Here For The Party: There's No Shame In Being A Bandwagon Hockey Fan
There's a certain kind of fan that any kind of play offseason brings out in the world of sports. We've all seen this person, and I think the World Cup for soccer would be the best example of this kind of sports fan.
They only care when their team wins, and they only know their team wins when someone else tells them. They show up out of no where when their team finally makes it to the playoffs, and they're the most likely to never shut the f*ck up about them.
It's honestly annoying hearing someone rant about Manchester when they haven't spoken a word about being aware of what soccer is for the last four years you've known them.
As sad as it is to admit, when it comes to hockey, the Chicago Blackhawks have some of those terribly unfaithful fans around, and I'm one of them.
Sure, I was born in Chicago, and because of this, every single person assumes I'm a Bears, Cubs and White Sox fan. However, I'm openly unfaithful to those teams.
I've always had a soft spot for one of the greatest sports on the planet, though: hockey. As much as I don't go out of my way to find a bar that's playing a game, I'll pick hockey over every other organized sport that could possibly be on television.
I've seen the movie, "Miracle;" I know who Wayne Gretzky is, and until two years ago, that about summed up everything I knew about the sport.
I get that not a ton of people watch hockey, or even as little as I do. So, for a sport more relatable, like football, the equivalent would probably be the movie "Blind Side" and QB Brett Favre.
Every dedicated sports fan knows a guy like me. I probably couldn't tell you the name of one active hockey player, but I can tell you exactly how I feel about the San Jose Sharks after I've had a few beers.
I started following hockey loosely about two years ago, after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.
I don't think I've learned a single thing about the sport, except for what a power play is, but I still defend my Blackhawks to death.
I wouldn't ever come close to paying the ridiculous amount of money for the NHL package so I could watch them inconsistently kick ass from the comfort of my own home, but I do follow the team on Instagram. They post all of their scores, whether they win or lose, and that's honestly all I need to know when it isn't the playoff season.
Hockey is an exciting sport, whether you know what's going on or not.
Soccer is 90 minutes of intense jogging for a 0-0 score, and a player got kicked out for swearing at someone? That sounds exciting for someone who lists "safety" as an interest on Tinder.
Football is a little more exciting. There are some killer drives and game-changing plays, but half of the plays end within seconds of beginning.
Manziel was fined $12k for flipping someone off? If that's the excitement that shakes things up on the field enough for ESPN to report on it, count me out.
But, hockey? The guy wearing the jersey I like just beat the sh*t out of that guy who's wearing the jersey you like, and he got a two-minute penalty. I don't need to brush up on the history or rules of the NHL to know that was some exciting sports stuff.
During playoff season, the metaphorical gloves come off. I have a chance to rub it in someone else's face that my team is better than theirs without knowing anything specific about what happened.
You bet your ice-chapped ass I'm going to be at the bar, waiting to tweet about how bad your team is.
When the Blackhawks won the Cup in 2013, I went on a drinking rampage. I was posting things like #BlackhawkingOut because of how drunk I was. My friends, who were dedicated hockey fans with teams that didn't even make it to the finals, were hilariously upset by how happy I was.
They said I wasn't a real fan, but that's okay. I don't think I need to pour over stats and recite my team's starting lineup to enjoy what's going on.
And, if the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup again this year, I'll be just as drunk, and just as unaware of what led up to their victories.
I might be the worst kind of sports fan, but it's playoff season, and I'm just here to party.