Twitter and the Exposure to Extreme FandomShareThis
New The Hockey News: Why I wish the great Nick Lidstrom had retired
If you’re interested in my NHL Awards predictions, they’ll be running on Puck Daddy at some point tomorrow before the event starts. And yes, I changed my mind on a few of my picks from the end of the season.
Okay! I’ve been meaning to write about this for quite some time: Hardcore Fandom. Keep in mind, this is only aimed at those select few who take it too far and too seriously.
I didn’t realize it existed until the birth of twitter, to be honest.
I mean, I knew there were folks who loved their team so much that they might paint their face and spend a bunch of money on a ticket to root for them. I knew there were folks who might name their baby after an old hero, or decorate their rec room in the colors of their favourite squad….but I guess I didn’t realize that they meant it.
Apparently, for some, it’s not in fun. It’s important.
Now, most people are going to read this and go, “yeah man, those (Insert City) fans are the worst,” or at the very least think their fanbase is slightly more reasonable than whoevers, but I assure you, that’s not the case. None of them are without their crazies.
This isn’t a pity cry because some people yelled at me on Twitter, or me on my high horse judging people who genuinely care about a sports team, I’m just sharing what I’ve learned.
It’s not even close to everybody – the majority of fans are reasonable, but they’re not the ones who chime in and speak on forums like twitter and comment sections. When you agree with an argument, you just sort of think “sure, good point,” and move on. When ardent fans disagree, it becomes a seething tirade that generalizes another entire city.
I am a “fan” of the New York Islanders (I’d prefer to see them win over any other team). But I assure you, I’m aware that they’ve been very, very bad for a very long time now. I really don’t think I let my preference for that team get in the way about how I discuss them and their players. Some fans on twitter and comment sections and chat forums, for reasons beyond me, are not able to separate their rooting interests from reality.
I apologize in advance for the upcoming rant, but after a season of hearing this stuff, I need to address words that I hate that “Hardcore Fans” use to describe their opponents’ players – these terms, to me, make the accuser come off looking immature, oblivious, unreasonable and far too serious about a game. In fact, they make me uncomfortable:
Cry/cries/crier – This one is most often thrown at Sidney Crosby, a player more targeted than any other in the league, who’s involved in more offensive-plays-per-game than any other, who has the puck more often than anyone else in the danger areas, etc. It was the same with Gretzky – the guys who take the most abuse because they’re great and complain about it (like everyone else), get the label.
But beyond Sid, the accusation itself is so elementary school, so petty. To generalize a group of men with that word from home is just so feeble. ….Walk into their dressing room and drop that on them, I assure you we’ll find out who’s in tears before that day is over. (The following paragraphs also applies to the phrase “whines.”)
Dives/diver – There are a very few players in the league who consistently dive, and we know who they are. Beyond that, everyone occasionally embellishes to get a call. There is no team in the league who has a collective plan to dive, I promise you that.
The reason I hate this one so, so much, is because it’s an out for fans. Some people seem to genuinely believe their guys NEVER actually deserve penalties. There are plenty of times on the bench as a teammate where you go “oh fuck Smitty, you can’t hook him there,” and you go out and kill it. You understand that your guys, just like their guys, are fighting for inches.
So why can’t the hardcore at home understand that? And further, why should penalties always even out in a game? Sometimes one team took a lot more penalties than the other, legitimately. I’ve heard stuff like “of course they won, they had five powerplays to our one!” ……YA. Because your team took more penalties which is bad.
Class/classy – “Real classy Philadelphia.” “Show some class, Boston.” “Classy as always, Vancouver.”
I hate this shit.
The team-coloured glasses so many people view games through makes them oblivious to what goes on during the course of a hockey game. While we’re not here to discuss one incident (seriously, do not comment on this): Burrows biting Bergeron was not a classy move. Lapierre running with it was not classy. Recchi being a 43 year old vet and not being able to move on from it wasn’t classy. Lucic snapping out and dragging it out was not classy.
Yet each fanbase found cause to ding the other one on class-factor, and where they lose out, they find a “yeah but they….” I swear it’s like refereeing gym class with 12 year olds.
The deck of cards that is players and teams get shuffled, mixed and swapped every year, yet somehow one team constantly stays classy and the others maintain a reputation? Nahsomuch.
Let me end the rant on that stuff by reminding you – the sweeping majority of fans are reasonable folks, have been supportive of my work, and I appreciate each and every day I post an article and don’t fret about how it will be received. I have no problem with people reasonably disagreeing, as readers have been doing on this site, specifically, for years now.
But the name-calling, dismissive bullshit really made me turn colour a few times this year.
I think we’re still learning how to interact with people online, and especially when it comes to writers - for years, they were just words in the paper, and if you disagreed, that was that. The columnist never had the opportunity to learn your take or discuss it. So, when readers finally did have that opportunity, they came out with flamethrowers to make their point.
It doesn’t have to be that way, for one, and two, you need to understand that hockey players don’t come to your team and change. There’s a draft, there are trades, and it’s mostly random chance. You likely have guys that complain, or embellish, or whatever it is you hate about City A as much as the next team.
Just enjoy the damn game. Root for your boys. Tell me why you disagree with my opinions.
This rant doesn’t mean don’t love sports, don’t love your team, don’t discuss them with passion. I’m just saying that just because I think Daniel Sedin should win the Hart and you think it should be Corey Perry doesn’t make me a drunk, oblivious moron who doesn’t know shit about hockey.
Yayyyyy, that was fun, wasn’t it? I’ve been planning on writing that since about day one of playoffs, but there was always something a little more important to discuss.
Hope you enjoy the Awards show – I’ll be writing about it Thursday for Puck Daddy and over here.