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Puck_Pun

Why do you support the team you support?

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This is a subject that has really fascinated me, regardless of the sport being discussed. For those who support your local team in places that have only one team, I get that parochialism and access to home games are driving factors. But what about people who live in states with more than one team? Is it a matter of living in that particular team's 'catchment', their branding, a particular player, good form when you got into the sport, or poor behaviour by the other team? What about people who support teams from other states? I find it interesting talking to people who back Victorian teams in the AFL despite never having lived in the state. This is becoming more rare as the AFL pushes teams into every market though (except Tasmania... population too small to support a team). And for those who have moved states, what thought process goes into sticking with your home state team verses swapping to a local team for the sake of being able to go to games?

 

I guess I should start by talking about the teams I support and why. I have neither history nor geography to determine what team I support, so my decisions were largely arbitrary to tell the truth. I wanted to support an American and a Canadian team, for reasons. It needed to be in the Eastern conference as the timing of the games fits into my schedule much better than Western (if I were to choose from the whole league I'd probably have gone SJ as my US team- and I have a soft spot for them for that reason). For a while I considered supporting the Habs as they're the closest the NHL has to having a team that has existed as long as my AFL side, Port Adelaide (which was est 1870).

 

I went with the Flyers as my US team mainly because I just like their branding- logos colours etc- and their underdog status. Their reputation as being mongrels (despite their play style not being anything like the Broad Street Bullies for some time) is quite similar to what people say about Port Adelaide, which gained a reputation for being mongrels back in the 60s. I like the Senators mainly due to their history- all the stuff about the silver seven and so forth, and then being resurrected in the 90s. I also am a sucker for defence oriented play, which, especially last season, the Sens really enjoy doing.

 

I considered some other teams, but they didn't make the grade for various reasons. I decided against Toronto because I just couldn't bring myself to write the word 'leafs' on a regular basis. I decided against Detroit because their logo confuses me. What is it, a tyre with wings? I don't get it. I considered TB, and I decided against them because... I'm not sure. Them abandoning the tesla coil in their home stadium is disappointing, that seemed really cool.

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Pretty simple for me actually. The first game I ever saw was the Clarke era Flyers vs the Detroit (Dead Things) era Red Wings at the Spectrum.  That building was so loud, the fans were so into the game.  The white home sweaters the Flyers wore looked so great, the road red sweaters the 'Wings wore with that logo were beautiful.  The hook was set, that day in '78. I have followed both teams ever since.  My family was a Flyers family, my stepdad and his brothers shared season tickets, rooting for the Flyers was family culture.

 

The Hershey Bears (AHL) are my other team.  I have been going to those games as long as I can remember.  My great aunt used to take me and my aunt to the Park Arena 5 or 6 Saturdays a winter, then we'd pile into her Lincoln and go to Culhane's for a steak dinner and a pink squirrel.  Thelma had great seats, the players and coaches knew my great aunt and were kind to my aunt and me...this is where my love for hockey comes from. 

 

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My team support is pretty simple as well.

 

I was born n raised in Clearwater, Florida and was exposed to sports through my Dad and older brothers.

 

Hockey was a novelty for Floridians back in the early 90's when the Lightning were brought in, but over the years, despite some terrible, terrible seasons with equally terrible ownership, the fanbase has grown and Lightning fans, such as myself, no longer consider NHL hockey a "novelty" in Florida.

 

So basically, my support for sports teams (Hockey is my number one, followed closely by baseball, and football, a somewhat distant 3rd) comes from where I was born in raised.

Lightning (NHL), Rays (MLB), and Buccaneers (NFL).

 

That said, I have "duel fandom" since I've been with my husband who is a Minnesotan....Minneapolis specifically....and thus I also support the Wild in the NHL, the Twins in MLB, and the Vikings in the NFL. I currently reside in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area as well, moving here some years ago.

 

When I get asked whom I root for when a TB team plays a MN team, that is easy: My TB teams always get the nod. It's not even something I have to think about. ;)

 

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I was in 1st grade and can remember the naming contest when Philadelphia was awarded the franchise.  My entire family would watch every one of the games on a floor model console black and white TV.  There were 7 of us in chairs, on the couch, and laying on the floor in front of the TV.  

 

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On 9/6/2017 at 10:01 AM, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

Hockey was a novelty for Floridians back in the early 90's when the Lightning were brought in, but over the years, despite some terrible, terrible seasons with equally terrible ownership, the fanbase has grown and Lightning fans, such as myself, no longer consider NHL hockey a "novelty" in Florida.

 

I find this sort of thing quite interesting. How does a team in a state that doesn't have a huge native audience turn enough of the population to be financially viable? Is it merely a matter of a continuing presence over time being a living commercial for the game? Over here the AFL committed to pouring $100 million a year into West Sydney to force it to work, and it has had moderate success (average crowds of 12k last year which isn't that much relative for the league). The ability for a sport to 'convert' people to watching their game seems as much a generational thing as it is being able to present itself in a positive light.

 

I mean really, I don't really associate Texas with winter sports in general, but the Stars seem to have a good following.

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Parochial reasons for me, being from Philly.  But maybe I should answer why the Flyers became my first love rather than the Eagles (NFL) or Phillies (MLB) or Sixers. 

 

The quite possible reason is that the Flyers got good before the others.  I was 5 and 6 when the Flyers won their Cups in 74 and 75.   The Phillies were winning divisions immediately after that and ultimately the World Series in 80. The Sixers in 83.  The Eagles didn't win but went to the Super Bowl in 81.  Really, all before the end of 10th grade. 

 

So, it may be chronology, but I don't think it was just that. 

 

The very first time I was aware of hockey, I was at the house of friends of my parents. They had a Flyers game on. I have no idea against whom.  I didn't understand it at the time, but Bernie Parent must have been really ticked off at something either the goal judge or a fan behind the net had done. He was behind the net slamming his goalie stick against the glass and really quite animated. 

 

So, with the histrionics and his mask, my 5 year old mind figured he must be "the bad guy."  I guess the mask fit in with some cartoons I was watching at the time.  It was, of course, explained to me by reasoned, adult, minds that the guy carrying on like an imbecile was, in fact, "the good guy." 

 

I fell in love with the brutality of the Bullies. About the same time, my mother and grandmother both became huge fans. My grandmother was one of the first to have Prism just to watch the Flyers games (I think it was initially called something before that).  My dad was never a hockey fan, but that didn't matter. 

 

My uncle had season tickets. Second row, second level, above the Flyers' player bench on the center red line. I only went to a handful of games each season, but they were circled on the calendar. 

 

So, that's the story, i guess. 

 

By the way, the Red Wings' logo is one of my favorite. Yes, it's a tire and is a nod to Detroit being the historic home of automobile manufacturing in the US with Ford, GM, and Chrysler's headquarters being there or immediately nearby. I don't know. It was always just a cool classic to me. 

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9 hours ago, Puck_Pun said:

 

I find this sort of thing quite interesting. How does a team in a state that doesn't have a huge native audience turn enough of the population to be financially viable? Is it merely a matter of a continuing presence over time being a living commercial for the game? Over here the AFL committed to pouring $100 million a year into West Sydney to force it to work, and it has had moderate success (average crowds of 12k last year which isn't that much relative for the league). The ability for a sport to 'convert' people to watching their game seems as much a generational thing as it is being able to present itself in a positive light.

 

I mean really, I don't really associate Texas with winter sports in general, but the Stars seem to have a good following.

 

Tell ya what...it wasn't easy.

 

The Tampa Bay Lightning, like mentioned, did have some terrible ownership over the course of their existence, and along with that, some really horrible seasons too.

In fact, it is fair to say, that for portions of their tenure as an NHL franchise, the Lightning were looked at as the jokes of the league.

 

There were even times when terms such as 'relocation' and 'contraction' were used in conjunction with the team.

 

I believe it to be a combination of good fortune and certain hockey people pushing hard for the Bolts to stay where they are (Gretzky and Phil Esposito come to mind right away), that the team was able to not only stay where they are, but through some very good marketing and (finally) some good ownership (the current owner Jeff Vinik is outstanding), mixed in with finding and retaining good talent, both on the ice and in the front office, the Lightning were able to make headway into the minds and hearts of Floridians living in the area.

 

And of course, with the passage of time, and as a generation grew older and a new one came about, more loyalty to the team and brand was bred.

 

My theory only, granted, but I truly believe that if a product...in this case ICE hockey.....is marketed properly, its franchise run properly, and things kept interesting for the consumer on a consistent basis, then yes, it CAN flourish in a non-traditional market like Tampa, Florida.

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26

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6 minutes ago, thenewestlights said:

@ruxpin : curious how you chose your 

2nd Favorite teams. 

 

Well, this isn't nearly as interesting.   I had a bunch of Senators on my fantasy hockey team, which I've grown way too intensely attentive to.  Anyway, the year that ended with Hammond's run I ended up watching them a lot.   The Flyers stunk and the Senators were actually quite a fun team to watch, so they kind of developed into my second team.    Prior to that, I probably would have had a difficult time coming up with a second.

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@thenewestlights

I like their defensive players, Josi, Subban, Elis are all very good players. I like their no-name, skate-like-the-wind forwards too.

Plus they've added Nick Bonino this year, he's my favorite player from a team I hate with fire of a million burning suns.

I really enjoy the way they skate and pressure the puck everywhere, they are hard to play against. 

I was a Laviolette fan when he coached the Flyers.  His style takes a toll on the players after a time but when he's got the right guys, it's fun hockey to watch.

 

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Home Team! 

 

 

Actually for me the better question is why do I support the sport that I do? And that would be because of Eric Lindros. I first was aware of the Flyers at age 5 in the '87 Final but I was much more of a Phillies fan until just after the '93 World Series when I kind of burnt out on baseball. Then Lindros was getting the Flyers turned around and was the most captivating athlete I had ever seen, and still is to this day. 

 

Moved to Nashville in '96 and split my loyalty between the two teams after the Preds were founded. I even wore my Flyers jersey when the played in Nashville for the first 2-3 years, but by then my love of the Predators had grown too much. It was prior to the days where out of market hockey was easily accessible so I had a hard time keeping up with the Flyers roster and by 2000 I really didn't have a great knowledge and connection with those guys the way I did with the scrappy expansion Preds. 

 

Temporarily relocated to Tampa in '14 and decided that I wouldn't waffle around and shun the new home team so I jumped on board with the Lightning right away and that was a great idea as they were extremely entertaining that season and went to the Cup Final. Luckily this time I was able to keep up with the Predators from afar as well and when I moved back to Nashville in '16 I was easily able to jump right back into all-out Predators fandom. I didn't keep up with the Lightning too much since then and as more and more players from the 14-15 roster are replaced I get less and less connected to that team. 

 

I'm sure i'll relocate again at some point in the future, and wherever I am I'll root for the local team.

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I was born the year the Flyers were, I was 6 (just short of my birthday for those doing the math) when they won the Cup and the entire Delaware Valley was crazy for the team. It was everywhere, I couldn't help but swept up with it at that young age even if I had wanted to

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Thread ***BUMP***

 

For newer members who care to chime in about why they root for whom they do.

Or for longer tenured members who may have missed this the first time around.....or to change their stories to something completely over the top!  :lol:

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On 9/5/2017 at 9:02 AM, OccamsRazor said:

Cuz i'm dumb and a glutton for punishment!!!!!

 

Punch Face GIF - Punch Face GIFs

 

 

Thank you sir may i have another!!!!!!!!

 

:bonkingheadonwall:

 

Hey my luck is turnig around. 

 

My faith in the Eagles finally paid off.

 

Finally World Champs!!!

 

Now it's the Flywrs turn!!!!

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      I was born the year the Flyers were, I was 6 (just short of my birthday for those doing the math) when they won the Cup and the entire Delaware Valley was crazy for the team. It was everywhere, I couldn't help but swept up with it at that young age even if I had wanted to
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      @thenewestlights I like their defensive players, Josi, Subban, Elis are all very good players. I like their no-name, skate-like-the-wind forwards too. Plus they've added Nick Bonino this year, he's my favorite player from a team I hate with fire of a million burning suns. I really enjoy the way they skate and pressure the puck everywhere, they are hard to play against.  I was a Laviolette fan when he coached the Flyers.  His style takes a toll on the players after a time but

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