fan before joining the legions of disenfranchised Hawks supporters and cutting off my fandom. Still, I watched Hawks games on Center Ice and followed the team at a distant, and I always liked Bell. He was like a poor man's Keith Tkachuk without as much of a pure dickhead mean streak. I thought he'd be the perfect fit for the Sharks, and I was really excited about this trade. As a nod to my Hawks fan past, Bell became my top pick for my jersey.
Even though Bell didn't look perfectly comfortable the first few weeks of the season, he was still producing points and hitting. I was pretty comfortable with leaning towards Bell, but at the same time, I liked how Christian Ehrhoff was the only Shark blueliner who could skate through the neutral zone and fire off a monster one-timer and Milan Michalek impressed the hell out of me. So even though I was still considering Bell and Bernier, Ehrhoff and Michalek got in the running too. This is around the end of October and I figured that I'd never actually make a decision because I'm way too anal about this.
So, my friends went ahead and made a decision for me. And because of this, Mark Bell has sucked balls for the past three weeks.
Until recently, it took a few weeks to put in an order at the Sharks store for a customized jersey (they only had Thornton, Marleau, and Cheechoo at the store). For my birthday, my friends decided to just go ahead and put in an order for a Bell jersey. Right around the time, Bell began to totally suck balls. In fact, Bell hasn't had a point since my friends put in the order for the jersey. Coincidence or the return of the Jersey Curse? You be the judge!
I finally got my jersey at a birthday dinner on Friday night and wore it to last night's game. From my experience, the Jersey Curse lasts anywhere from 1-3 months. Last night, Bell had 16 minutes in PIMs, two fights, and he played with a lot more fire (hitting, shooting, speed) than I had seen in the past three weeks. Is he finally waking up and shaking off the effects of the Jersey Curse? I don't know, but I'm hoping that the Jersey Curse hasn't dragged Bell down for the season. Hopefully, the Jersey Curse lets up sooner rather than later because the Sharks sure could use the Mark Bell that got a good 25 goals for a shitty Blackhawks squad by planting himself in front of the crease and banging in rebounds -- not the Mark Bell who looks totally confused about where he should be in the offensive zone.