I saw a guy the other day with an Ottawa Senators tattoo on his arm. The old third jersey logo with the 3-D head. Not the original Centurion.
I had to ask myself what that guy was thinking when he did that? I mean, what if he moves, or worse-yet, the team moves? What if his favourite puppy gets run over by the team bus? Any regrets?
Which got me thinking. There are a lot of die-hard fans out there. You know the ones: they’ll live and die with the team. They’re opinions are formulated out of a shear, unadulterated passion for this team, whichever team it may be.
But they are also the fans with the least amount of common sense.
When Dany Heatley asks for a trade, they are up in arms, pitchforks and stakes sharpened for the chance they might get to see Heatley. If the team loses in the playoffs, they lock themselves in their room until the upcoming October for the next season.
These are the same people who heralded the extension of Dany Heatley, Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly, Jason Spezza and Co. This is the same group of fans who always believe that things are about to turn a corner. The team just needs to get rid of the bad apples.
But they’re attitudes towards the team extends even beyond optimism. At times it can be absolute pessimism. Just listen to the Team 1200 after a loss to hear their rants and raves. For many of them, Bryan Murray needs to be fired because the Senators, like 28 other teams, haven’t won a Stanley Cup this year (or appeared in the Stanley Cup finals).
And I guess that’s what I appreciate about the hockey blogosphere. There are so many people out there that deserve mention here, but this is a group of fans that recognize hockey, understand the game, and ultimately know that you cheer for the experience, not the team. It doesn’t matter what logo is on the front of the chest. You cheer for how you feel when you see that team win, whoever it might be.
When the Senators went to the Stanley Cup finals in 2007, an entire city embraced the team. Fans were coming out of the woodwork. It was slightly offensive to those who watched the team from their inception, but there was a new legion of fans emerging. But ask half of those fans to name the defensive core of that Senators team, and you will be hard pressed to get answers.
Here at Stayclassy.net, we are victims of our own obsession at times. We dutifully acknowledge our passion for hockey, and at times can go into vitriolic rants about the game and it’s players (including GMs- with my apologies to Brian Burke). At times we mean it, and at other times we are merely addressing the ridiculousness of it all. I hope that in my time writing here, people have had a chance to enjoy the irony of being a fan.
We create storylines, battles and rivalries in our heads, not because they truly exist, but because they will only enhance our experience of watching the game. And that is, after all, what we’re cheering for. The Experience.
There’s an old saying: it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Hockey is the same: it’s not about the team on the ice, it’s about the experience of watching them.
No matter what happens over the off-season, we will continue to write. We will continue to poke fun. And we will continue to enjoy the experience. Thanks for enjoying it with us.
Stay classy, loyal readers.