We all know someone who seems to care way too much about “their team,” especially now that the NHL playoffs have officially begun. All of the closet hockey fans, die-hards and bandwagon fans alike have started to bust out the jerseys, hats and other apparel that contributes to their collective “swag.”
They won’t shut up about ‘em, they can’t go one day without checking the stats online, and they keep referring to themselves as a part of the team.
Ladies and gentlemen, that someone is me.
I am a born and raised die-hard San Jose Sharks fan. You could cut my arm open and I would bleed teal during the winter and spring months.
When I talk about the San Jose Sharks, many times you will hear me refer to them as “we.” This is not because I consider myself a part of the hockey team (as much as I would enjoy that).
It is simply because I am referring to the entire community that is involved with the team. This includes, but is not limited to, the players, the coaches, the trainers, SJ Sharkie, the fans, the TV broadcasters, the radio broadcasters, the arena employees, the Zamboni drivers and the sponsors.
You may think to yourself “Matt, those people are not all on the ice, and they are not the ones putting the pucks in the net.” You would be correct.
But as a person who played hockey (and participated in a few other sports here and there), I know that the system of support off the ice is something that no one can put a price on. Watching a few player interviews would be all it takes to prove it. When the crowd is into the game, yelling, screaming, chanting and even booing, it amps the players up. It lets them know they are playing for a reason.
Not only that, if the fans didn’t come to the games, where would the money to pay the Zamboni driver come from? If there were no Zamboni driver, how would the ice get resurfaced between periods? If the ice didn’t get resurfaced, how would the players play the game? You see what I’m saying? We’re all important.
So while I may not be sitting on the bench, facing off at center ice, or even driving the Zamboni, I know that my support contributes to the overall end result of the season.
When I say that the Sharks are the best team in the National Hockey League, that it’s the best season we’ve ever had or that we won last night, I am talking about the actual team. But, I’m also talking about the rest of us.