HOCKEY FANS IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
Today's blog idea came from a quote from a previous blog of mine. It is a quote by Brandon Felder from the blog Name one thing that is wrong with the NHL.
I believe that the one thing wrong in hockey is the way other fans look down at each other. In my mind, it doesn't matter what team you root for, we are all hockey fans. To hear that people are supporting an existing team being uprooted is a bit disturbing to me. I supported the Penguin fans when they were in trouble, and they supported us as well. Unfortunately, there are too many fans out there that do not see it from another fan's point of view. I would never WANT a team to move from an existing NHL city. I just wish fans were more respectful to each other when it comes to off-the-ice issues. Argue, debate, and sling mud over the game on the ice, but do not forget to think how you would feel in the shoes of a Pred fan.
I am going to post my personal reasons why I think losing Nashville to another city, or for that matter, any southern team, is not good. I am going to take this from a business point of view as well as a personal point of view.
Every business wants new fans; but not at the expense of its old ones. In order for the NHL to survive, it must learn how to help its own before it can expand. The South has lot to offer, but the NHL has to learn how to access it. If the league wants to prosper in the USA, it must strengthen its own cities and not move them. In other words, the relocation to Canada might not be the best way to strengthen itself in the USA. How can anyone take this league seriously when it will not even help its own?
Simply put, the passion and intensity of their fans. Some of my best friends are from the Nashville area. I would like to mention two of the fans from Nashville that I have met on this site. The first one is the blogger who is the reason of this blog, Brandon Felder. If anyone who has any doubt about his spirit, please read his intro blog. I chatted with him over and over with how the process is going with the selling of the Preds. I went through this with the Flames, who almost left. Blue line is another chatter who has chatted with me many times, encouraging me with my blogs. I have never met two more knowledgeable and passionate hockey fans. Why would you want to lose these fans? You would not and neither does the NHL.
Now do not get me wrong; I do not begrudge Canada another team. In fact, I am all for another Canadian team in the NHL. I just wish they could do it through expansion. What really worries me and upsets me is that this will not be the last time that some rumour will come of a Southern team moving to Canada. There will always be some Southern team who has empty seats at a game this season. Then some Canadian yahoo will yell for that team to move again. And yes, he will gain support to move that team to a Canadian City. I want another team in Canada. Just not at the expense of Nashville, or Florida, or any other non-traditional market in the USA.
With my background, there is one thing I notice about hockey fans - we supposedly stick behind each other. The thing that bothers me the most is that Canadians are saying it. It just seems that once there is a team is up for sale, the fans are kicking the team out. So we can get another Canadian team. Can't we help or support the fans instead for wishing doom and destruction?
I would like to describe my background a little. I was born deaf, never heard anything until I was four. Never spoke in the first 5 years of my life. Throughout my childhood, I was made fun of. I was told that I could not amount to anything. The only thing I held onto was hockey, for there I had friends. My life was held together by the game of hockey.
I witnessed in childhood what it was to really be accepted. It was like finally fitting a square peg into a round hole. Since then, I always thought that hockey fans were a different mold. That somehow hockey fans had no different classes. Money did not matter, nor did school grades. There was no difference between the rich and the poor. I could sit beside someone who was smarter and not be tormented. I can sit beside anyone watching a game and discuss anything, having discussions with people without fear of repercussion.
This is the main reason I feel for the Preds fans having hockey taken away from them. For me, it would be devastating. I know what it is like to be kicked while you are down. That is the main reason I would never wish anything but the best for people. Life is too short to hate people and to wish destruction on people.