January 18, 2009

Why I'm not a "fan"

After my mid-season review of the Tampa Bay Lightning - or, more specifically, after how I'd stated that if they trade Lecavalier that I'm going, too - people have been questioning my dedication to the team. I've decided to clear some of that up. Although, a few people probably won't like it very much.

I have never once said that I was a Tampa Bay Lightning "fan" - not once. Nor have I ever called them "my" team, or referred to what needs to be done using the word "we;" as in "we" need to do something about the defense. I have said that I follow the team, and nothing more.

As for being a "fair-weather" fan, do you really think I would've followed the team for this long if I was just in it for when they were winning? I started following the Lightning at the beginning of last season. You know, the one where they finished last in the league so that they were able to draft Stamkos #1 overall in the 2008 draft. And this season hasn't exactly been all sunshine and roses, either. So, for me, there has never been "fair weather" anything in regards to the Lightning.

So now you're probably wondering why I do follow this team. It's simple, really. I lived in Tampa for a bit, and I believe that you should follow the hometown team. So I did. And while I do currently live in northern Virginia, I don't follow the Washington Capitals since I don't live in DC or the immediate suburbs.

Am I a Lecavalier fan? No, I am not, since I'm not a fan of anybody's. But he is one of my favorite players and I do follow how he's doing. As I do with most guys on this team.

I'm a fan of the game, not of teams - or of players. I have my preferences, as does everyone. But the word "fan" comes from the word "fanatic," and I'm not fanatical about any player or any team, and never have been. I'm only really fantatical about the sport itself.

You see, for as long as I've loved hockey, I've followed players and not teams. Initially it was because I had hockey practice at the same rink as the hometown major junior team. And when some of them were drafted, or signed to pro contracts, I followed their teams to see how they were doing in the AHL, IHL (back in the 1990s), and the NHL. I've never been a dedicated fan of any NHL team since there wasn't one where I grew up. Vancouver was a 3+ hour drive away, and their games weren't broadcasted in the Seattle area.

I've liked other teams, sure. But the players I've followed were on those teams, and that's why I've liked them. And since the player turnover on hockey teams is so huge, sometimes those teams change. For me, it's the players that matter the most, and not the organizations that they play for. Even still, I'm not a fan of any player. I admire what they're able to do, and for the most part, that's pretty much as far as it goes.

Because of that mentality, I have no problems moving on to another team - as I have a few times before - particularly because of this situation. The management/ownership of Tampa Bay have made the sport I love into some big joke, which has been very hard for me to take at times. So that's why, if they follow thru with their biggest punchline of the season, I'm gone. But I'm not going until then.


  1. It's too bad you feel that way. I may admire other teams and players but I am loyal to one. It's like being married to a great guy but looking at other guys which is ok beause it's only looking. But you always end up with your husband. I will always be a Bolts fan I have been one for over ten years now. I watched Vinnie the first game he played til now. It's been a great ride ( most of it has ). So, go if you want but, when thay start winning again ( and they will) you'll be back Cassie. They always come back.

  2. but i'm not leaving unless Lecavalier goes. so, at least for now, i'll be staying.