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I like to explore the way people behave. Sometimes I think I should just ditch this whole “hockey journalist” thing and just become a psychologist. Either way, my chances of getting paid the big bucks with either of those choices are slim to none anyway. Besides, I love to write and rant too much, especially about things that irritate me within the sport I love. Should I write more about the actual sport? Most definitely. I think, though, in whatever I write, there will be a feeling of arrogance and annoyance with those who don’t agree with me, (those who are wrong) but I need to translate that into the Chicago Blackhawks goalie “situation,” the Red Wings deflated tires, or Minnesota’s inability to catch a break despite having some really talented guys on the team. I’ll get there eventually.
However, this post is not about that. It’s a small post of observations and feelings upon the way people act as hockey fans and trying to prove their fandom. I’m not talking about knowledge, (even though everyone and their mother is trying to me a hockey expert) I’m talking about the materialistic side of hockey fans.
Why is it that many people of every fan base feel the need to prove that THEY’RE the biggest fan with things and spending? Why do organizations encourage it so damn much? (Oh. Duh. To make money.) I can’t tell you how many photos appeared on my social media outlets after Christmas with countless hockey items from that person’s favorite team. I saw one picture where someone had gotten, I shit you not, every single jersey from a particular team, and they had posted it multiple places, multiple times.
I’m not talking about grabbing a shirt or jersey or 17 of them. I am a total culprit of owning probably too many “shirseys” for my age when I should be owning clothes for “big people jobs” or “looking like a young lady.” I’m talking about when people sit there and go on and on, “Oh, well I own a Stamkos, St. Louis, Filppula, Thompson, Malone, Bishop, Carle, and Brewer jerseys, a Tampa Bay toaster oven, 16 toques, 3 scarfs, mittens, blah blah blah, like they’re a better fan than you for it.
Then we have the road travelers. They take it to the next level. These people are special. They go out of their element to maybe not follow their #1 team, but their #2 team to another state, then you see an endless feed on that. I’m the kind of person that would JUMP at the chance to travel for a game. Am I jealous of these people? UM, HELL YEAH! To be able to have the money to get to do that? SIGN ME UP. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE seeing good people traveling for games. Hell, I get excited and post when I get to travel to Minnesota and see the Wild and whoever they’re playing against. It’s the way people go upon letting everyone else know that they’re going OUT OF STATE to SEE THEIR TEAM is how you can tell that they feel as though they have to prove themselves. You know what kinds of people I’m talking about.
Third, we have the I’VE BEEN TO MORE GAMES/EVENTS/SIGNINGS THEN YOU SO I’M BETTER. You meet this person at a game and they go on about how many times they’ve met Skidney Crosby, how he remembers them, and what color his eyes were that day. Guys, I’ve played for Team Creepy before (granted, it was during my teenage years, so it’s somewhat forgivable. Now that I’m typing this, I was never that extreme…liking stalking players at bars, but I digress.) and let me tell you, when they remember you or laugh at something you’ve said, it’s not a good thing. When you’re standing in line for a picture or an autograph, you’re no better than anyone else out there. IT’S NOT A BAD THING TO BE A FAN, but when ya starting acting better than everyone when you’re doing the same damn thing, except bragging about it? Not cool.
Then we’ve got the organizations encouraging it. Understandably so, they make money every time you buy a cheap piece of shit with their logo on it. I just hate seeing contests that are like, “ARE YOU OUR NUMBER ONE FAN?!?! POST YOUR STUFF.” I didn’t know the amount of stuff I had or places I visited had to do with the level of fandom.
My dad is probably the BIGGEST hockey fan in existence, and you know what? He doesn’t own an ounce of Red Wings, Blackhawks, Wild, Lightning, Flyers, etc. merchandise. He rarely goes to games, he never, ever has been to a signing, event, convention, zip-zero-ziltch, nada. He played from the time he was 11 years old until 45, and now 10 years later, he got himself some new CCM goalie pads and is playing with an “Old Men’s Group” in town. I see him turn on whatever game is on and coach better than the coach himself. He commentates better than any of the knuckleheads I’ve ever heard on TV. He sees things faster than the ref does, knows exactly what they’re gonna call, and doesn’t cry BULLSHIT when the refs make a right call. He doesn’t ever brag about how much he knows, so I’ll do it for him. He wants to take a road trip for the hell of it to hit up New York, New Jersey, and Philly just to see those guys play in person and their arena. He doesn’t care who they’re playing against or if they’re the worst in the league. He likes a game that is low in score because that means the defense and goalies are just kicking ass. He has his favorite players solely based on ice performance, unlike me….He doesn’t give into what everyone says about goalies who’ve had a bad break or jumps on the bandwagon just because a rookie scores a few good goals. He takes everything into consideration and watches those particular people for a few games before making a big assumption. (Although he knows right off the bat why players are behaving the way they are.) He doesn’t have a favorite team. He doesn’t need a man cave full of merchandise. He just loves hockey.
I aspire to be like him. I want to know everything about the game and be right when everyone else is wrong. I enjoy some of those material things and dig meeting players every now and then, but I don’t want it to ever be a priority. I just wanna be a pure hockey fan.
And if you’re materialistic, welp, that’s just what floats your boat. Just don’t try to tell me you’re a better fan because you own every Kane jersey known to existence.
I don’t like him anyway.
It’s going to be like Chicago versus The World.
Legit like the Champs for Charity game. It’s like any team facing New York in the finals of anything 2001-2002. We all know everyone wants Boston to stand strong BECAUSE THIS IS MERICA. I just hope there’s no swayed officiating due to this.
And yup, sorry if this post offends everyone, I’m just saying what all Blackhawks fans are thinking.
Hawks vs. Wings
Classy Beer Dumping Octopus Post.
And here I am now cheering for the Hawks because they’re my second team.
•In the same breath that you scream I LOVE TRADITION, you go on about how much you hate the octopus throwing. How disgusting and “stupid” it is. How the Wings should get DOG penalties because something they can’t control. It’s so gross but so good. It goes back so far and it is incredible to me how it has stood the test of time. Get over it. I stand by “screaming during the National Anthem.” Some could argue it’s disrespectful. Ya like that? No? Sit the fuck down. Tradition is awesome.
•Refs have not been perfect but it’s been pretty evenly matched. If they’ve fucked over one team, they’ve made up for it by calling out another. Stop blaming the refs for Shaw getting unruly.
•Blackhawks haven’t handed the Wings all 3 of their games. If any, I’d say 1/3. (Game 3) Wings out worked the Blackhawks in the other two. In the previous game, Hawks had more SOG and the Wings had some terrible turnovers, but they were ALWAYS getting the puck back. Shots weren’t the best, D was everywhere. Hey, whatta know, Detroit doesn’t suck????? Duh.
•Stop being arrogant dicks. “Oh all of you are jumping off the bandwagon but I’m a TRUE fan so I’ll be here till the end! And next season!” Says the fan who just started watching in 2010 then again this season. Listen bro and brodettes: I don’t give a fuck when you became a fan. Know your shit and stop trying to prove you’re a better fan by throwing other fans under the bandwagon.
•Stop talking about how “classless” Red Wings fans are. I got boo’d in the face several times for wearing my Helmer jersey. The “Howard” chant has been roaring through the UC. “Detroit Sucks” chants. I roll my eyes to these things and move on. Red Wings fans do the same or chirp, and all of a sudden they’re classless.
•Bringing up the 11 Stanley Cups is not “in the past.” Not when the team has made the playoffs the past 22 seasons in a row. It’s referring to the fact the Wings’ organization has been so lucky and strong and just great for so long. Of course there have been rough patches, but they’ve got a good thing going. Don’t chirp if you can’t accept overall greatness thrown back at you.
Love your game. Love your team. Shouldn’t have shot your mouth off. Again, I love the Blackhawks as well, and my Hawks loving friends; they are all wonderful and that is why they are my friends. You’ve just got a decent group of bozos who like to talk a big game. I notice it most because I live here. There are good and bad fans for EVERY team. The end.
I don’t recall having this much anxiety over the playoffs last year, especially not the quarterfinals. Maybe it was because I knew the Blackhawks would be left for dead by the Yotes and when the Red Wings were set up against the Preds in the quarter-finals…you might as well jumped in the ocean with an open wound.
(Painful Shark memories.)
This time around, I’ve felt like throwing up for every game I’ve watched.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild
I was a basket case full of emotion after Minnesota fell into 8th place. I knew they’d be playing the Blackhawks and I knew they were going to get bulldozed. That hurt my heart. Normally, I am against all predictions. I push them out of my mind. I laugh at these pompous assholes who try to predict how teams do in the post-season. They can do a complete 360. Why try to predict something that could change so drastically and make you look like a baboon?
Anyway, I love the Wild. Picking up Parise and Suter for a pretty penny was surely going to effect the team, but not greatly in their first season of having ‘em. You know, the shortened season? The Wild are, what I like to call “quietly tough.” You don’t expect them to do much, but they can present quite a challenge for the opposing team outta no where. Also, Cal Clutterbuck. (If you hate this guy, but love Dave Bolland, Blackhawks fans, you are insane because they are the SAME PERSON. Except Cal can grow a wicked stache.)
In addition to the drastic player changers, the Wild have a goalie problem. Backstrom is their most solid goalie, if that tells you something. Then you have Josh Harding who can’t catch a break. Take their best goalie out of the playoffs and throw in a guy who’s been out half the season with a dude has little NHL experience…you might as well have thrown the Wild to the dogs.
This series went exactly as expected; the Blackhawks dominating the majority of the series with Minnesota showing signs of potential, but never posing a true threat. However, something I noticed: the Blackhawks didn’t “bring” anything different from what they were doing all season. I caught them quite a few times snoozing with the puck and missing passes. It was frustrating. Granted, they had a great season, but they’re going to be in for a rude awakening when they run into a team on their A game.
Next season will be better and the season after that, I would fear Minnesota. (Fear and Minnesota in the same sentence feels weird…) Team will blend and (hopefully) the goalie situation will be fixed.
Detroit Red Wings Vs. Anaheim Ducks
This series…I shouldn’t even start but I will. To all the haters…suck it. Suck it long and suck it HARD. My boys are AMAZING.
This series is actually easily summed up. 60% of the time, Detroit outplayed Anaheim. Unfortunately, when they let Anaheim rock it, they rode it HARD. Here’s how the games would go: Detroit leads 2-0 all game! Then all of a sudden, in the third, Anaheim would score 34895398 goals. 4 of the 7 games went into overtime if that tells you anything. This series was so close that in went like this: (Ducks-Wings) 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3, then finally 3-4 Wings.
There were so many good things I saw along with so many…not so good things. Puck possession was BACK and Detroit lead SOG for the series. Not so good-lack of speed, stupid penalties, certain players *cough* QUINCEY *cough* being out of position, and forgetting the trailer.
The Wings played TOUGH and surprised everyone just by making the playoffs (SUCK IT!) and now they knocked out the second seed?! Blackhawks fans…I wouldn’t knock out this Red Wings team so soon. They’re not dead yet.
It’s been a while since I’ve blessed you with a real post. We’re gonna kill two birds with one stone in this bad boy: “The Firing of Susannah Collins in Bullet Points” and “The Stanley Cup Playoffs Thus Far.”
Don’t make the playoffs
Make the playoffs
Have to face the Blackhawks in the first round
"Y’all know me. Know how I earn a livin’."
Self-proclaimed hockey expert, head coach, and general manager of all 30 NHL teams, self-righteous tweeter/blogger, knowledgeable college slacker, and overall arrogant bastard.
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