(from Google images)
In just a few days, I will be celebrating my hockey two year anniversary. I mark my beginnings as a fan by the day I saw the last game of the Olympics in 2010. It was February 28th. I’m not sure when I officially was a ‘fan,’ but that game marked the start of it. Last year, I celebrated my one year anniversary by attending the Flyers Carnival. It was quite an experience, as I realized that even me, the Southerner, can get horribly nervous when meeting new people…if those people happen to be NHL hockey players.
What have I learned in two years of being both a hockey and Flyers fan? I’ve learned that your team doesn’t always make the Stanley Cup Finals (2010 being my first playoffs, I was totally spoiled). I’ve learned that no one is untouchable on a team especially after this past off-season (two of the three players I got pictures with at the Carnival were traded this summer. I’m a jinx apparently). I’ve learned that I picked one of the most hated group of fans to be a part of. I’ve learned that nothing beats going and watching hockey live whether it’s the NHL or men’s league.
I have also learned that the Flyers organization, the fans, and the media surrounding it is full of drama.
According to urban dictionary online, drama can be defined as “A way of relating to the world in which a person consistently overreacts to or greatly exaggerates the importance of benign events.” And maybe it happens with other teams and other sports, but in my observations over the past two years, as I’ve joined Twitter and followed blogs and news regarding the Flyers, there’s a mess of drama. It can come from actual factual events (the trading of Mike Richards, for example) or, more often, rumors. With the trade deadline approaching, rumors regarding the Flyers and their interests abound. Thursday night’s was Steve Ott (Dallas Stars) for James Van Riemsdyk. No validity to be found, but it showed up on my Twitter timeline with enough concern from those I follow to be repeated a few times.
There was the possibility that Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were traded because of Dry Island, or that they were a ‘locker room cancer.’ When Chris Pronger joined the team, there was supposed conflict between him and Richards due to fans thinking Pronger should be captain. Claude Giroux is in a slump, so the concussion must be coming back. The Philadelphia media loves to spin this stuff and a lot of fans fuel it.
The strong opinions of both the respected and not as respected media members strike a match and Philadelphia masses seem to be the gasoline. Fans shouldn’t boo Ilya Bryzgalov because how will that help him. We should cheer him even though his play has been at best, average.
On and on it goes until my eyes glaze over. I have no idea what it’s like to actually be in the area and maybe have to hear it in public places. Things become massive issues when often someone or someones are just creating drama for the fun or disillusionment of it. I have no idea why it happens.
It’s probably my least favorite part of being a fan. After watching my team lose. I could avoid it by not following articles about the Flyers, but then I’d be a much less informed fan and if I call myself a fan, I want to know things: history, trades, concerns, terminology, and the ins and outs as much as I can. So, I’ll continue to read and follow the drama (although I have stopped following certain media types on Twitter to avoid the unnecessary negativity and frustration) while trying to discern what’s worth my time and energy, and what is absolute hogwash. I suggest you do the same.
(from Google images)