Chicago Blackhawks: Bandwagon vs. Diehard Fan
By Sean Fitzgerald
Jun 18, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) and right wing Patrick Kane (88) lift the Stanley Cup trophy at the rally during the 2015 Stanley Cup championship rally at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
With the Chicago Blackhawks becoming the most popular team in Chicago, people are trying to prove their fan-hood. The debate has been raging ever since 2009 between the “Bandwagon” and “Die-hard” fans. Bandwagon fans get upset with Die-hard fans who puff their chest out and try to prove that they have been loyal through the dark times. While Bandwagon fans jumped on at the right time and now are riding the Blackhawks wave, but once the team stops winning or does win for a few seasons, will they stay?
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Bandwagon is defined by Dictionary.com as “ a particular activity or cause that has suddenly become fashionable or popular.” Tons of fans have jumped on the Blackhawks Bandwagon since 2009, but was it there fault?
It is a tough debate to tackle because of the limitations the Blackhawks placed on their fans for so many years. Former Chairman Bill Wirtz did not put Blackhawks games on TV because he felt that the building would not be filled with games being on TV. Bill’s father wouldn’t put the first period on the radio for the same reason. Well Bill’s strategy backfired and NOBODY attended Blackhawks games. I mean NOBODY ATTENED GAMES. I once bought a ticket for 15 dollars with my high school ID for the 300 level and ended up sitting by the glass because nobody was at the United Center. That is how barren the Blackhawks fan base was at one point. ESPN Page 2(when Page 2 still existed ) rated the Blackhawks the WORST Franchise in all of Pro-sports.That is a far cry from what the Blackhawks are now. Now the people that did attend Blackhawks game and did listen on the radio during the “dark times” consider themselves Blackhawks die-hards. They loved and cherished a team that aside from them, nobody in the city valued.
Nobody valued the Blackhawks in Chicago because they couldn’t see them on TV and they were not any good! From 1997-98, the Blackhawks made the playoffs just once in 2001-02. Their best player Tony Amonte then left the Blackhawks because they did not want to pay him. After 2001, the Blackhawks did not make the playoffs again till 2008-09. That was eight consecutive seasons since they made the playoffs. That would deter new fans from rooting for a team.
Bandwagon fans have several reasons for not being Blackhawks before for 2009, but they does not give them the right to be ignorant.
IGNORANCE ANNOYS ME and AGGRAVATES DIE-HARD Fans. If you are going to jump on the Bandwagon invest in the team. Investing in the team means watching regular season games, learning players names, and learning about their history. It is very upsetting to die-hard fans when you cannot identify the best players or any players save for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
Now Die-Hards Fans needs to understand how it was hard for the Blackhawks to gain new fans before 2009. Some Die-hard Fans don’t NEED TO BE SO CONDENSING! I went Game 1 of the Semi-final round against the Minnesota Wild last season. I stood up when I thought Kane had scored and so did others around the United Center. A female fan behind me told me to sit down, I was up for maybe 3 seconds and then proceeded to ask me if it was my first game. I had been to 8 games before that and knew the rules but the tone she used PISSED ME OFF. She then went onto to say that she goes to games all the time. She was wearing one of those imitation SKULL Blackhawks shirts, I hate those shirts. I had made an honest mistake but was treated like I was less of a fan because I didn’t get to games all the time. I knew more about the Blackhawks then her and her Gorilla juice head boyfriend did and actually wore a REAL Blackhawks jersey. I would ask her in a ANGRY tone for the rest of the game if it was okay for me to stand, when I knew the rules for standing up.
If you are going to be a die-hard fan, I recommend educating other fans in a respectful tone and sharing your love of Blackhawks hockey. Bandwagon fans I recommend educating yourself on the team and not being so ignorant.
Bandwagon or Die-hard every fan had to start somewhere.
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