Nashville Might Never Become A Hockey Town If Their Fans Continue To Be So Unwavering In Their Appreciation Of The Predators
Wha...wha...what the hell was that last night? I've been watching hockey a long, long time and can't remember seeing anything like it, so I decided to do a little research and, as it turns out, it's uncommonly referred to as unwavering support. While I'm glad to put a label to such an intriguing phenomenon, I'm still unclear as to what it's place was in the home arena of a team that saw a season that was expected to end with the raising of a Stanley Cup brought to an end with an extremely underwhelming defeat.
As a matter of fact, I feel like I have been led astray. All I have heard since last April was that Nashville was the newest 'hockey town'. A place that, despite it's location on the map, both knew the ramifications of playoff puck, as well as lived and died with its results. Yet, as I watched the clock tick down to midnight on that which they "supposedly" most desire, there was not one exaggerated sigh of cynicism to be heard. On the other hand, it almost seemed as though Predators fans were...appreciative or something. I want to say that what they were displaying was gratitude, but that would fly directly in the face of the idea that they are manically invested in the success of their team.
Look, despite what Vegas might have you believing, Nashville is a rare feel good story of a lucrative relocation to a non-traditional market. Unfortunately, if Canada, ironically considering their country's Cup drought, has taught me anything then it's that hockey towns are characterized but their obsessive appetite for championships and championships alone. To be regionally respected in this sport you must ignore perspective in lieu of irrational expectations, and when those irrational expectations aren't met you must take that disappointment out on the players, regardless of who is responsible for assembling them. I'm sorry, the hoards of fans leaving early was a decent start, but I can't yet stray from decades of standards, disguised as culture, if Nashville is going to continue to be loud and proud of unrealized potential. They can be a city that loves the Predators unconditionally, but unless they are going to loathe them in defeat by way of an overreactive treatment of every flaw as if it might be the one that causes the falling of the sky, a hockey town they are not.