The Chicago Blackhawks’ fan base is top 10 in the NHL in FanSided’s Fandom 250 rankings once again. How did they fare overall and compared to other teams?
Earlier this month, FanSided released their annual Fandom 250 rankings. The Chicago Blackhawks’ fan base has been ranked 9th in the NHL and 116th overall, dropping 39 spots from last year when they were ranked 77th overall. Last December, the team had the 3rd best fan base in the NHL.
There’s no reason to be down about this ranking, though. This team had a rough season last year and they aren’t doing well this season, either. Almost all of the teams ranked above them made the playoffs last year and the Blackhawks did not. It is not surprising to see a Canadian team – The Montréal Canadiens – earn the top spot in 2018.
The ‘Hawks fan base is still as strong as ever. This year, fans had to sit through a longer offseason as the team missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. Long-time coach and future Hall-of-Famer Joel Quenneville was fired in early November. Both of these moments ended an era filled with wonderful memories that will never be forgotten by Blackhawks fans.
Despite the fall in the rankings, FanSided recognized just how great fans of the Chicago Blackhawks really are in the team’s Fandom 250 article:
"Even though it’s a down year for the Blackhawks, you wouldn’t be able to tell a fan that times are dark. That sort of passion is something that gets recognized by the players. Last year the NHLPA voted Blackhawks fans the best in hockey, and did so by a wide margin. With 30.4 percent of the votes, Blackhawks fans finished 11-points ahead of the Nashville Predators in second place. It’s one thing to be called the best fans in hockey but it’s another thing to get the sort of recognition from the players themselves."
When players from the NHL themselves are voting for the Blackhawks having the best fan base, that’s when you know you’re truly great. Fans can be seen not only at home games but also on the road. Next time you watch a road game, try and spot how many ‘Hawks jerseys there are in the stands. You won’t be able to count them because there are too many.
The article also mentions how the Chicago Blackhawks connect with the community and make fans feel like they are part of the team through the events they hold. The annual convention sells out every year and the opening-night red-carpet event is always a hit. Other events such as Keith Relief and Seabrook Ice Bowl don’t just give fans a chance to meet and interact with their favorite players. They give back to the community through the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation, the charity organizations created by the players, and local non-profit organizations.
Fandom 250’s article also admires the legacy of Chicago Blackhawks fans:
"When the franchise was a blackhole, seeing a fan wearing Blackhawk sweaters in public was like recognizing a brother in arms, but now it’s easy to walk down the streets of Chicago and see fans of all ages wearing their Blackhawk merchandise as a badge of honor."
This is still true to this day. As you walk around the city, fans will wear their jerseys even when it’s not a game day. There’s an extreme sense of pride wearing that logo on your chest, no matter what apparel you have on. Blackhawks fans – and Chicago sports fans in general – are among the most loyal and passionate across all major league teams.
Yes, this year has been difficult for fans of the Chicago Blackhawks. As 2018 draws to a close, let’s not forget all the success the team has had in the past. Think about the three times our fantastic captain Jonathan Toews has raised the Cup since 2010. Flashback to all of the ridiculous goals Patrick Kane has scored.
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Do we think the fan base of the Chicago Blackhawks should be ranked higher? Absolutely. We believe these fans are the best in the league. But it’s still an honor to be recognized as a top-10 fan base in the league.
Be proud, Blackhawks fans. That’s a huge win, and we don’t get many of those lately.