By now, you might have heard the story of the person who randomly stumbled on Game Seven of the Blackhawks/Blues series and was interested enough to become a fan of the sport. He’s Tony X, who gained popularity throughout the hockey world with tweet after tweet coverage from his house – all after he was trying to find the Cardinals game.
Now, listen. I’m all for new fans. But this is the playoffs. This is when the casual viewer tunes into for the first time and might get hooked to watch the rest of the Cup final and go back to baseball and preparation for football season. But hey… If this means that there’s going to be new fans popping in, that’s fine. It’s better if they get a glimpse of the best of the best: Game Seven. If there was ever a series to get caught up in, it was St. Louis and Chicago.
Putting a specific series aside, this is what makes me happy to be a hockey fan. Seeing the reaction of someone who has never seen a hockey game before and like it is incredible. You might not get the same reaction during a regular season game, which seems completely understandable. But draw them into the heat of the playoffs, and you get Tony’s story.
Fans come in from all directions. I, personally, went to a few Whalers games when I was in grade school, then really started getting into it when I looked in the newspaper and saw an advertisement for an American Hockey League game. Saw the local team win, and sixty minutes of game later, I was ready to go see another game. If it wasn’t for a local team, I wouldn’t be a fan of the sport.
In my opinion, new hockey fans are always welcome. It doesn’t matter how they get into the sport. NHL, AHL, ECHL. College? Fine. Whatever the case may be, really. If the passion is there, then embrace it. Doesn’t matter how old you are or if you just casually flipped to it because there wasn’t anything on and you needed background noise. Just as long as you don’t return your fan card. I’m not a fan of people who are going to “boycott” hockey.
Welcome to the hockey family, Tony X.
And if you’re listening… I’ve been to a few baseball games. I can’t sit still to watch enough of a game. (I’m still a fan, but I don’t tune in as often as I did in the past.)