At the moment, I’m waiting on the Flyers/Coyotes game to start. And debating on if two cookies should count for dinner or not. The thing about having Gamecenter Live is that I don’t get any of the pregame stuff. So as local Philadelphians talk about pregame interviews and such, I’m stuck, staring at a blank Word document.
I have a Coyotes shirt, actually.
Never mentioned it before on here, but I used to follow the Yotes. Not as faithfully as the Flyers, of course, but two of my five live NHL games last year were Coyotes games. My family and I drove three hours to Nashville twice last season to watch the Nashville Predators play the Phoenix Coyotes. No, never lived in Arizona although I have some family there.
So how did I decide I was enough of a fan to buy a ridiculously overpriced shirt on shop.nhl.com?
As always, I blame Pam.
When Pam started sending me photos, interviews and just plain information on the Flyers, she didn’t include just the current ones. She included some of her favorites. One was Scottie Upshall.
I enjoyed watching Scottie play and I figured since the Flyers weren’t coming to the Nashville that season and wanting to see the Yotes do better after a heartbreaking game seven against the Red Wings in ’10, why not see them play? I started to watch the games when I could and knew a few of the names and numbers. Was terribly impressed with Keith Yandle and really liked Shane Doan. The games were fun to watch (Yotes lost the first and won the second) and I enjoyed knowing about more than one team.
Then Upshall got traded (fortunately after the two games we had tickets for). And Flyers’ games took more and more precedence, as did the occasional Tampa Bay game (Simon Gagne) and now I’m here this season where Upshall is in Florida. And with the trades this offseason, I try to catch a Kings game every once and awhile.
So there is my shirt (which I still quite like) in my closet, more of a fashion statement than the sign of a loyal fan.
In my short time as a hockey and Flyers fan, I’ve realized that it’s pretty near impossible to consistently follow more than one team. To follow one team is 82+ games. To follow two? Or more?
Very few people have that kind of free time.
Maybe you can’t really like more than one team. I’m following the Kings to see how Mike Richards and Simon Gagne are doing. I’m beginning to like the team and the players. Does that mean I’m a Kings fan now?
There are three types of solid (non-bandwagon) fans. Team fans. Hockey fans. Player fans.
Team fans are usually from the team’s city. It doesn’t matter how many trades are made or who wears the ‘C’, it’s about the team and the city it represents. Probably can recite some rather impressive statistics as well (numbers = shudders). It’s hard for me to understand this mentality because I’m not from a hockey town, and as a military brat, I don’t even understand hometown mentality. But your team is your home and you’re proud of it. Makes sense.
Hockey fans are probably players themselves. They have a favorite team, but they probably don’t play fantasy hockey or watch every game. They want their team to win the Cup, but they may or may not know every player and probably don’t care. Hockey is their sport, their life, and they love the game. The NHL team of their choice is secondary.
Player fans, well, that’s me. I started with the Flyers and am quick to announce to any and all that listen that I am a Flyers fan. But they team hasn’t changed so drastically since I started watching that I don’t recognize them anymore. If Claude Giroux ever was ::whispers:: traded, I’d probably watch whatever team had him. Would I still be a Flyers fan? I think so. There’s something about the team, the colors, the history and the mere fact that they were my first team that makes them special. But I’m definitely a player fan.
Now, I don’t think people are always only one of the three types, but probably often a mix. Players mean a lot to one, but he or she loyal to the team. Team is everything, but he or she is bummed when a players is traded. And this isn’t to say that a team fan is better than a player fan or better than a hockey fan. They’re just all involved for different reasons.
And that keeps the conversation interesting.
P.S. Breaking Dawn Part 1 came out today. Apparently all the hockey players are seeing it. Wow.